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Market may open higher on firm Asian stocks
March, 18th 2014

The market may open higher on firm Asian stocks. Trading of CNX Nifty futures on the Singapore stock exchange indicates that the Nifty could gain 10 points at the opening bell. The stock market remained closed on Monday, 17 March 2014, on account of Holi.

Asian stocks rose on Tuesday as data showing an improvement in US factory output boosted optimism in the world's biggest economy.

Among corporate news, Ranbaxy Laboratories after market hours on Friday, 14 March 2014 said that Credit Analysis & Research (CARE), has revised credit rating for long term debt instruments issued by the company, from CARE AA+ (DoubIe A Plus) to CARE AA (Double A). Long term Instruments with CARE AA rating are considered to have high degree of safety regarding timely payment of financial obligations and carry very low credit risk, Ranbaxy Laboratories said.

However, CARE has reaffirmed the CARE A1+ (A One Plus) rating assigned to the short term bank facilities of the company, Ranbaxy said. Short term debt instruments with CARE rating of A1+ are considered to have very strong degree of safety regarding timely payment of financial obligations and carry lowest credit risk, Ranbaxy Laboratories said.

IT stocks may gain on positive economic data in US. US is the biggest outsourcing market for the Indian IT firms.

Infosys announced on Monday, 17 March 2014 that it has been selected by Volvo Cars as a strategic supplier to provide application development services for its global operations. This agreement builds on the long-standing relationship as Infosys has been supporting Volvo Cars since 2010 to rationalize and integrate its enterprise systems.

As part of the new agreement, Infosys will bring its proven global service delivery experience and ability to drive innovation and transformation- efficiently and effectively. It will develop applications to support multiple domains, including marketing and sales, customer service, manufacturing, product development, and corporate functions and deploy best practices specifically related to business process harmonization and delivery excellence, across transformation projects.

Nitesh Bansal, Vice President Manufacturing Europe, Infosys said, "we will be a strategic supplier for Volvo Cars to deliver excellence and innovation to transform their IT landscape to a modern architecture. We are very pleased to collaborate with Volvo Cars in their strategic journey. We have an industry heritage, deep automotive expertise, and established track record of delivering that leaves us well positioned to be a strategic supplier to Volvo Cars. This agreement also reflects our strategic focus on the Nordic market and strengthens our presence in Sweden."

Separately, Infosys said after market hours on Friday, 14 March 2014 that the US District of Columbia has extended its contract with Infosys Public Services, a US-based subsidiary of Infosys. Earlier, the District signed a $49.5 million agreement with Infosys Public Services in January 2013 to develop its Health Insurance Marketplace, the DC Health Link. One of the first state-based marketplaces to be operational as scheduled on 1 October 2013, DC Health Link offers health insurance options to over half a million residents and small businesses.

Under the new agreement, Infosys Public Services will modernize the legacy eligibility system and additional federal and local health and social programs for the US District of Columbia. Infosys Public Services will leverage the foundational capabilities developed in 2013 to enable the District's agencies to collaborate with their constituents to achieve sustainable health and social benefit outcomes.

Eric Paternoster, President and Chief Executive Officer, Infosys Public Services, Inc. said, The District is a leader in implementing the new healthcare insurance mandates and insurance marketplace. We're excited to continue our partnership with the District on this important healthcare program.

Maruti Suzuki India announced on Saturday, 15 March 2014 that the board of directors of Maruti reviewed the Gujarat project in the context of the views and opinions expressed and decided that the entire capex for the Gujarat Sub would be funded by depreciation and equity brought in by Suzuki Motor Corporation. In the event that both parties mutually agree to terminate the contract manufacturing agreement, the facilities of the Gujarat Sub would be transferred to Maruti Suzuki India at book value. Even though not required by law, the board decided, as a measure of good corporate governance, to seek minority shareholders' approval as stipulated in Section 188 of the Companies Act 2013. The impact of any direct or indirect taxes on account of the contract manufacturing agreement would be assessed before finalizing the agreement; and As earlier stated, the Gujarat Sub would function on the basis that it would neither generate surpluses nor make losses.

NTPC said after market hours on Friday, 14 March 2014 that the board of directors of the company has accorded the investment approval for North Karanpura Super Thermal Power Project (3x660 megawatts) to be implemented in the State of Jharkhand at an appraised current estimated cost of Rs 14366.58 crore.

