Indian Oil, Tata Motors, Steel Producers and Cinemax: India Equity Preview

The following companies may have unusual price changes in India trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and share prices are as of the last close.

The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, gained 164.85, or 0.9 percent, to 17,692.62. The S&P CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange rose 0.8 percent to 5,290.50. The BSE 200 Index increased 0.8 percent to 2,217.55. SGX S&P CNX Nifty Index futures for April delivery climbed 0.5 percent to 5,339 at 9:54 a.m. in Singapore today.

Banks: State Bank of India (SBIN IN) and three other lenders were downgraded at BNP Paribas, which said the industry's valuations look "rich."

State Bank, Axis Bank Ltd. (AXSB IN), Punjab National Bank Ltd. (PNB IN) and Bank of India (BOI IN) were cut to "hold" from "buy" at BNP. State Bank gained 1.2 percent to 2,102.6 rupees, Axis Bank increased 0.5 percent to 1,173.55 rupees, Punjab National Bank rose 0.3 percent to 1,015.9 rupees and Bank of India climbed 1.8 percent to 346.4 rupees.

Steel producers: India lowered its steel production target to 115 million metric tons by March 2012, Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh said April 1. That's about 7 percent lower than the government's June estimate of as much as 124 million tons and 4 percent less than Singh's Dec. 9 forecast of 120 million tons. Steel companies raised prices because of higher raw material costs.

Tata Steel Ltd. (TATA IN), the nation's biggest producer of the metal, rose 3.2 percent to 652.2 rupees. Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL IN), the second biggest, fell 0.2 percent to 252.1 rupees. JSW Steel Ltd. (JSTL IN) gained 1.3 percent to 1,250.65 rupees.

Cinemax India Ltd. (CNMX IN): The theater chain plans to start a four-screen multiplex at Kochi in the southern state of Kerala, it said in a statement to Bombay Stock Exchange April 1. The shares rose 3.1 percent to 64.75 rupees.

Fame India Ltd. (FAME IN): Billionaire Anil Ambani's Reliance MediaWorks Ltd. postponed its bid for the shares of the multiplex chain operator, according to a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange. Fame fell 0.1 percent to 85 rupees.

Gitanjali Gems Ltd. (GITG IN): The diamond jewelry maker and retailer is planning to cut its presence in rural retail locations in the U.S., preferring to expand at premium outlets instead, Business Standard reported on April 2, citing managing director Mehul Choksi. The shares rose 2.2 percent to 120.25 rupees.

Great Eastern Shipping Co. (GESCO IN): The company said a contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. for construction of two Suezmax crude carriers has been modified to allow for the building of three Very Large Crude Carriers instead of the Suezmaxes. The vessels are expected to be delivered between January and April 2012, Great Eastern said an April 3 statement. The shares rose 0.3 percent to 294.95 rupees.

Hero Honda Motors Ltd. (HH IN): India's largest motorcycle maker said April 1 that sales in March gained 17 percent to 414,638 two wheelers. The shares rose less than 0.1 percent to 1,945.25 rupees.

Indian Oil Corp. (IOCL IN): The nation's second-biggest refiner will begin making synthetic rubber for tires in partnership with Marubeni Corp. and Taiwan's TSRC Corp. to benefit from rising auto demand in the South Asian nation. The venture will build a plant in Panipat, northern India, by September 2012 at an investment of 9 billion rupees ($200 million), the company said in a statement on April 3. The shares rose 0.9 percent to 298.45 rupees.

Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd. (KPP IN): The company won an order worth more than 3.2 billion rupees, it said in a statement on April 1. The shares fell 0.4 percent to 1,031.35 rupees.

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL IN): The nation's biggest carmaker raised prices of its models by as much as 10,000 rupees due to higher raw material costs and introduction of new emission norms, it said in a statement. Maruti fell 1.8 percent to 1,393.15 rupees.

Nagarjuna Construction Co. (NJCC IN): The construction company may sell stake in a holding company that owns stake in various road and power projects, the Mint reported, citing Y.D. Murthy, company's vice president for finance. The shares rose 2.8 percent to 167.25 rupees.

Patni Computer Systems Ltd. (PATNI IN): The founders of the software developer are in discussions with global and local companies to sell their stake, the Economic Times reported, citing people familiar with the talks it didn't identify. Japan's NTT Group, Fujitsu Ltd. and Hitachi Ltd. are among companies involved in talks to buy Patni founders' stake, the newspaper reported. The shares increased 3 percent to 550.6 rupees.

Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL IN): The country's most valuable company was raised to "buy" from "neutral" at Nomura Holdings Inc., which said investor focus should now shift to "large" earnings growth, "significant" exploration and production upside. Reliance advanced 1.7 percent to 1,092.05 rupees.

Steel Strips Wheels Ltd. (SSW IN): The automobile equipment maker may sign contracts by June to supply wheel rims to Fiat SpA and Volkswagen AG in Europe and South America, Managing Director Dheeraj Garg said on April 1. The shares rose 6.8 percent to 126.3 rupees.

Tata Motors Ltd. (TTMT IN): India's biggest commercial vehicle-maker sold 75,151 vehicles in March, compared with 54,452 a year earlier, according to an e-mailed statement from the company on April 1. The shares rose 2.6 percent to 777.65 rupees.

Tech Mahindra Ltd. (TECHM IN): The software company was upgraded to "neutral" from "reduce" at Nomura Holdings Inc., which cited the stock's valuations following a recent slump. Tech Mahindra increased 0.8 percent to 859.5 rupees.

Welspun Gujarat Stahl Rohren Ltd. (WGS IN): The maker of welded pipes may buy a majority stake in Aziz Pipe Co., a Saudi Arabian company, the Times of India reported without saying where it got the information. The deal may be worth 10 billion rupees, the newspaper reported. The shares increased 1.6 percent to 277.5 rupees.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rakteem Katakey in New Delhi at

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