Thursday, July 19, 2007

India's Sensex Rises to Record on Profit; Ranbaxy, Larsen Gain

India's Sensex Rises to Record on Profit; Ranbaxy, Larsen Gain
By Gautam Chakravorthy and Pooja Thakur
July 19 (Bloomberg) -- India's Sensitive Index rose to a record, posting its biggest advance in three months, on speculation earnings reports this month will support higher share valuations.
Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. and Larsen & Toubro reported a doubling in quarterly profits today.
``The earnings momentum of top companies we believe will be in excess of 20 percent,'' said R. Rajagopal, who manages the equivalent of $68 million at DBS Chola Asset Management Co. in Mumbai. ``Liquidity and fundamentals are driving the market.''
The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex, rose 248.96, or 1.6 percent, to 15,550.13, its biggest advance since April 20. The S&P/CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange gained 62.55, or 1.4 percent, to 4,562.10.
Also helping drive gains were overseas investors who bought a net 9.46 billion rupees ($232.1 million) worth of Indian shares July 17, the Securities & Exchange Board of India said.
Ranbaxy, India's second-biggest drugmaker by sales, gained 4.7 rupees, or 1.4 percent, to 351.55. Group profit rose to 2.64 billion rupees ($65.5 million) in the three months ended June 30. Profit was higher than the 1.73 billion rupee median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Larsen, India's top engineering company, rose 47.15 rupees, or 2 percent, to 2,376.7 after saying first-quarter profit climbed to 3.77 billion rupees as it secured more orders to build ships and power stations and made currency gains. Six analysts Bloomberg News surveyed estimated a median profit of 2.44 billion rupees.
Stake Sale
Reliance Communications Ltd., India's second-biggest wireless operator, rose 12.1 rupees, or 2.1 percent, to 579.3 after saying it will sell a stake in its infrastructure unit for about $338 million to seven global investors to raise funds for extending its network. The sale values the tower unit at 270 billion rupees, Chairman Anil Ambani told reporters in Mumbai today. The company will build 23,000 towers in the next six months to extend its network into rural India.
Hindalco Industries Ltd., India's biggest aluminum maker, added 1.65 rupees, or 0.9 percent, to 185.95 after it agreed to buy the remaining 45 percent stake it doesn't own in Utkal Alumina International Ltd. from its venture partner Alcan Inc. Hindalco will probably complete the stake purchase by the third quarter, Alcan, the world's third-largest aluminum company, said yesterday.
The following shares rose or fell. Stock symbols are in brackets after company names.
ACC Ltd. (ACC IN) rose 17.2 rupees, or 1.5 percent, to 1,150.3. The nation's biggest cement maker by capacity reported a net income of 3.51 billion rupees in the three months ended June 30. The median profit estimate was at 3.9 billion rupees, according to seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Infosys Technologies Ltd. (INFO IN) gained 49.75 rupees, or 2.6 percent, to 1,996.85. The country's second-largest provider of computer services is in talks with at least four companies, including Cap Gemini SA, for a potential acquisition, the Times of India reported, citing industry officials and analysts it didn't identify.
Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. (JSP IN) spurted 194.15 rupees, or 5.1 percent, to 4,023.3. The local steel and power producer signed an agreement with Bolivia to invest $2.1 billion in a steel and iron-ore venture, the company said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Jindal Steel will invest the amount over eight years on a 10 million ton pellet plant, a 1.7 million ton steel mill and a 450-megawatt power plant.
Spice Communications Ltd. (SPCM IN) rose 14.65 rupees, or 32 percent, to 60.65 after the Indian mobile-phone unit of Telekom Malaysia Bhd., which raised 5.2 billion rupees selling shares at 46 rupees apiece, began trading today.                                                              

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