Companies & Sectors
Auto makers see steady sales in January

Allaying fears of a slowdown, automakers have reported a steady growth in sales in January 2011. But the stock market does not seem as happy, as the BSE auto index fell 2.8% along with the rest of the market today

Auto sales are expected to slow down this year after the record 30% growth in 2010, but that isn't happening yet. From the sales figures announced by some of the major companies on Tuesday, it seems that last year's trend in sales has continued into January 2011. But two-wheeler makers have registered higher growth numbers than four-wheeler manufacturers during the first month of 2011.

Analysts expect that the hike in interest rates, rising fuel prices and vehicle costs could slow sales growth this year. Auto stocks were down today, in line with the overall drop in the market. Tata Motors was down nearly 7% to Rs1,068 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, whereas Maruti Suzuki lost about 1% to Rs1,240. Mahindra & Mahindra also lost 1% to Rs 705. TVS Motors was down nearly 5% to Rs51.70. The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Auto Index fell 2.8% to 2138.7 points from 2228.7 points and the Sensex was down 1.6% to 18,022.

Tata Motors today reported a 15% growth in January sales at 75,423 units, compared to 65,478 units in the corresponding month last year. The company's total passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market for January 2011 was 30,212 units, which is a jump of 15% over the previous corresponding period, Tata Motors said in a statement.

Tata Motors' small car Nano, sold 6,703 units in January, a good 68% growth after struggling for some months to roll off the assembly lines. However, Tata Indica reported sales of 10,591 units, which is 8% lower compared to January 2010, the company said. The Indigo family recorded sales of 8,456 units, a rise of 17% over the corresponding month a year ago. Sales of Sumo, Safari, Aria and Venture range increased 26% to 4,462 units.  

Utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) reported a 22% increase in sales in January to 36,718 units. This included the sale of 20,500 tractors compared to 16,334 tractors sold in December 2010 and 2,100 exported y-o-y. Pawan Goenka , president, automotive and farm equipment business, M&M, said this was the highest sales for the company in any month and it would launch 8-10 new models launches during FY12.

Maruti Suzuki, the country's largest carmaker reported a 14.73% rise in sales to 1,09,743 units, in January 2011. Sales in the corresponding month last year was 95,649 units. Sales in the domestic market stood at 1,00,422 units in January 2011, a more than 23% increase from 81,087 units in the year-ago period.

Maruti Suzuki's exports in January 2011, however, fell by 36% from 14,562 units in January last year to 9,321 units, the company said. Sales of the M800 model also declined by 24% from 2,494 units in January last year to 1,876 units in January this year. Sales in the A2 segment that comprises Alto, WagonR, Estilo, Swift, A-Star and Ritz models, saw a 23% growth.

Chennai-based TVS Motor Company registered a 30% jump in January sales to 165,152 units. It sold 127,288 units in the month last year. Its two-wheeler sales increased by 29% in January, from 125,578 units in the year-ago period to 161,725 units.

Motorcycle sales of TVS Motors rose by 24% to 67,721 units from 54,698 units. Scooter sales grew by 60% to 40,736 units, as against 25,509 units in the period last year. Domestic two-wheeler sales in January stood at 142,227 units, up 30% from 109,504 units in the corresponding month in 2010.

Sales for Hero Honda Motors, India's largest motorcycle maker, rose by almost a fifth in January  from a year earlier to 466,524 units. Hero Honda is a joint venture between the Hero group and Japan's Honda Motor Company. In December, the Hero group said it would buy Honda's 26% stake in the joint venture.

Two-wheeler maker Suzuki Motorcycle reported a 40% growth in January sales to 28,598 units compared to 20,448 units sold in the year-ago period. The India subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corp of Japan, makes and sells scooters and motorcycles like Access 125, SlingShot, GS150R, Hayabusa 1300 and Bandit 1250S in its portfolio.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), a joint venture between Toyota Motor Corp and the Kirloskar group has registered a growth of 53% in sales in January 2011, compared to the same period last year. It sold 9,185 units in January against 5,989 units in the corresponding month last year. The Etios, which was launched in December 2010, has seen an overwhelming response with more than 22,000 bookings received so far. In January, the company delivered 1651 units, it said.

