Weekly Business Roundup: Markets Revive; NALCO Achieves Record Turnover

Markets gain momentum ahead of RBI's policy-meet

Markets gain momentum ahead of RBI's policy-meetMarkets This Week

The S&P BSE Sensex posted its first gain in the past three weeks. This week, the 30-share index registered an 801.5 point or 2.92 percent rise with a close at 28,260.14 points (last weekly closing on March 27 – 27,458.64 points). The 50-share CNX Nifty also gained this week and went up some 244.85 points or 2.93 percent to end at 8,586.25 points (last weekly closing on March 27 – 8,341.40 points). The week at the equity markets was a truncated one with only three sessions – the markets were closed on Thursday and Friday due to Mahavir Jayanti and Good Friday. The long weekend also indicates that the next week’s opening will be largely influenced by global cues.

Experts believe that the equity markets snapped out of the losing streak due to positive sentiments related to the RBI’s policy meet scheduled for next week. Pharma shares saw a revival of interest from buyers. Popular opinion among market watchers is that the bull run is set to continue and that investors should buy on declines. Long-term investment in well-grounded stocks is advisable. The BSE Midcap Index also did well this week and rose about 3.76 percent to close at 10,750.42 points. The Small-cap Index rose considerably and gained 6.76 percent closing at 11,146.72 points.

Gold prices gained about INR 175 on Friday to reach the highest it has in a week due to increased buying by jewellers and surge in retail buying. The yellow metal traded at INR 26,950 per 10 grams on Friday. Silver gained and prices rose by about INR 250. Increased demand among coin makers and industrial units led silver prices up to INR 37,600 per kg on Friday. The price of petrol was reduced by 49 paise per litre and the price of diesel by INR 1.21 per litre this week. The reduction reflects the falling oil prices across the world, said retailers.

Flipkart Appoints New Senior Managers

Bengaluru-based e-commerce giant announced the appointment of three senior officials this week. The company announced the appointment of Mr. Hari Vasudev (former VP of the R & D department at Yahoo) as its senior Vice-President for Engineering, Information Technology, and Supply-Chain Analytics. Vasudev is likely to lead Flipkart’s efforts to come up with new smart supply chain products and services. He is best suited to harness technology and build systems based on robotics and the internet of things. With data sciences and mobile technologies taking precedence, Vasudev’s role will be crucial in taking Flipkart to greater heights.

Flipkart also announced the appointments of Mr. Anand KV as the Senior Vice-President Customer Experience (Commerce Platform) and Mr. Manish Maheshwari as Vice-President and Head of Seller Ecosystem. Anand previously worked as the President (Digital Platforms) at Hathway Cable & Datacom and has considerable experience in Direct to Home (DTH) satellite television industry in the subcontinent. Maheshwari was the co-founder of txtWeb and was the VP of Seller Ecosystem.

RBI Approves Kotak Mahindra- ING Vysya Bank Merger

The Kotak Mahindra Bank – ING Vysya Bank merger has received the approval of India’s central bank, RBI, and the process of amalgamation is already underway. The INR 15,000-crore merger will now create the fourth largest private sector lender in the country. Rebranding is now underway and over 547 branches of the ING Vysya Bank will now be integrated into the Kotak Mahindra Bank brand. The combined entity will now have about 1,214 branches nationwide. The process of merging the operations and integrating the personnel is likely to be completed within a year.

NALCO Achieves Record Turnover

Odisha-based aluminium giant, National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO), went on to record its highest ever gross turnover in the FY 2014-15. The PSU’s provisional turnover for 2014-15 has been estimated at INR 7,774 crore. This is a commendable rise from the turnovers of FY 2013-14 (INR 7,024 crore), and FY 2012-13 (INR 7,247 crore). Export earnings of the company have, however, seen a decline from INR 3,179 crore in 2013-14 to INR 3,307 crore in 2014-15. NALCO is responsible for generation of 181 MU of wind energy through the course of the year. Most of this comes from its 50.4 MW wind power plant at Gandikota (Andhra Pradesh) and the rest from its 47.6 MW plant at Jaisalmer (Rajasthan).

Right on the heels of this announcement came the revelation that NALCO has also signed an MOU with the Ministry of Mines. The MOU details out higher turnover target for the company. The net operating sales turnover target for NALCO for FY 2015-16 has been fixed at INR 8,488 crore.

SBI Home Loans up 50 percent in Bengal

State Bank of India announced that its home loan disbursals in the Bengal Circle are up by about 50 percent. In FY 2014-15, home loan disbursements have gone up to about INR 2,100 crore from INR 1,400 crore reported the previous year. SBI credited a number of customer-friendly initiatives as the reason for the rise. A reduction in the home loan processing time from 31 days to 17 days is a very important factor for applicants to choose the SBI, said the bank. SBI’s home loan disbursement target for the current fiscal year is INR 3,000 crore.

FY 15 MF Investment in Debt Market Reaches INR 5.87 Trillion

According to data released by the SEBI this week, mutual fund managers pumped in a little less than INR 6 trillion into the Indian debt markets in FY 2014-15. Improved sentiments are responsible for this 8 percent hike (from INR 5.43 trillion to INR 5.87 trillion) in investment over last year. According to estimates, about INR 40,000 crore were invested by MF managers into equity in FY 2014-15.