Stocks
Sensex, Nifty range-bound: Tuesday Closing Report

Nifty has to break through the day’s range for further direction

Lack of any triggers kept the market near the previous close for a major part of the session. However, a recovery in the last hour enabled the benchmarks snap their two-day losing streak. After two consecutive days of losses the Nifty closed a tad higher today. The index has to break through the day’s range for some direction. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 64.95 crore shares.

The market opened almost unchanged as the bourses in Asia were mixed in morning trade while the US markets settled lower overnight. The Nifty opened 20 points up at 5,254 and the Sensex resumed trade at 17,259, a gain of 37 points over its previous close.

The market could not sustain the gains and dipped into the red immediately after the opening bell. In the absence of any triggers and the investors awaiting fourth quarter results, the market remained range-bound but volatility saw the benchmarks fluctuating near the previous day’s close.

Buying in select stocks lifted the market to its intraday high around 10.30am. At this point the Nifty touched 5,256 and the Sensex rose to 17,275. But the gains were short-lived as the indices kept hovering in out of the red.

A lower opening of the key European markets pushed the domestic benchmarks to their lows in noon trade. At the lows, the Nifty fell to 5,212 and the Sensex went down to 17,136.

The market recovered from the day’s lows as another bout of buying pushed the indices into the green in the last hour. The benchmarks pared some of those gains but closed higher, snapping a two-day decline.

The Nifty closed nine points higher at 5,244 and the Sensex rose 22 points at 17,244.

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was in favour of the decliners at746:925.

The broader indices underperformed the Sensex; the BSE Mid-cap index declined 0.26% and the BSE Small-cap index fell by 0.12%.

The sectoral gainers were led by BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 1.99%); BSE Auto (up 0.85%); BSE Bankex (up 0.48%); BSE Realty (up 0.18%) and BSE Consumer Durables (up 0.15%). BSE Capital Goods (down 0.95%); BSE IT (down 0.94%); BSE Metal (down 0.90%); BSE TECk (down 0.72%) and BSE Oil & Gas (down 0.63%) were the sectoral losers.

Tata Power (up 3.83%); Tata Motors (up 2.85%); Hindustan Unilever (up 2.63%); State Bank of India (up 2.37%) and ITC (up 2.19%) led the Sensex higher. On the other hand, BHEL (down 2.89%); GAIL India (down 1.82%); Infosys (down 1.63%); ONGC and Sterlite Industries (down 1.42% each) settled lower on the index.

The top gainers on the Nifty were Tata Power (up 4.39%); Reliance Communications (up 3.25%); Tata Motors (up 2.90%); Hindustan Unilever (up 2.84%) and SBI (up 2.43%. The key losers on the index were Ambuja Cement (down 2.54%); Ranbaxy Laboratories (down 2.41%); BHEL (down 2.39%); BPCL (down 2.28%) and GAIL (down 2.16%).

Markets in Asia settled mixed. While China reported a trade surplus for March, the Bank of Japan on Tuesday decided to keep its monetary policy unchanged, with investors awaiting the next BoJ meeting, scheduled for 27th April.

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.88%; the KLSE Composite rose 0.37%; the Straits Times climbed 0.75% and the Taiwan Weighted advanced 0.52%. On the other hand, the Hang Seng tanked 1.15%; the Jakarta Composite shed 0.10%; the Nikkei 225 fell 0.09% and the Seoul Composite slipped by 0.13%. At the time of writing, the key European indices were trading with losses of around 1% and the US stock futures were in the green.

Back home, institutional investors—both foreign and domestic—were net sellers in the equities segment on Monday. While foreign institutional investors offloaded stocks totalling Rs269.43 crore, domestic institutional investors pulled out funds worth Rs105.82 crore.

Pharma major Venus Remedies today said it has received approval from the Australian Patent Office (APO) for its product Vancoplus, used for treating bacterial infections. The company has already received patent approvals for the product from countries such as the US, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand and Ukraine and is expecting approvals from Canada, Europe, Brazil, Mexico and India. The stock jumped 3.37% to close at Rs168.50 on the NSE.

Cairn India has received crucial nods for raising output from its largest fields in the Rajasthan block by 25,000 barrels per day (bpd). The company’s plan to raise output from Mangala by 25,000 bpd to 150,000 bpd has got endorsements from partner Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and third party independent valuers—Knowledge Reservoir and Technip. Cain India closed at Rs345.85, up 1.41 over its previous close.

TTK Prestige today signed a business collaboration arrangement with Switzerland-based Vestergaard Frandsen. This agreement envisages introduction of household water purification devices in India with the support of LifeStraw technology provided by the overseas partner. The products will carry the brands of both the partners and will be manufactured/assembled, marketed and distributed through the company. The stock closed 0.78% lower at Rs3,189.90 on the NSE.