Driven by demand for the hatchback Figo, Ford India reported a four-fold increase for January 2011 at 10,026 units, against 2,453 units sold over the same period last year.

General Motors said its sales also grew by 6% to 9,984 units in January 2011 from 9,421 units in January last year. "The increase in sales was primarily driven by the response to Chevrolet Beat, Spark and Cruze, introduction of the best-in-segment cars from the 300 series and increase in customer outreach through the distribution network," GM India vice-president P Balendran said.

SkodaAuto India, a fully owned subsidiary of SkodaAuto a.s., Czech Republic announced a sales growth of 51% for January 2011. SkodaAuto India’s total sales for January 2011 stood at 2,825 units against 1,881 units same month last year.


Govt not in a hurry to resume onion export: Food minister

At the height of onion crisis around 20th and 21st December when the price of the bulb had peaked to Rs70-Rs85 a kg in the national capital, the government had ordered for import of the veggie to boost domestic availability

New Delhi: Though the government stopped subsidised sale of onions in the national capital from today with the softening of the kitchen staple prices, it said it is not in a hurry to lift ban on export of the veggie, reports PTI.

"Though the price of the onion has eased...but we have not reached the stage to restart export of the vegetable... we are not in any hurry," food minister KV Thomas told PTI.

With soaring of rates of onions that created a hue and cry across the country, the government had first decided to suspend export of the vegetable till mid-January, but later clamped an indefinite ban.

The minister of state with independent charge for food and consumer affairs said there was no need now for further contracting onion from other countries.

"Only previous contracted onions are imported now...there is no need for further shipment of the vegetable as the domestic supply of the crop has increased now," the minister said.

At the height of onion crisis around 20th and 21st December when the price of the bulb had peaked to Rs70-Rs85 a kg in the national capital, the government as a crisis-management step had ordered for import of the veggie to boost domestic availability.

Accordingly, state-run agencies PEC and STC had contracted 1,000 tonnes of onions from Pakistan in the first week of January.

The onions from the neighbouring country landed at Mundra port in Gujarat in phases from where it was ferried to Delhi by roads.

With softening of prices of onions to Rs 25-Rs30 a kg, the government yesterday decided to discontinue subsidised sale of the essential commodity through cooperatives like Mother Dairy, Nafed, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar.

The government was giving 30% subsidy to cooperatives for vending onions at lower rates.


Sensex, Nifty fail to rally again: Tuesday Closing Report

Will it be the sixth down day in a row tomorrow?

The market opened trade this morning with decent gains, tracking the global markets. However, the market soon lost steam on offloading by institutional investors and slid deep into the red. Despite upbeat economic data, the indices witnessed a free-fall in the morning session.

There was no let up in the post-noon session as all the sectoral gauges were in negative territory. The decline resulted in the key benchmarks closing at the day's lows.

The short term bounce we were expecting today eluded us. The Sensex opened with a gap-up of 97 points at 18,425. The Nifty opened higher at 5,537. We expected the market to end positive in case it crossed yesterday's high. But the Sensex and Nifty both traded above yesterday's high only briefly and slipped into the negative within minutes.

Continuous selling in the first hour brought the market to yesterday's low. At the end of the day, the Sensex and Nifty hit the day's lows at 17,982 and 5,402 respectively, falling below yesterday's lows. The Sensex was down 306 points at 18,022 and Nifty 89 points down at 5,417.

Today was the fifth consecutive day of the fall that started on 25 January 2011. Since 1991, there have been 141 occasions when the Sensex ended in the negative for five consecutive trading sessions. Out of this, the market has ended positive 76 times on the sixth trading day. That's not much of a solace for the bulls. The advance-decline on the National Stock Exchange was a poor 347:1,044. The market will trade weak unless it is able to consistently trade above the previous day's high, which looks like a far cry now.

