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  Business News
 Sensex closes 135 points up, seventh straight weekly gain

Mumbai, Feb 17: A benchmark index at Indian equities markets on Friday closed 135 points up, its seventh consecutive week of gains. Robust foreign fund inflows helped markets rise with consumer durables and power stocks leading the gainers pack.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened at 18,331.2 points, closed at 18,289.35 points, 135.36 points or 0.75 percent up from its previous close at 18,153.99 points.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also closed higher at 5,564.3 points, up 42.35 points or 0.77 per cent from its previous close.

Overseas funds, which have been the main catalyst for the dramatic rise in Indian equities in 2012, continued with their buying spree.

According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought a whopping $444.05 billion on Friday.

FIIs have put in $4.85 billion since the start of the year, having bought equities worth $2.03 billion in January and $2.81 billion till Friday during February.

Broader markets also closed in the green, with the BSE 500 index ending 0.64 per cent up. The BSE midcap index closed flat while the BSE smallcap index slipped 0.21 per cent.

The market breadth was, however, negative with 1,394 stocks advancing, 1,583 on the decline and 119 unchanged.

Prominent gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex included BHEL, up 6.53 per cent at Rs.303.45; Tata Power, up 4.68 per cent at Rs.118.65; SBI, up 2.88 per cent at Rs 2,416.75 and Wipro, up 2.43 per cent at Rs 449.20.

Major losers included Hero MotoCorp, down 3.61 per cent at Rs 2,109.70; Maruti Suzuki, down 2.74 per cent at Rs 1,320; Hindalco, down 2.3 per cent at Rs 151.10 and GAIL, down 1.21 per cent at Rs 380.75.

Asian markets rose on signs that eurozone officials will soon approve a long-awaited bailout for Greece, reducing the risk of a debt default. Positive jobs and manufacturing data, a sign of healthiness in the US economy also enthused investors.

The Japanese Nikkei rose 1.58 per cent to close at 9,384.17 points, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng moved up 1.01 per cent at 21,491.62 points.

The Chinese Shanghai Composite index closed flat at 2,357.18 points.

European markets were ruling in the green.

Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.32 per cent at 5,904.18 points. The German DAX was trading 0.83 per cent higher at 6,807.95 points.

The French CAC 40 was trading 0.92 per cent up at 3,424.4 points. (IANS)


 ‘World Bank help for Bengal irrigation projects’

East Midnapore, Feb 17: Small irrigation projects worth Rs 1,250 crores will be implemented in West Bengal with the World Bank’s help, union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here on Friday. “Today I would like to inform you that small irrigation projects worth Rs.1,250 crores will be implemented within the next three to four years. The projects will be carried out with the help from World Bank,” Mukherjee said while addressing a programme here. “On December 21, 2011 an agreement between the state government, the central government and the World Bank has been signed in this regard. Till date, importance has not been given to small irrigation projects in the state,” he said.

Mukherjee also expressed confidence that after the implementation of the projects the problem regarding minor irrigation will be solved.

He was all praise for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her ability to attract the masses. “She is ill and is having high fever but still she has come for the programme because of her commitment to the masses,” he added.

Banerjee, along with Mukherjee, Friday inaugurated mega resuscitation projects on the Kapaleswari and other rivers in East Midnapore district. (IANS)


 ‘Government should encourage competition in transport sector’

New Delhi, Feb 17: The government should take active steps to encourage competition in the transport sector to allow passengers to benefit from low costs and greeater choices, consumer rights group CUTS International said on Friday. “There is a need for the government to take bold steps in sectors such as passenger transport,” said CUTS International secretary general Pradeep Mehta, citing the recent decision to end a decade-old stranglehold of state-owned Air India on foreign flying rights.

According to Mehta, the government should do away with section 104 of the Motor Vehicles Act which restricts the grant of permits for notified areas or routes. Section 104 is an utter violation to competition and mandates that temporary permits to private parties in respect to notified area or route can be provided only if the state transport undertakings has not applied.

The development comes as the government on February 14 allowed domestic private airlines to expand their overseas operations by using the maximum permissible limits of bilateral flying rights. So far, only Air India had the right of first refusal to fly on international routes agreed between India and foreign countries through bilateral air service agreements (ASAs).

The February 14 decision freed up flying rights on the under-utilised routes reserved for the flag carrier.

Indian carriers utilised just 20 percent of their overseas entitlement, against 39 per cent into India by foreign airlines between January to November 2011. The share of the passenger market emanating out of and into India varies from sector to sector.

Indian carriers use less than 10 percent of the allowed capacity in Europe and the rest is being utilised by foreign carriers. In the Far East markets, the numbers are around 40 percent with domestic carriers and 60 percent with foreign carriers. (IANS)


 Coal India sets a production target of 464 mn tonnes

Kolkata, Feb 17: State run Coal India Limited has set a production target of 464 million tonnes in the next fiscal year and it will make an capital expenditure of Rs.4,275 crore in next fiscal.

“For the next financial year, our production target is 464 million tonnes. We will also make a capital expenditure of Rs.4,275 crore in the next financial year,” said Zohra Chatterji, the company’s new chairman and managing director. (IANS)



IDFC can touch Rs 165: Devangshu Dutta

Dutta told CNBC-TV18, “IDFC right now somewhere in the Rs 150-151 range and you might get a price about Rs 160 maybe Rs 165 if the stock really moves through next week. It has had a stable move. REC and PFC have jumped. It’s difficult to set stop losses here because the stop loss would be quite a lot below the current price. But I would say maybe 5% of the current price and stay long on the stock.” He further added, “One would probably be Tata Motors right now because it’s broken out. Had a rally, had a spate of profit booking and I think you probably have another 10-12% upside from these levels. Another stock I might think of buying is GVK Power but that’s with the caveat that you could lose a lot of money if it goes the wrong way.”


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