Falling for the eighth straight day, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday fell 24.20 points to log its longest string of losses in nearly two years on selling in Maruti, Jindal Steel, Bharti Airtel and ONGC, ahead of the release of latest industrial production and inflation numbers. The Sensex fell 0.12% to 19,460.57, its lowest close since December 31, 2012. The index has now lost over 544 points in the last eight sessions its longest losing streak since May 2011. Gains in Sensex-based counters like HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, HUL, Cipla, RIL, Dr Reddys Lab, Sterlite and Hindalco were nullified by losses in ITC, HDFC, L&T, ICICI Bank, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, TCS, Maruti Suzuki and Jindal Steel. Brokers said continued selling pressure on weak GDP projections and absence of cues from Asian markets following the closure for Lunar New Year holidays influenced the market. Trading was cautious ahead of IIP and WPI inflation data to be announced on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. Consumer-based inflation will be out on Tuesday. The 50-issue S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE also eased by 5.65 points or 0.10% to end below the 5,900-mark at 5,897.85. Shares from capital goods, IT and FMCG registered losses, while those from realty, pharma and PSU closed with gains.
Diageo gets more time for USL open offer
Global liquor giant Diageo has requested Sebi to allow it to launch an open offer for purchase of shares in United Spirits after receipt of all regulatory approvals. While granting its approval to the request, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), on its part, has said that UK-based Diageo will have to pay an interest of 10% per annum for the period of delay to the public shareholders tendering their shares in the open offer. The revised schedule would be announced in due course after all the regulatory approvals, Diageo's manager for the open offer, JM Financial, said in a notice to shareholders. On January 31, Sebi had cleared an open offer by Diageo for purchase of 26% stake in USL, which is part of a $2-billion deal involving the UK-based company acquiring a majority stake in the Vijay Mallya-led UB group firm. However, the deal is yet to be cleared by fair trade regulator CCI.
UTI Mutual Fund launches RGESS
UTI Mutual Fund has launched UTI Rajiv Gandhi Equity Saving Scheme, a close-ended scheme, targeting investment under the government-notified RGESS plan. The scheme opened for subscription on February 9 and will close on March 8. UTI-RGESS is a close-ended passive index fund tracking S&P CNX Nifty Index with a tenure of three years from the date of allotment. The investment objective of the scheme is to invest in stocks of companies comprising S&P CNX Nifty and aims to achieve return equivalent to Nifty by passive investment.
Indiabulls MF launches income fund
Indiabulls Mutual Fund launched its second duration product,Indiabulls Income Fund, an open-ended debt scheme on Monday. The new fund offer (NFO) will open for subscription on February 12 and close on February 26. The fund will have regular investment options like growth and dividend, with a minimum subscription of R5,000.