Money on the markets
A maturing market amid the mayhem
The BSE Metal index gained over 4 percent on Wednesday and topped the sectoral indices as the benchmark stock index ended up over 500 points.
Shares in Hindalco rose 7.7 percent and Gujarat NRE Coke added nearly 6 percent to end as top gainers in the index. Sterlite Industries gained 5 percent.
All the metal index components ended with decent gains with stocks such as Hindalco and Sterlite also ending among top Sensex gainers.
The metal index has gained 5.3 percent this week, even higher than the benchmark Sensex’s return of 3 percent.
Shares in Reliance Industries, India’s top listed firm, dropped over 2 percent on Friday and ended as the top loser among Sensex components.
Losses in Reliance contributed the most in dragging the benchmark lower by 174 points. The energy major’s shares have slipped nearly 5.5 percent over the week.
Market participants will soon have to reschedule their morning routine as Indian bourses — the BSE and NSE — are set to extend their daily trading time by 55 minutes from January 4, 2010.
The markets will now open at 9 am and close at their normal closing time of 3:30 pm, but the question is — who would actually benefit with this move? Is it becoming more a battle between the two exchanges to win market share?
Realty stocks posted smart gains on Tuesday with the realty index gaining 3.2 percent and ending as the top sectoral performer.
The Sensex ended nearly 250 points higher at 17,228.
Ansal Properties was the star performer among realty index stocks with a jump of over 12 percent, followed by Parsvnath which gained a bit over 7 percent.
The move by conglomerate Reliance Industries, controlled by Ambani, to bid for bankrupt LyondellBasell is a calculated one. Markets seem to think this is a bargain and investors pushed up Reliance’s stock nearly 4 percent on Monday.
If only James Tobin had lived to see this day. The American economist was not only a big fan of government intervention in matters economic and financial, which this credit crisis has seen plenty of, but he was also the man behind the ‘Tobin tax’ that Brazil has just introduced on foreign exchange transactions.
James Tobin believed a small tax on speculative transactions was acceptable and a reasonable means for third world countries to garner some revenues out of foreigners who wanted to dabble in their markets.
It doesn’t stop with Brazil. Indonesia hasn’t introduced a Tobin tax, but is trying to close a loophole through which corporates borrowing through special purpose vehicles could evade local taxes. Both Taiwan and Indonesia have also targeted short-term foreign investments — Taiwan has banned foreign investment in time deposits while Indonesia is thinking of banning overseas investors from central bank bills.
Bharti Airtel was also the top Sensex loser. Smaller competitor Idea Cellular closed 2.85 percent lower.
RIL shares had fallen more than 3 percent over the last three days in the absence of any major announcement at the company’s annual general meeting earlier this week.