Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Mar 14, 2005
Columns - ADR Watch
MTNL ends firm
K.S. Badri Narayanan
FEELING the heat of firm oil prices, the US stocks fell last week. The Dow average dropped 1.5 per cent to 10,774.36. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 1.8 per cent to 1,200.08 and the tech-focused Nasdaq tumbled 1.4 per cent to 2,041.60, even as tech major Intel projected better sales figures for its first quarter.
Back home, the unstinting FII support helped the benchmarks hit new lifetime peaks. But profit bookings towards the latter part of the week kept the market under check; the BSE Sensex, after scaling to historic high of 6,954.86, closed the flat at 6,853.73 against the previous week's close of 6,849.48 while on the NSE, the S&P CNX Nifty improved to 2,154 (2,148.15).
The weakness at the US bourses had its impact on the Indian ADRs, with most of them finishing in red.
MTNL was the pick of the week with a sharp gain of 7.5 per cent to close at $7.43 ($6.91). The Delhi High Court's interim order directing Reliance Infocomm Ltd to pay Rs 125 crore to MTNL seemed to have lifted the counter.
Apart from this, only VSNL, HDFC Bank and Rediff.com ended the week in positive territory with marginal gains. While VSNL closed at $9.93 ($9.8), Rediff.com closed at $7.5 ($7.5).
Last week VSNL announced that its UK affiliate, VSNL UK Ltd, had launched a wholesale voice offering to meet the high demand for quality voice termination to India.
The service is intended to support the expansion of VSNL's international voice business.
It had also said that cable laying operation of Sea-Me-We-4 cable system linking France to Singapore with Mumbai as a landing point for VSNL has commenced on February 24. Following these announcements, the VSNL counter has been remained active.
HDFC Bank closed at $48.24 ($47.21) after reports that Deutsche Securities (Mauritius) had picked up 4.06 per cent stake in the bank from India Private Equity Fund in a single deal at Rs 615 a share.
The premium of the Indian ADRs, except MTNL and VSNL, dropped sharply due to the divergent trend between the US and the Indian markets.
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