Mahindra & Mahindra, Jindal Steel, IL&FS Increase as Indian Stocks Advance

Most Indian stocks climbed, led by Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. after it signed an initial agreement to acquire Ssangyong Motor Co. in South Korea.

Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s largest sport-utility vehicle maker, climbed 1.4 percent after Pawan Goenka, president of Mumbai-based Mahindra’s automotive and farm-equipment division, said today in Seoul the company plans to develop new cars with Ssangyong. Jindal Steel & Power Ltd., the second-biggest steelmaker by market value, advanced after it resumed work on its steel and iron ore project in Bolivia’s El Mutun mines.

“Indian companies are cash-rich now, we may see more such deals going ahead,” said Arun Kejriwal, the Mumbai-based director of Kejriwal Research & Investment Services Pvt. “We are seeing only stock-specific action. The broad index is not going to move much. We are likely to see choppy trade today.”

The Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index, or Sensex, gained 37.64, or 0.2 percent, to 18,439.46 at 12:06 p.m. in Mumbai. Almost seven shares climbed for every three that fell on the index. The S&P CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange rose 0.2 percent to 5,541.45. The BSE 200 Index increased 0.4 percent to 2,366.69.

Mahindra rose 1.4 percent to 626.4 rupees. A stake in Ssangyong, which is operating under bankruptcy protection, may help Mahindra become a leading maker of SUVs, Goenka said.

Jindal Steel increased 2.7 percent to 708 rupees. Bolivia’s government gave an additional 3,000 acres of land for the project, the company said on Aug. 20.

IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd., a toll operator, soared 5.1 percent to 322.1 rupees after it was rated “buy” in new coverage at Goldman Sachs by analysts led by Pulkit Patni.

Overseas funds bought a net 26.6 billion rupees ($569.3 million) of Indian equities on Aug. 18 and 19, raising total investments in the stocks this year to 576.6 billion rupees, according to the nation’s market regulator.

Inflows from overseas reached a record 834.2 billion rupees in 2009, exceeding the high set two years ago in local currency terms, as the biggest advance in 18 years lured foreign funds. They sold a record 529.9 billion rupees of shares in 2008, triggering a record annual decline.

The following were among the most active on the exchange:

Developers: Builders in India’s financial capital of Mumbai will get a tax exemption for redevelopment under the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme, the Economic Times newspaper reported on Aug. 21, citing a notification from the tax department. Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd. (HDIL IN) rose 0.8 percent to 296.25 rupees. Ackruti City Ltd. (AKCL IN) surged 2.3 percent to 540.15 rupees.

ITI Ltd. (ITI IN) jumped 6.7 percent to 44.45 rupees. India plans to invite new bids to sell a controlling stake in ITI, a state-owned telephone equipment maker, the Economic Times reported on Aug. 21, citing a government official it didn’t identify. ITI’s Chairman S.K. Chatterjee couldn’t immediately be reached at his office telephone for comment on the report.

Tata Steel Ltd. (TATA IN) increased 1.1 percent to 524.75 rupees. India’s biggest producer of the alloy will invest 10 billion rupees to set up a ferrochrome and a rebar steel unit at its planned industrial park in the eastern state of Orissa, according to an e-mailed statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rajhkumar K Shaaw in Mumbai at rshaaw@bloomberg.net.

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