Saturday, March 19, 2011
Industry bellwethers Reliance Industries, Tata Steel, L&T, Hindalco, Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC and Bajaj Auto have led from the front as far as payment of advance tax for Q4 FY11 is concerned. At the same time, SBI, HUL and Tata Motors have disappointed by paying less advance tax for the January to March quarter. In another interesting trend, foreign banks operating in India have paid higher year-on-year advance tax compared to some of their domestic counterparts in India.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) increased the prices of 62 drugs, which are mainly based on indigenously manufactured insulin. According to the reports, the drug price regulator has also reduced prices of 14 drugs, while that of 21 drugs remained unchanged. The majority of the drugs, whose prices have been increased are used in treatment of diabetes and tuberculosis. "We have to do a balancing act and provide a level playing field to the indigenous manufacturers who account for nearly 10% of the total domestic market for insulin," S.M. Jharwal, Chairman of NPPA was quoted as saying. He, however, asserted that despite the price increase, the drugs from these firms would still remain affordable.
Indian GSM telecom operators added a 14.7mn new subscribers in February, lifting the all-India cellular subscriber base above 555mn, data released by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) showed. With this, the total customers using the GSM mobile service in India have jumped to 555.06mn from 540.37mn in January, COAI said. Bharti Airtel added 3.2mn new users in February as opposed to 3.3mn in January, taking its total subscriber base to 159mn. The market share for Bharti Airtel stood at 28.65% as on February 28.
Another rollercoaster week leaves the Indian market vulnerable to fresh intermediate downtrend after having bounced back from the recent lows. With inflation running beyond the RBI's comfort level and crude oil prices unrelenting, the market will find it really tough to breakout from the current range FIIs too continue to be fickle to emerging markets like India, as the US and other matured economies start gathering speed. The Government keeps landing in some mess or the other every now and then. Policymaking remains in a state of limbo. Investors are lacking conviction as of now.
World markets went through a topsy-turvy ride as worries mounted over a potential nuclear catastrophe in Japan even as it coped with last week's powerful earthquake and the consequent Tsunami. To make matters worse, the violent uprising in the MENA worsened, with Bahrain calling troops from neighbouring Gulf nations and Gaddafi forces making further inroads against the rebels. A downgrade of Portugal also revived concern about the financial condition of some eurozone nations.