Stocks flat; SBI drops as results disappoint

Stocks flat; SBI drops as results disappoint

Mumbai: Shares were little changed on Tuesday, with top lender State Bank of India declining the most after its September-quarter earnings failed to meet the street view.

Shares of State Bank of India fell as much as 4.9%, after the country’s top lender posted a flat quarterly profit on higher provisioning and said it will make similar set-asides in coming quarters to meet new guidelines.

At 11:18am, the 30-share BSE index was up 0.04% at 20,844.29 points, with 14 of its components declining. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.04% at 6,275.50 points.

“SBI is the only spoil-sport today. Though margins are decent, asset quality concerns weigh," said Ambareesh Baliga, vice-president of Karvy Stock Broking. “Strong FII (foreign institutional investor) interest continues to keep the market upbeat otherwise."

So far in 2010, foreign funds have pumped more than $28 billion into Indian primary and secondary equities, driving the benchmark index more than 19% higher.

Vehicle maker Tata Motors and aluminium producer Hindalco were up 1.7% and 1.3% respectively ahead of their September-quarter earnings announcements.

Software companies recovered after declining in the previous session. The sector index was up 0.6%, after closing 1.5% lower on Monday.

Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys Technologies, the country’s two leading software services firms, were trading 0.4% and 0.7% higher respectively.

In the broader market, gainers outnumbered losers in a ratio of 1.7:1 on a volume of 201 million shares.

The MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was down 0.3%, while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.5%.

STOCKS

Oberoi Realty was down 1.5% at Rs286, after the real estate firm said late Monday its net profit for July-September dipped 36%.

Coal India extended losses and dropped 0.9% to Rs327.50, after a sparkling debut last week.

The stock, which had risen more than 40% over its issue price last week, has shed more than 6% this week.

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