In line with the market performance, the breadth on the key benchmarks was heavily in favour of the declining stocks.  The Sensex closed with 27 losers and three gainers while the Nifty had 45 declining stocks, four advancing stocks and one remained unchanged. The broader indices were also bashed in the market mayhem today. The BSE Mid-cap index tanked 1.63% and the BSE Small-cap index declined 1.44%.

In the sectoral space, BSE Realty (down 4.04%), BSE Auto (down 2.83%), BSE Capital Goods (down 2.49%), BSE Oil & Gas (down 2.10%) and BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (down 2.02%) were the top losers. There no sectoral gainers.

Sterlite Industries (up 0.64%), HDFC (up 0.36%) and Hindalco (up 0.20%) were the only gainers on the Sensex. The top losers were Tata Motors (down 6.92%), Jindal Steel (down 4.34%), Jaiprakash Associated (down 4.32%), Larsen & Toubro (down 3.66%) and Reliance Communications (down 3.47%).

The HSBC Markit PMI increased to 56.8 in January from 56.7 in December 2010. The PMI, a survey of executives in over 500 manufacturing companies, portrays the true growth of the manufacturing sector, unlike government-oriented indicators that are often revised-confusing readers and analysts.

Besides, the latest rise in new orders was faster than in the previous survey period and in line with the historical average for the series. While growth of new export business slowed to the weakest in three months, it has now been maintained for 20 successive months and remained above the long-run trend.

Markets in Asia closed with modest gains on earnings optimism and positive economic indicators that sidelined concerns about the political crisis in Egypt. Japanese automaker Honda, which forecast higher earnings for the year ending 31st March, closed 2% higher. Electronics major Hitachi reported decent third quarter earnings.

In economic news, Chinese showed mixed manufacturing data. China's official Purchase Managers' Index (PMI) published by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and purchasing, fell to 52.9 in January from 53.9 in December. On the other hand, a competing PMI put out by HSBC Holdings PLC showed a modest rise to 54.5 from 54.4 in December. The nation's stock markets will be closed for the Lunar New Year holidays from Wednesday and reopen on 9th February.

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.31%, the Hang Seng rose 0.15%, the Jakarta Composite surged 0.98%, the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.36%, the Straits Times advanced, the Seoul Composite added 0.11% and the Taiwan Weighted ended 0.47% higher.

Back home, India's exports in December 2010 rose by 36.4% to $22.5 billion, up from $16.4 billion in the corresponding month of the previous month. The December export figure is the highest in the last 33 months.

However, imports contracted by 11.1% to $25.13 billion over the same period last year, resulting in a narrow trade deficit of $2.6 billion, according to commerce ministry data released today.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers on Monday, offloading stocks worth Rs920.38 crore. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of equities worth Rs1,008.14 crore.

Pharma major Glenmark (down 1.91%) on Tuesday said its consolidated net profit for the quarter ended 31 December 2010, rose by 16.45% to Rs 109.55 crore, up from Rs94.07 crore in the corresponding three-month period of the previous fiscal. Consolidated net sales of the company for the quarter ending 31 December 2010, rose to Rs750.81 crore from Rs641.68 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.

SUV major Mahindra & Mahindra (down 0.98%) today said it expects to gain full management control of SsangYong Motor Company (SMC) by March and will launch two sports utility vehicles from the stable of the South Korean firm in India by the end of this year.

The company is expected to complete payment of the balance 90% for the acquisition, after which fresh shares will be issued to the Indian auto major, thus holding a 70% stake in SMC.

Godrej Properties (down 2.07%) has commenced development of 35 acres of land at Vikhroli in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai. The company is likely to spend up to Rs1,500 crore for this. The development will be undertaken in three phases over 5-6 years and is expected to provide 2.8 million square feet of saleable area.

The real estate developer currently has around 83 million sq ft area under development across 11 cities. Of this, around 20 million sq ft is in various stages of construction.




6 years ago

keep away is the simple mantra right now. 28 billion in dollar term could lift nifty from 4500 to 6250 apprx. but a sale of mere above one billion dollar could bring it down by 850 point on nifty. how weak we are.

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