The BSE Sensex is forecast to continue setting new record highs this year as foreign capital is lured into the market, especially if general elections return the business-friendly opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. The BSE Sensex hit a life-time high of 22,040.72 on Tuesday but the poll of 23 equity analysts, taken in the past week, forecast the index to rise further to 23,000 by the end of June. It is then expected to hit 24,500 by the end of 2014, a 12 percent gain from Wednesday's close of 21,832.86. India's top share index has risen 3% this year, with foreign investors pouring in nearly $2 billion after ploughing in more than $18 billion last year. Analysts expect overseas investors to continue buying Indian shares in the run-up to the world's largest democracy going to the polls in April and May. "The market will keep going up until the (election) results are announced and the euphoria will last for a month or two after, until the budget is announced where people expect big bang reforms," said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at CARE Ratings in Mumbai. All but one of the 19 strategists polled expected the Sensex to rally in anticipation of reforms and draw further overseas funds if, as is widely expected, the opposition BJP wins the election. However, 13 of the 19 strategists expect the index to change little or fall if the ruling Congress Party gains a majority.
RBI to conduct 14-day term repo auction
The Reserve Bank of India will conduct a 14-day term repo auction for r40,000 crore on Friday, the central bank said in a release onThursday. It will also conduct a five-day term repo auction on March 28. As a one-time measure, standalone primary dealers will be allowed to participate in the auction to be conducted on March 28, 2014 within the notified amount of R20,000 crore, the RBI said. Further, banks can also borrow from the Marginal Standing Facility on March 31, it said.
Star Health to raise R120 crore next year
Chennai-based standalone health insurance major Star Health and Allied Insurance is looking at raising R120 crore next year to meet its capital requirement. The company is yet to decide on the mode of capital raising, said its chairman and managing director, V Jagannathan. Speaking at the launch of the company's modified Star Diabetes Safe policy here on Thursday, he said the health insurance company has crossed R1,000-crore gross premium mark.
BSE launches new debt segment
Premier stock exchange BSE has launched BSE New Debt Segment. The exchange has more than 100 trading members and institutional members registered on BSE NDS. The first trade on this segment at BSE was executed by IDBI Bank and Edelweiss Securities Ltd, BSE said in a statement here. In accordance with SEBI circular dated September 2013 specifying risk management framework for dedicated debt segment, BSE NDS provides settlement on T+1 basis in this segment with two type of market namely retail market and institutional market. Finance Minister P Chidambaram, in his 2013 budget speech had announced the intention of the government to create a dedicated debt segment on stock exchanges. Subsequently, the Sebi entrusted the responsibility of setting up this dedicated debt segment to all exchanges.