At the end of what was a rather volatile trading session, the Indian equity markets closed marginally above the dotted line. The indices began on a positive note. However, profit booking in IT and engineering heavyweights led the indices to shed most of the early gains. Buying activity was, however, seen in select realty stocks. While the Sensex today closed higher by around 27 points, the NSE-Nifty ended 9 points higher. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap, however, bucked the trend and closed higher by 1% each. Losses were largely seen in FMCG and IT stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed higher today while European indices have opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.72 to the dollar at the time of writing.
As per a business daily, in what could come as a blow to cigarette major ITC, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has hiked taxes on tobacco products from 12.5% to 50%. Earlier in UP, the tax summed up to 18.5% along with additional tax and entry tax. However with the recent hike, the tax tallies up to almost 55%. This action by UP government is in line with the actions taken by Kerala and MP governments, which have banned these products completely. However, some reports also state the likelihood of hike in tax being extended to tobacco products like gutka and pan masala and not cigarettes.
As in the past, ITC is likely to mitigate the impact of tax hikes by passing on the cost hikes to consumers. The company had in April 2012, upped the price of cigarette by 5-16%. Another price hike within a short span may hurt the volumes in the near term.
Meanwhile, private sector lender Yes Bank, plans to raise US$ 500 m for accommodating loan growth and to increase its capital base to meet the Basel II norms of capital adequacy. It aims to raise additional capital by way of placement of shares with Qualified Institutional Buyers, issue of American or Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) or a public issue. Earlier bank had raised equity capital three times - in December 2006, December 2007 and January 2010by way of QIP. Yes Bank's CAR stood comfortable at 17.9% (as per Basel II) at the end of FY12. The bank's return on equity and return on assets stood at 23% and 1.5% at the end of FY12, with the averages over the past 4 years being 20% and 1.5% respectively.