Share prices may resume uptrend: Wednesday Closing Report

Nifty has to close above 5,245 to regain the uptrend

The market settled down for the third day in a row on domestic concerns and dismal global cues. Yesterday we had mentioned that the Nifty may move down to the level of 5,160 and then to 5,100. Today the index fell to 5,171 but made a smart recovery of 49 points to close at 5,220. The Indian stock market will be closed on Thursday on account of a local holiday. If the benchmark manages to close above 5,245 on Friday, it may be seen as a first sign of reversal. After this we may see the Nifty reaching the level of 5,285 and then higher. However, if Nifty goes below today’s low, the decline may continue. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 76.85 crore shares.

The market opened in the negative tracking the weak global markets. Overnight, US stocks settled lower on worries about the European debt crisis and a slowdown in global recovery. On the domestic front, the depreciation of the rupee in early trade also weighed on investors. The Nifty opened at 5,207, down 15 points from its previous close, and the Sensex lost 46 points to open trade at 17,127.

Selling pressure in early trade saw all sectoral indices trading in the negative. Volatile trade was seen since the start of the day’s trade. However, select buying that began around 10.00am pushed the market into the green. The gains helped the indices hit their intraday highs in late morning trade. At the highs, the Nifty touched 5,244 and the Sensex rose to 17,239.

Institutional selling pressure in oil & gas, metal and power sectors pushed the market lower once again. The benchmarks then began a southward journey in the absence of any local cues. They fell to the day’s lows in the post-noon session with the Nifty falling to 5,171 and the Sensex going down to 17,009.

However, bargain hunting at lower levels resulted in a smart recovery and ensured a flat finish with a negative bias. The Nifty closed two points lower at 5,220 and the Sensex settled at 17,146, a cut of 28 points over its previous close.

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE 496:1219.

Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index shed 0.08% and the BSE Small-cap index fell by 0.61%.

The top sectoral gainers were BSE Realty (up 0.90%); BSE IT (up 0.78%); BSE Bankex (up 0.69%); BSE Healthcare (up 0.40%) and BSE TECk (up 0.32%). The leading losers were BSE Metal, BSE Oil & Gas (down 1.51% each); BSE PSU (down 0.95%); BSE Power (down 0.52%) and BSE Capital Goods (down 0.31%).

The key performers on the Sensex were Wipro (up 1.97%); HDFC Bank (up 1.52%); Bajaj Auto (up 1.13%); DLF (up 1.09%) and Infosys (up 1.07%). The major losers were Sterlite Industries (down 3.95%); NTPC (down 2.41%); Reliance Industries (down 1.94%); Bharti Airtel (down 1.91%) and BHEL (down 1.85%).

Jaiprakash Associates (up 6.39%); Reliance Power (up 5.85%); HCL Technologies (up 2.85%); HDFC Bank (up 1.99%) and Bajaj Auto (up 1.94%) were the main gainers on the Nifty. Sterlite Ind (down 4.43%); Sesa Goa (down 3.18%); NTPC (down 2.61%); Power Grid Corporation (down 2.30%) and Jindal Steel (down 2.18%) settled at the bottom of the index.

Markets in Asia closed in the red on renewed worries whether Greece would be able to manage its debt issues. An analyst pointed out that markets are expected to remain sensitive to European cues till 20th March, the Greece bond redemption date.

The Shanghai Composite declined 0.65%; the Hang Seng dropped 0.86%; the Jakarta Composite fell by 0.62%; the KLSE Composite tanked 0.95%; the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.64%; the Straits Times fell by 0.64%; the Seoul Composite was down 0.91% and the Taiwan Weighted closed 0.44% lower. At the time of writing, the key European indices were up between 0.28% and 0.72% and the US stock futures were in the positive.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of shares aggregating Rs241.22 crore on Tuesday while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities amounting to Rs179.91 crore.

Global rating agency Moody’s today downgraded ratings assigned to various debt programmes of public sector lender Bank of India (BoI) by one notch due to deteriorating asset quality, among others. The stock fell by 0.64% to close at Rs350 on the NSE.

HCL Technologies today said it has signed a five-year IT infrastructure outsourcing deal worth $300 million with Finnish recyclable product maker UPM. As part of the agreement, HCL will provide data centre, end user support, network services and professional IT services to UPM. HCL Tech closed at Rs495 on the NSE, up 2.83% over its previous close.

Infrastructure major Sadbhav Engineering has been declared as the lowest bidder for the four-laning of Gomati ka Chauraha-Udaipur section of National Highway 8 in Rajasthan. The Rs1,280 crore project is under the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) phase IV on design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis, the company said on Wednesday. The stock settled at Rs133 on the NSE, down 2.85%.


Women power: Improvement in positions, a long way to go

The World Development Report of the World Bank says that as compared to $1 earned by a man, a woman in India gets only 64 cents. Overall, the report showed that despite some significant improvement in their quality of lives, women are still behind men in claiming their rights

The 2012 instalment of the Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) shows that the proportion of women holding senior management roles in India is steadily increasing, with 14% of the positions being held by women this year compared to 9% last year. However, the global average is at 21%, barely higher than the 2004 level.

India is way ahead of the global average in terms of flexible working conditions for women. The report says 66% of Indian businesses offer flexible working conditions (flexible hours, alternative locations, etc.) to female employees, against the global average of 52%.

“Human resource (HR) seems to be the favourite among Indian women, with 23% holding senior positions in this space, followed by 16% in financial positions and 10% in sales,” says that IBR. Nidhi Maheshwari, director, marketing communications, said, “A consistent rise though measured, in the number of women in the boardrooms of Indian companies is a positive sign.”

