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Indian equity markets remain flat

Indian equity markets have remained flat during the previous two hours of trade. The most noticeable upward movements have been witnessed in the consumer durables and healthcare sectors while Banks and Realty languished in the red.

The BSE Sensex is up by 12 points and NSE-Nifty is up by 0.7 points. BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index are trading higher by 0.47% and 0.44% respectively. The rupee is trading at 53.32 to the US dollar.

Auto stocks are trading on a mixed note with Bajaj Auto and Eicher Motors leading the gains while Force Motors and Hero Motocorp are facing the most selling pressures. According to a leading financial daily, Maruti Suzuki, India's largest carmaker is working on a strategy to become India's largest exporter of passenger cars. It intends to build a base for manufacturing 3 million cars in five years, which would include 10 new vehicles across segments. The move to build new capacities would also ensure that Maruti retains its leading market share in India, which has declined to 37.8% in 2012 from 44.6% in 2010. Maruti contributes to more than a third of Suzuki's total sales across the globe and around 40% to Suzuki's total profitability. Suzuki in collaboration with Maruti is also coming up with a world class R&D facility in Rohtak, Haryana. That would be the largest R&D facility outside Hammamatsu, Japan. Many of the 10 new vehicles across segments would be developed as global models targeting the ASEAN, Middle East, Africa and Latin American markets. Maruti's share is trading up by 1.3%.

Cement stocks are also trading on a mixed note with Birla Corp and India Cements leading the gains while Mangalam Cement and Shree Cement are leading the losses. Grasim has reported its 3QFY13 results. While the net sales have risen by 7% YoY, net profit has declined by 18%. Grasim has been facing higher costs on logistics and raw materials. The results of 3QFY13 are not comparable with the results of 3QFY12 as financial result of Ultratech Cement, the cement subsidiary, consolidated in Grasim included Rs 860 m of subsidies relating to earlier periods. Besides, Grasim' proportionate share amounting to Rs 250 m in the loss incurred by the recently acquired pulp JV, Terrace Bay, Canada has also been reflected in 3QFY13. Grasim's capex plans involve Rs 140 bn of investments in the cement and VSF businesses and they are on track. Further, the Company which has an investment portfolio comprising of stakes in various listed and unlisted Aditya Birla Group companies has also begun to rationalise it with an intention of moving away from unrelated businesses. Grasim's share is trading down by 0.06%

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