Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stocks to watch: SBI, Wockhardt, RNRL, RIL, Tech Mahindra, Firstsource Solutions, Idea Cellular, ONGC

Oil preices were a little lower in Asia Wednesday. In morning trade, New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, fell to $68.37 per barrel. London's Brent North Sea crude for August dipped to $67.89.

Indian rupee moved higher taking cues from other Asian currencies. At 9:30 am, partially convertible rupee was at 48.40 against the dollar over its previous close of 48.56.

The country’s largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), is looking at expanding its international footprint. SBI is looking at buying a mid-sized overseas bank, and the deal size could be between $1.5-2 billion. The deal will be in line with the bank’s strategy to expand its global operations.

The troubled pharma firm Wockhardt will issue preference shares to banks against a slice of their derivative losses and may get nearly a decade to repay its local borrowings under what’s turning out to be the country’s biggest and, possibly, the most complex corporate debt restructuring (CDR) programme.

Anil Ambani group firm Reliance Natural Resources has invited Reliance Industries for talks to reach an agreement after the Bombay High Court gave its verdict on gas distribution case. But RIL is yet to agree for a discussion, say reports.

The Mahindra Group, the new owner of Satyam Computer Services and the largest shareholder in Tech Mahindra, intends to merge the two companies, giving shape to its ambitions in the IT business.

BPO service provider Firstsource Solutions has bagged a five-year outsourcing deal worth Rs 145 crore from Idea Cellular. This will be for providing customer management and billing services in Idea’s Kerala and Tamil Nadu circles.

Aditya Birla Group company Idea Cellular is raising Rs 6,000 crore ($1.2 billion) through a mix of foreign currency and rupee debt at a time when most corporates are finding it difficult to raise funds on the back of a global credit crunch.

ONGC is expected to post a substantial rise in profits for the fourth quarter of FY09 helped by a sharp fall in its subsidy burden and a weak rupee. The analysts expect the fourth quarter standalone profits to jump 45% to Rs 3,800 crore.

TCS and Infosys are seeing the first signs of an economic recovery as their top customers start discussing outsourcing contracts in order to further reduce their operational expenses. For instance, customers of Infosys, which signed over $100 million contract with Australian phone firm Telstra earlier this month, are now saying that the worst may be behind them.

State-owned utility National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the largest coal producer Coal India are in advanced stages of acquiring mining assets in Mozambique, Indonesia and Australia, as the new government firms up plans to meet the growing energy demand.

Bil power’s Q4 net profit was down at Rs 2.98 crore versus Rs 5.66 crore in the same quarter a year ago. Net sales stood at Rs 115.6 crore against Rs 102.1 crore.

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