Amtek India after market hours on Friday, 14 March 2014 said that it has successfully completed the acquisition of substantial interest of Germany based Kuepper Group through its 100% step down subsidiary Amtek Kuepper GmBH. Kuepper Group is engaged in the business of iron, aluminium casting and integrated machining having 5 manufacturing facilities across Germany and Hungary.

IDFC after market hours on Friday, 14 March 2014 in a clarification to the exchange with regard to a news item titled IDFC appoints Monga as COO said that Mr. Avtar Monga is appointed as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for IDFC's new initiatives and would be responsible for building the operating architecture for the new businesses that IDFC Group will launch.

Financial Technologies (India) (FTIL) after market hours on Friday, 14 March 2014 said that the company and all other shareholders of National Bulk Handling Corporation (NBHC) have entered into share purchase agreement (SPA) for sale of 100% equity ownership in NBHC, a subsidiary of the company to IVF Trustee Company, the sole Trustee of India Value Fund IV for a total consideration of Rs 241.74 crore. The transaction is subject to certain customary closing conditions including the approval of shareholders of FTIL, the company said. The aforesaid transaction is likely to be completed between 15 April 2014 to 30 April 2014, subject to shareholders approval by way of postal ballot.

The government has extended the last date for payment of final installment of advance tax for financial year 2013-14 to March 18 from March 15 earlier. "To facilitate payment of final installment of advance tax for the financial year 2013-14, the Central Board of Direct taxes (CBDT) has issued an order to extend the time limit to make such payments of advance tax, from March 15 to March 18,"the finance ministry said in a statement.

The Reserve Bank of India next undertakes monetary policy review on 1 April 2014. Citing price pressures, the Reserve Bank of India raised its key lending rates by 25 basis points after Third Quarter Review of Monetary Policy for 2013-14 on 28 January 2014.

The next major trigger for the stock market is the outcome of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Lok Sabha elections will be held between 7 April 2014 and 12 May 2014 in nine phases. The counting of votes will be take place on 16 May 2014. The term of the current Lok Sabha expires on June 1 and the new House has to be constituted by May 31. Along with the Lok Sabha election, Andhra Pradesh (AP), including the regions comprising Telangana, Odisha and Sikkim will go to polls to elect new assemblies. AP, Odisha and Sikkim assemblies come to end on June 2, June 7 and May 7 respectively.

A strong intraday rebound in late trade took the key benchmark indices to positive zone from negative zone on Friday, 14 March 2014. The market sentiment was boosted by the latest data showing that inflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI) eased to a nine-month low last month. The S&P BSE Sensex garnered 35.19 points or 0.16% to settle at 21,809.80 on that day, its highest closing level since 12 March 2014.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 982.19 crore on Friday, 14 March 2014, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

Asian stocks rose on Tuesday as data showing an improvement in U.S. factory output boosted optimism in the world's biggest economy. Key benchmark indices in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore rose 0.1% to 1.08%. Key benchmark indices in China and Indonesia fell 0.1% to 0.62%.

US stocks rose on Friday as data showing a gain in industrial production boosted optimism over the economy and investors watched developments in Ukraine.

Factory production in the US rose in February by the most in six months, indicating the industry started to recover from severe winter weather. The 0.8% gain at manufacturers followed a revised 0.9% slump in the prior month that was the biggest since May 2009, figures from the Federal Reserve showed. A separate gauge of manufacturing in the New York area rose less than forecast last month, climbing to 5.61 from 4.48.

The Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) two-day monetary policy review starts today, 18 March 2014. After a monetary policy review, the FOMC on 29 January 2014 announced it will reduce monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion to $65 billion.

The US and European Union slapped sanctions on Russia in the worst dispute between former Cold War foes in more than two decades after a referendum paved the way for President Vladimir Putin to annex Crimea from Ukraine. EU foreign ministers agreed to freeze assets and impose visa travel bans on 21 Russians, Crimeans and former Ukrainian officials. US measures were aimed at the wealth of Russia's supporters, the White House said in a statement. While Western leaders left open the option of extending the sanctions, they kept more punitive steps in reserve.

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