On the occasion of World Women’s Day on 8th March, Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile and executive director of UN Women said that nearly 400 chief executives worldwide have publicly declared their commitment to implementing the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) over the last two years. The corporate support has doubled since last year.

According to the World Bank, Women now represent more than 40% of the global labour force, 43% of the agricultural workforce, and more than half of the world’s university students. But the World Development Report of the World Bank shows that female disadvantage within countries is more marked at low incomes; India being no exception. It also says that between 1998 and 2008, there were almost 856,000 missing women in India—second only to China.

The economic disparity is also pronounced. The report says that as compared to $1 earned by a man, a woman in India gets only 64 cents. Overall, the report showed that despite some significant improvement in their quality of lives, women are still behind men in claiming their rights.

In many parts of the world, it has been noted that the last year has not been fair to the fairer sex even at the higher levels. On 2nd March, a study by Inter-Parliamentary Union revealed that there are fewer women parliamentarians in the Middle-Eastern region post the Arab Spring. According to its ‘Women in Parliament’ study, despite the revolutions that toppled regimes, the Arab region was the only area in the world without a parliament of at least 30% women.

The most serious setback has been noticed in Egypt, where the percentage of women parliamentarians has fallen from 12% to 2%. However, Tunisia and the newborn South Sudan have been working towards having quotas for women in parliament.

According to the report, countries like Belize, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Solomon Islands have no women representatives.

 Ms Bachelet said that female heads of state and heads of government around the world are doubling since 2005 to 17, while the number of women ministers edged up by 2.5 points to 16.7%. She said that women find it difficult to contest elections because they have fewer resources at their disposal and face antagonism from political rivals.

She said, “Amidst all the challenges and opportunities in our world today, one fact is unassailable; countries and companies with higher gender equality enjoy higher levels of growth and performance.”


Air India pilots threaten to go on strike again

Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), which represents the pilots of pre-merger Air India, warned that they would not undertake flying duties from April one if their dues were not cleared

New Delhi: Protesting delayed payment of salaries and allowances, a section of pilots from Air India on Wednesday warned they would not undertake flying duties from April one if their dues were not cleared by then, reports PTI.

The Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), which represents the pilots of pre-merger Air India, has shot off letters to Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge and others saying that a large number of its members had written to it that "financial distress" could "adversely affect" their ability to safely discharge their duties and endanger lives.

Hence, its members "will be unable to operate flights on and after April 1, 2012, unless the management clears all the dues", IPG President Jeetendra Awhad said in the letter sent also to Air India CMD, Civil Aviation Secretary and Director General Civil Aviation.

Subtly seeking to distance itself from the proposed agitation, he said "in the interim, we will do our utmost to convince our members to exercise calm and restraint. However, given the financial distress facing them, we are unable to provide any assurances to that effect".

Mr Awhad sought the "urgent intervention" of the two Ministers and others in resolving the issue at the earliest.

The dues comprise basic salaries from December last year till February, Layover Allowance from December to March and Flying Allowance from November to February, the IPG said, adding "this amounts to withholding approximately more than a quarter of the yearly emoluments", causing "tremendous hardship" to its members.

This is the second time this year that Air India pilots are showing signs of unrest over delays in salary payments.

In January, pilots owing allegiance to the Indian Commercial Pilot's Association of erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots had gone on a two-day 'no-pay-no-work' agitation, leading to severe flight disruptions. They returned to work after assurances that their dues would be cleared by March. They had gone on strike last year as well on the same issues.

There was no immediate official comment on the matter from the government or Air India.

Maintaining that several pilots came from "humble background and modest means", the IPG said these members had written to it that "non-payment of dues for an extended time period has caused them significant financial hardship and psychological stress."

They have also "written to us that they are undergoing severe psychological stress as financial institutions and banks are hounding them in order to repay their loans" and they and their families have "suffered humiliation" for loan defaults.

"You will certainly appreciate that in order to ensure the safety of passengers and the crew, a pilot is required to maintain the highest level of alertness and concentration.

"Clearly under the current situation, it is very likely that the safety of Air India's flight operations may be compromised, potentially endangering the lives of passengers," the IPG President said.

"While we appreciate the financial distress facing the company, however, unlike Air India which can turn to the central government for funds, employees have no such option," he said.



aLL Observe

5 years ago

The management of AI has lost direction,or they are too inertia ridden & could not be bothered less. In times like these when every penny saved is earned,it is shocking that overseas duty tours at foreign exchange allowances are being sanctioned left right & centre, when there should have been a strict control on this expenduiture.This callous attitude emerges from a feeling of- nobody is accountable-so what if I blow the money.The govt is there it will bring the money,if not today,then tomorrow,but money will come because it is a Sarkari company where all have a right to spend & blow as they please.How can this airline ever come out of the red,when the top management is so laid back & relaxed. Mr Prime Minister, & Mr Finance Minister, it is this apathy and disregard for the public money, displayed by your bureaucratic management,which has doomed you in the recent elections.If public assets 7 property is going to be squandered in this manner,then the Lok Sabha results will be obvious.The current management has proved its incapability of either curtailing costs or increasing revenues r taking any strategic decisions,its time a professional managemnet with fixed time frame of action was brought in to steer this airline forward.Otherwise shut it, do not rob the poor tax payer.Because knowingly if yu are spending tax payers money, and are aware that it is going to go in the dumps,then it is open robbery & abuse.

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