Unstructured Finance

Auto stocks gain

Shares in auto companies posted decent gains on Monday on hopes of strong sales in May.

The BSE Auto index closed 1.9 percent higher, with TVS Motors and M&M gaining more than 5 percent each. Shares in Maruti Suzuki gained 1.13 percent.

Automakers will start reporting sales numbers from Tuesday.

Fund managers plan to increase their holdings in automobile firms, a Reuters poll showed, as some top automakers posted forecast-beating results for the March quarter.

Six of the seven respondents to the poll said they would increase exposure to the sector in the coming three months.

Would you add auto stocks to your portfolio at this stage?

Gulf closed, Shell points to shale

While Royal Dutch Shell could well have been working on its $4.7 billion cash deal to buy privately held East Resources before the BP blowout on April 20, the deal could become a beacon for others looking trying to figure out how to expand away from sucking crude through deepwater rigs and towards natural gas and solid land.

The deal raise Shell’s daily gas production in North America by about 7.5 percent and give it access to a swathe of the Marcellus Shale (pictured left), the northeastern U.S. rock formation that is a crucial source of future U.S. gas production.

Shale gas accounts for between 15 percent and 20 percent of U.S. gas production, but is expected to quadruple in coming years, touching off a scramble among producers large and small for access to resources.

Amtek India rises on open offer

Shares in Amtek India pared early gains of over 10 percent on Friday to close 3.5 percent up.

The jump followed Amtek Auto Ltd’s announcement that it had bought 26.25 percent stake in group firm Amtek India.

Amtek Auto bought the stake through several block deals on the Bombay Stock Exchange at an average price of 64.83 rupees a share.

Check Out Line: Wanna own a piece of Toys “R” Us, again?

TOYSCheck out Toys R Us’ IPO filing.

After months of speculation, Toys R Us finally filed its application to go public again in an offering of as much as $800 million, which makes it one of the largest deals in the U.S. IPO pipeline.

Toys R Us was publicly traded until 2005 before  being bought by private equity firms Bain Capital, KKR and real estate company Vornado.  The chain, which also owns the famed FAO Schwartz in Manhattan, had sales of $13.6 billion last year, and appears to be riding a wave of IPOs aimed at helping private equity firms cashing out on their investments.

But IPOs have had a hard time of it lately, what with the roller coaster stock markets have been on. In any regard, this is just the filing, which means the IPO is not necessarily imminent. Which is perhaps just as well, given the uncertain prospects of the stock markets.

Tata Steel climbs after early losses


Tata Steel’s warning on profit growth saw its shares drop nearly 2 percent in early trade on Thursday, but the counter pared losses lateto close 1.7 percent up.

The company late on Wednesday said that rising raw material costs and the euro zone’s debt crisis could crimp Tata Steel profit growth.

The company late on Wednesday that rising raw material costs and the euro zone’s debt crisis could crimp profit growth.

Results revive Man

Some good news for Man Group this morning as its shares soared 6.5 percent on this morning’s full-year results.

Asset levels were actually down since the end of March (from $39.4 bln to $39 bln), but such have been the outflows from Man’s funds that these figures imply a stabilisation of assets and, according to Credit Suisse, zero net outflows.

Man still isn’t fully benefiting from the renewed investor appetite for absolute return funds that much of the wider hedge fund industry is seeing, but investors are taking heart from today’s update.

Mahindra gaining focus on Auto front

Mahindra & Mahindra rose over 2.5 percent after the vehicles and tractor maker said on Wednesday it would buy a 55.2 percent stake in Reva Electric Car Company.

Shares in the utility vehicle maker, worth nearly $7.1 billion, pares most of the gaines and ended 0.6 percent higher at 519.45 rupees with volumes of 0.3 million shares.

M&M, which is trying to increase its global footprint, said it would launch its compact diesel pick-up truck in the United States by the end of the year.

Pru gets an earful over AIA deal

RiskMetrics has weighed in against Pru buying AIG’s AIA Asian assets, saying $35.5 billion is too much. The risk advisory firm joins a chorus of analysts chirping away from Singapore to London about problems with a deal that would pay off a huge chunk of AIG’s debt to Uncle Sam while transforming Pru into an Asian powerhouse.

Prudential holds a shareholders vote on June 7 to clear a $21 billion rights offer to fund the acquisition. One big issue is the price tag, which has drawn scrutiny given the fact that AIG has limited leverage to demand a big premium since it is selling the assets under duress. Pru’s ability to hit its projected revenue “synergies” from the deal are a big concern too.

CLSA Asia Pacific Markets, a broker not involved with deal, said in a report last week that a plan keeping both AIA and Pru brands intact and competing with each other will negate such gains. “It is already a challenge to retain agents, let alone target a dramatic increase in sales,” CLSA said.