India Insight

Markets this week: Sensex gains 3.5 percent, ICICI surges 19 percent

September 6, 2013

The BSE Sensex rose 3.5 percent for the week ending September 6, as sentiment on Dalal Street was boosted after Raghuram Rajan took charge as the new governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

Rajan kicked off his term with a bang on Wednesday, announcing several measures to support the rupee and unveiling steps to liberalise financial markets and the banking sector. Hopes that the government might announce a one-time hike in diesel prices to cut its steep import bill also helped the stock market.

The rupee rose to its strongest against the dollar in nearly two weeks on Friday, rallying on growing expectations the unit has been badly oversold. A Reuters poll shows that the Indian unit has likely bottomed out.

Here are the top five gainers and losers:

GAINERS

ICICI BANK: India’s top private sector lender was the star performer of the week with its shares surging more than 19 percent, outperforming the 10 percent rise in the BSE banking sub-index. Banking stocks jumped a day after Raghuram Rajan unveiled steps to help the rupee and the banking sector.

Despite the sharp rise this week, the stock is still down 20 percent this year. Analysts are are optimistic about its future performance. Of the 49 analysts covering the stock, 46 have a ‘buy’ or equivalent rating while three have a ‘hold’, according to Thomson Reuters data.

BHEL: Just like ICICI Bank, BHEL’s shares also rose more than 19 percent. This comes as a relief for investors as the shares lost almost a quarter of their value in August.

A slowing economy has weighed on capital goods companies in recent months. BHEL has also been through a rough patch of late: the stock is down 48 percent from its 52-week high of 272.45 rupees hit on October 5, 2012.

ONGC: Hopes that the government will announce a one-time hike in diesel prices boosted the state-run oil explorer, as it rose 7.2 percent on Friday, taking its gains to 16 percent for the week.

Of the 52 analysts covering ONGC, 42 have a ‘buy’ or equivalent rating, data showed. 

COAL INDIA: Shares in the world’s largest coal miner by output gained 11 percent in the last five sessions, making it the fourth best Sensex performer.

However, Coal India missed its production target for August. On Sept. 2, the company said its August production stood at 31.68 million tonnes versus a target of 32.73 million tones.

Despite surging this week, Coal India stock is still down nearly 22 percent this year.

STATE BANK OF INDIA: Banking stocks struggled in August after the RBI tightened liquidity to support the rupee in recent months. But in the first week of September, India’s largest lender gained 7.8 percent, as the BSE banking index surged 10 percent after Rajan announced new steps to help the markets and economy.

Experts, however, have mixed views. Of the 49 analysts covering SBI, 21 have a ‘buy’ or equivalent rating while 17 have ‘sell’ or equivalent rating, according to data.

LOSERS

Tata Power was the worst Sensex performer of the week with losses of 6.5 percent. Sesa Goa shares fell 6.3 percent, while Hero MotoCorp lost 5 percent and Infosys shed 2.8 percent. Wipro lost 3.2 percent.

(Aditya Kalra contributed to this post)

(You can follow Sankalp at @sankalp_sp)

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