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Loop Telecom to close operations; Mumbai unaffected

"We have no other option. The company has already advertised in newspapers for shifting our customers on other network through MNP (Mobile Number Portability)," a Loop Telecom spokesperson said

New Delhi: Loop Telecom, whose 2G licences were among the 122 telecom licences cancelled by the Supreme Court, said it is shutting down business in the country, except in the Mumbai circle where its sister concern Loop Mobile offers services, reports PTI.

 “We have no other option. The company has already advertised in newspapers for shifting our customers on other network through MNP (Mobile Number Portability),” a Loop Telecom spokesperson said.

The decision would impact about 6,000 subscribers in 13 circles but not in Mumbai, where the service is run by Loop Mobile with over three million subscribers.

“This activity does not impact our operations in Mumbai under Loop Mobile as this is a separate licence. Operations in Mumbai will continue and subscribers in Mumbai remain unaffected,” he said.

 Loop Telecom has started the process of issuing job termination notices to all its employees following its plan to shut down business in India.

 “We have no other option. All employees have been made aware. We will soon issue them formal notice,” the spokesperson said.

 Loop Telecom has around 150 direct employees, he said.

 Loop Telecom, which had 2G telecom licence for 21 circles, operated in 13 circles with largest subscriber base of over 2,300 in Kolkata, followed by Odisha with 965 subscribers by end of February 2012, as per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

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All government committee reports must be displayed suo moto: CIC

CIC orders the environment ministry to publish all reports within 30 days of submission

In what can be considered a big ‘green’ step, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has come down heavily on the environment ministry and ordered it to publish expert committee reports before making any decision on the same.

The CIC has ruled that all expert committee/panel reports that are set up by the government and are funded by the public must be disclosed suo-motu by the department or ministry concerned. The commission has also said that the disclosure should come within 30 days from the date of receiving the report. “Such reports are instrumental in influencing policy decisions and it is only reasonable that citizens have a say in it,” ruled the CIC.

This important verdict was issued on 9th April, 2012, while hearing an appeal by G Krishnan, a resident of Kerala who had sought a summary of a report by Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP), submitted to the ministry of environment and forests. Overruling the CPIO’s reason for refusal of disclosure, the commission ruled, “All reports of Panels, Experts, Committees, and Commissions which are set up by Government by spending public funds must be displayed suo moto as per the mandate of Section 4 (1) (c ) & (d) read with 4 (2). If parts of such reports are exempt as per the RTI Act, this should be stated and the exempt parts could be severed, after providing the reasons for such severance.”

The CIC has said that the summary be made available to the appellant by 5th May and the complete report be placed on the ministry’s website before 10th May 2012.

The verdict comes at a time when agitations by environmentalists and affected citizens are sweeping the nation while the government is doing its best to downplay their concerns and force infrastructure, power and mining projects in ecologically sensitive zones.

Mr Krishnan had asked for the information on November 2011, which the PIO had promptly denied, saying that the report is still being consulted upon by the authorities and hence is not to be disclosed. Mr Krishnan went for an appeal, again to be refused. Finally, the matter came up in the CIC. Shailesh Gandhi, Central Information Commissioner, observed that the PIO had not given any reason initially for claiming exemption to the disclosure. The PIO then said that the report contains proposals on demarcation of eco-sensitive zones in the Western Ghats and disclosing the same before an executive decision is taken might ‘prejudicially’ affect “scientific or economic interests of the state”.

Mr Gandhi ruled that there is no provision in the RTI Act which exempts from disclosure a report that has not been finalized or accepted by a public authority. He also said that while citizens have the right to know, the government is bound to answer their questions in case it deviates from the recommendations of an expert committee report.

“Implementation of proposals for demarcation of eco-sensitive zones, whether before or after finalisation of the WGEEP report is an executive decision. Mere apprehension of proposals being put forth by citizens and civil society who are furthering the cause of environment protection cannot be said to prejudicially affect the scientific and economic interests of the country. Disclosing a report or information does not mean that the government has to follow it. It may perhaps have to explain the reasons to the public for disagreeing with a report based on logic and coherent reasons. This cannot be considered as prejudicially affecting the scientific and economic interests of the state,” he ruled.

He also thrashed the PIO for his refusal to disclose vital information that affects the country. “The PIO appears to suggest that a slowdown in economic activity on account of environmental concerns is not desirable. If an economic activity causes substantial loss to the environment, then it is necessary that such an activity is not carried out. The ministry of environment and forests’ (MOEF) unwillingness to be transparent is likely to give citizens an impression that most decisions are taken in furtherance of corruption resulting in a serious trust deficit. This hampers the health of our democracy,” said Mr Gandhi.

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