Opening Bell 12 March | Insurance stocks in focus

A file photo of the BSE building in Mumbai. Photo: PTI
Congress has agreed to support passage of insurance bill in Rajya Sabha which seeks to raise the FDI cap from the existing 26% to 49%

Overnight US markets closed lower. Worries about the timing of the US Federal Reserve interest rate hike and the strength of the dollar weighed on sentiment, reports Reuters.Asian markets opened on a positive note. South Korea’s central bank unexpectedly lowered its key interest rate to an all-time low to support economic growth and prevent the country from falling into deflation, reports Bloomberg.

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) growth projections for the Indian economy are lower than the government’s, reports Mint. The fund forecast that the economy will grow 7.2% in current fiscal. The government has estimated 7.4% growth. In 2015-16, IMF projects India to grow 7.5% as against the finance ministry’s forecast of a 8.1-8.5% growth.

Keep an eye on shares of companies that have insurance ventures-ICICI Bank Ltd, HDFC Ltd, Max India Ltd among others. The Congress party has agreed to support passage in Rajya Sabha of the insurance bill which seeks to raise the foreign direct investment cap from the existing 26% to 49%, reports The Times of India.
The Indian government plans to impose quality restrictions on hot and cold-rolled coils and sheets used in cars, pipes and appliances to limit record shipments from China, Japan and South Korea, reports Bloomberg.

The government has allowed seven state-run banks to raise capital from the market as part of the efforts to help them comply with global Basel III banking rules, reports Reuters.ICICI Bank Ltd is in talks to sell part of its stake in an insurance unit to Temasek Holdings Pte and Carmignac Gestion for about $300 million, reports Bloomberg.

Tata Motors Ltd is restructuring its commercial vehicles business as it seeks to enhance efficiency and gear up for a pick-up in sales after a two-year lull, reports Mint. The reorganization involves regrouping the vehicles into two broad groups.

Hindustan Unilever Ltd plans to launch Knorr instant noodles, a segment dominated by Nestle India Ltd, reports The Economic Times. According to the report, Hindustan Unilever’s decision is part of a strategy to expand the Knorr brand.

Queensland’s new state government cleared plans by Adani Enterprises Ltd and GVK group to expand a port for coal projects that are opposed by green groups, reports Reuters.According to the report, the approval came as a surprise.The Chhattisgarh government had instituted an inquiry into the alleged land encroachment by KSK Mahanadi power plant—an entity of KSK Energy Ventures Ltd, reports Business Standard.Lastly, iron ore prices fell further.

According to The Australian, the benchmark iron ore for immediate delivery to the port of Tianjin in China was trading at $57.7 a tonne, down 1.4% from its previous close. It is the first time the commodity traded below $58 a tonne since the first half of 2009.

Curated from: Opening Bell 12 March | Insurance stocks in focus

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