Markets tread water; RCom falls

Markets tread water; RCom falls

Mumbai: Indian shares were little changed in choppy trade on Monday as investors turned choosy on subdued Asian markets, while Reliance Communications fell more than 4% after an 85% plunge in quarterly profit.

SKS Microfinance, a lender of tiny loans to women that raised about $358 million in an IPO, rallied as much as 17.8% on market debut boosting the prospects of more such offers hitting the market.

By 10:44am, the 30-share BSE index was trading down 0.03% at 18,161.89, with 13 of its components declining. It is up 4% so far this year. The 50-share NSE index was barely changed at 5,453.35 points.

“It is going to be choppy and rangebound for a while. Global cues are not good, but at the same time liquidity is supporting," said Ambareesh Baliga, vice-president of Karvy Stock Broking.

Foreign funds have poured $11.4 billion into Indian equities so far this year, helping the market outperform its peers in other emerging economies such as China, Brazil and Russia.

Reliance Communications fell as much as 4.6% to Rs160.30 after the No. 2 mobile operator reported late on Friday a bigger-than-expected 85% fall in quarterly profit as sharply lower call charges after a vicious price war hit margins.

Credit Suisse cut the target price on Reliance Communications to Rs170 from Rs185, while maintaining a “neutral" rating on the stock.

SKS Microfinance was trading at Rs1,112.75 after rising as high as 1,159.90, compared with an issue price of Rs985.

Other financials were mostly lower ahead of July inflation data due by 12:00pm. A Reuters forecast showed, the wholesale price index probably rose 10.39% from a year earlier, easing slightly from 10.55% in June.

State Bank of India and ICICI Bank dropped 0.8% and 0.5% respectively while HDFC Bank was barely changed.

In the broader market, gainers outnumbered losers in a ratio of 1.8:1 on volume of 124 million shares.

Drugmaker Cipla shed 3.1% after it reported a 6.2% rise in its June quarter net profit on Friday.

“The much-awaited rise in revenue still seems at least a year away, given the heavy FY07-10 capex, and visibility remains limited," Credit Suisse said in a note on Cipla.


Suzlon Energy tumbled as much as 9.3% to Rs51.20, its lowest since April 2009, after the wind turbine maker said late on Friday June quarter loss widened to Rs912 crore from Rs453 crore a year ago. The stock was trading 6.3% lower at Rs52.90.

Simplex Infrastructure rose 2.6% to 490 rupees as its April-June net profit rose 41%.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals was up 1.9% at Rs272 as the drugmaker said it had received approval from US FDA for trospium tablets.