Sensex posts longest losing streak in 2 years
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 ó its longest losing streak since May 2011. Gains in Sensex-based counters like HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, HUL, Cipla, RIL, Dr Reddyís 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