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Profit-selling bogs down Sensex

Taking cue from weak Asian markets, most stocks in the 30-issue BSE index have slipped in the red except Tata Tea.

india Updated: Aug 24, 2006 14:06 IST

Indian shares fell nearly 1 percent on Thursday on weak Asian markets, but Tata Tea bucked the trend surging more than 5 percent on plans to buy US maker of fast-growing vitamin water brand Glaceau.

Tata Tea Ltd, the world's second-ranked branded tea company, said late on Wednesday it planned to buy a 30 percent stake in Energy Brands Inc for $677 million, the biggest acquisition by a private Indian company overseas.

Shares in Tata Tea rose as high as Rs 870 on the news, before retreating to Rs 844.80 by 11:25 am, still up 2.04 per cent.

In contrast, the 30-issue BSE index was down 0.6 per cent at 11,338.06 points, off a low of 11,297.23 -- its lowest in more than a week. Only 5 stocks on the most widely tracked marker were in positive territory.

Losers beat gainers in the overall market 1,249 to 755 on moderate volume of 44.9 million shares.

"The market could go down to 11,200, which is a crucial support," Biranchi Sahu, head of equities at Khandwala Securities Ltd, said.

Property stocks, which had run sharply, bore the brunt of the selloff. Mahindra Gesco Developers Ltd was down 5.2 per cent at Rs 717, Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd lost 4.7 per cent to Rs 463.05 and Unitech Ltd slipped 2.7 per cent to Rs 200.5.

Stocks on the Move

* Back office service provider Allsec Technologies Ltd rose 4.9 per cent to Rs 241.80 after it said it had allotted 3.02 million shares to Mauritius-based First Carlyle Ventures at Rs 260 a share.

* Zenith Infotech Ltd climbed 5 per cent to Rs 278.3 after the world's largest computer chip maker, Intel Corp, agreed to use its software in motherboards on a revenue-sharing basis.

* Essar Shipping Ltd gained 1.6 per cent to Rs 24.95 after Cyprus-based Essar Shipping & Logistics Ltd raised $200 million to finance vessel-buying plans of its subsidiary, Essar Shipping Ltd.

* Auto parts maker Rane Madras Ltd was marginally higher at Rs 105 after its plans to set up a manufacturing unit in northern Uttaranchal state with an initial investment of about Rs 93 million to supply steering gears exclusively to Tata Motors Ltd.