Money on the markets
A maturing market amid the mayhem
It was not the perfect weekend for investors of unit-linked insurance products (ULIP) after market regulator SEBI barred 14 insurance firms from issuing or promoting such plans, which are a favourite among investors.
But Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday SEBI and insurance regulator IRDA have agreed to maintain status quo on ULIPs and also jointly seek a binding legal mandate from an appropriate board.
Such products, which offer a combination of insurance and investment, were introduced in 2001 and Mukherjee’s statement came as a relief for people who invest in ULIPs to ride the stock market and also save on taxes.
But should the stock market be worrying? Media reports say local insurance firms invested close to 620 billion rupees in equities in 2009/10 of which ULIPs accounted for roughly 500 billion rupees, according to insurance industry estimates.
The BSE Auto Index gained 1.27 percent on Friday, as a top industry body official said he expected Indian vehicles sales to reach a record high for the second year in a row in 2010/11.
Shares in Tata Motors rose 4.5 percent to 808 rupees and ended as the top gainer among the Sensex and auto index components.
Shares in Reliance Industries, India’s top listed firm, gained nearly 3 percent on Monday to 1125 rupees, boosting the BSE Oil & Gas Index over 2 percent.
The energy major was also the top contributor to the Sensex’s surge of nearly 250 points to its 25-month closing high.
It was a good day at the bourses with over 95 BSE stocks touching their 52-week high on Friday.
Some stalwarts that made it to the list included HDFC Bank, Tata Steel, Hindalco and PNB.
Shares in Hero Honda gained more than 4 percent on Thursday as markets ended firm with the Sensex rising by 107 points.
BSE Auto index rose 0.46 percent.
Amtek Auto climbed 1.4 percent whereas Ashok Leyland gained nearly 1 percent.
Among losers, Tata Motors’ stock had a weak trading session and ended down 1.87 percent. Maruti Suzuki slipped 1.47 percent.
It was a mixed day of trade for banking stocks on the bourses on Tuesday as the sectoral index closed marginally higher, but stocks like HDFC Bank gained over 2 percent and PNB jumped 1.9 percent.
Of the 17 stocks in the index, 11 closed in green, led by HDFC Bank. Kotak Mahindra Bank was the worst index performer, as it ended with losses of 2.1 percent.
Shares in Hindustan Unilever (HUL) gained 2.6 percent on Monday to close at 225.3 rupees and was among the top Sensex gainers even as markets ended flat.
The volumes stood at a little over 1 million shares on BSE.
Hurt by the pricing war in the detergent space, HUL shares had been struggling and lost more than 8 percent over the past two sessions.
Consumer goods maker Hindustan Unilever fell over 4 percent on Thursday to close at 229 rupees and was the top loser among Sensex components.
The firm, which is a unit of Anglo-Dutch firm Unilever, also ended as the top loser on the BSE FMCG Index, which dropped 0.8 percent and was one of the top sectoral losers.