Bharti, Centrum, Marico, Reliance, Larsen: India Stocks 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, rose 464.90, or 2.5 percent, to 18,815.64. The S&P CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange advanced 2.4 percent to 5,654.25. The BSE 200 Index increased 2 percent to 2,310.58. SGX S&P CNX Nifty Index futures for March delivery were little changed at 5,675.5 as of 10:52 a.m. in Singapore.

Bharti Airtel Ltd. (BHARTI) : The nation’s largest mobile-phone operator was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” at JPMorgan by equity analyst Malvika Gupta. The 12- month target price is 410 rupees per share. The stock jumped 1.9 percent to 339.7 rupees.

Centrum Capital Ltd. (CECA) : The financial services company agreed to buy a 50 percent stake in FCH Centrum Direct Ltd. from Future Capital Holdings Ltd. (FCHL) for 1 billion rupees ($22.4 million) in cash and stock. Centrum also agreed to sell a 50 percent stake in FCH Centrum Wealth Managers Ltd. to Future for 10 million rupees, according to a statement on the Bombay Stock Exchange on March 25. Centrum surged 5 percent to 1,228 rupees. Future Capital dropped 0.9 percent to 136.7 rupees.

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. (DRRD IN): India’s Andhra Pradesh state’s Directorate of Factories filed a complaint against Dr. Reddy’s for safety lapses at its manufacturing plant near Hyderabad, the Press Trust of India reported yesterday, citing Bala Kishore, the director of factories.

The filing in a lower court followed the death of two workers on Dec. 21 after inhaling nitrogen gas at the company’s drug ingredients plant. The stock added 0.4 percent to 1,548.15 rupees.

Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (LT) : The country’s biggest engineering company may sell stakes in ventures in which it isn’t a majority shareholder, the Business Standard reported, citing people it didn’t name.

The plan comes three months after the company formed 64 of its business units into nine independent entities, the report said. The stock climbed 3.1 percent to 1,598.4 rupees.

Marico Ltd. (MRCO) : Cargill Foods India agreed to acquire Marico’s refined sunflower oil brand Sweekar, it said in an e-mailed statement on March 25. It didn’t provide details of the deal. Marico shares were little changed at 130.1 rupees.

NTPC Ltd. (NATP) : The country’s largest electricity generator plans to add 4,320 megawatts of capacity in the year starting April 1, it said in an e-mailed statement on March 25 after signing an agreement with the power ministry. The shares advanced 4 percent to 182.9 rupees.

Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC IN): India has asked the nation’s biggest energy explorer to take over operation of the Amguri oilfield in north-west Assam state from Canada’s Canoro Resources Ltd., the Business Standard reported today, citing a senior ONGC executive it didn’t name.

The government terminated Canoro’s contract last year, the newspaper said. The company challenged the decision at the Delhi High Court, which ruled against it earlier this month, according to the report. The stock gained 1.1 percent to 275.9 rupees.

Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) : India’s biggest company by market value said it reached an agreement with D.E. Shaw Group, a closely held investment and technology development company, to offer financial services in India, the company said.

Separately, the company said it started a catalytic cracker unit at its Jamnagar refinery after a planned maintenance and inspection shutdown, it said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange on March 25. Reliance shares advanced 1.6 percent to 1,026.60 rupees.

State Bank of India (SBIN) Ltd: The largest lender may raise $1 billion outside India selling medium-term debt, Chairman O.P. Bhatt said in New Delhi on March 25. He said lending rates in India may not rise in coming months. The bank also plans to start operations in Uganda, according to Justine Bagyenda, an official at the East African nation’s central bank. The shares climbed 2.3 percent to 2,710.85 rupees.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rajesh Kumar Singh in Delhi at Rsingh133@bloomberg.net; Rajhkumar K Shaaw in Mumbai at rshaaw@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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