The Mint Report for 20 January 2011

The Mint Report for 20 January 2011

New Delhi: Biotechnology firm Biocon reported its third quarter earnings on Thursday. Net profit increased 25% to Rs101 crore and net sales went up 15% to Rs728 crores. Operating income meanwhile, grew 34% to Rs178 crore. The company’s numbers were helped along by Rs50 crore worth of licensing income from a deal with Pfizer back in October.

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Stocks of Biocon lost 2.05% on the BSE to close at 369.75.

And demand for loans have driven quarterly profits at two major private banks. Yes Bank reported a 51.8% surge in profits to Rs191 crore. And Kotak Mahindra gained 16% to Rs384 crore. Yes Bank’s loans came from sectors like engineering, healthcare and construction. Meanwhile, Kotak Mahindra’s business was mostly from mortgages and auto loans.

But while their profits have gone up, both banks saw their net interest margins fall. Yes Bank’s declined to 2.8% percent from 3.1% on a quarter-on-quarter basis. And Kotak’s went down to 5.4% from 6%.

NIM is the difference between interest charged on loans and the interest that banks pay for deposits. Both Kotak and Yes say their NIMs fell because while money starting becoming more expensive they couldn’t fully pass on the higher costs to customers. Stocks of Yes Bank gained 1.2% on the BSE to about 273.10. And shares of Kotak went up 1.51% to 419.30.

And switching to other news, food prices have eased slightly in the first week of 2011. India’s food price index climbed 15.52% in the period to 8 January. The previous week it had gone up 16.91%. India’s food inflation has gained more than 12% for five weeks in a row. Last month India banned the export of onions and starting importing them from Pakistan. The opposition BJP plans to hold protests against the price rises across the country for the next one month.