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Broader BSE untouched by Sensex

A large number of shares went down but some sectors showed sparkle, writes Suman Layak.
None | By Suman Layak, Mumbai
UPDATED ON OCT 31, 2006 02:29 PM IST

First a little bit of bad news: on the day when the BSE Sensex crossed 13,000 to touch a life-time high, with the National Stock Exchange's Nifty also recording its life-time high, the broader market was not cruising.

A good number of shares went down but some sectors showed sparkle, ready for a new flight.

For one, more than half the scrips listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange fell on Monday.

More than 50 per cent of the scrips fell in the active Group A. More than 61 per cent of the B1 group scrips were down, as were 52 per cent of the B2 Group.

Among the indices, the BSE Small Cap index fell by half a per cent while most other indices inched up by similar degrees. Among sectoral indices, automobiles, metals and consumer durables were down.

Arpit Agarwal, chief executive officer of Dawnay Day AV Financial Services, said the declines may not be significant.

"The small caps and the mid caps are still undervalued and should attract investment if they go down. You should not read too much into day to day ups and downs," he said.

VK Sharma, head of research at Anagram Stockbroking, said, "Information technology, telecom and engineering are looking good. The auto sector was pulled down by Tata Motors' results. Consumer-durables is not so important as a sector. There have been more declines on the bourses than advances in almost all groups, so there would be some declines."

Adding a bullish tone, Prateek Agarwal, head of equities at ABN Amro Asset Management, said a good look at sectors like telecommunications, real estate, oil and gas and banking will dispel all fears about the market being overvalued.

"The prices are high, but the market is fairly valued. India is the fastest growing telecom market in the world, but our telecom companies are not the highest valued in Asia. This should drive a lot of money into India," Agarwal said.

Agarwal was also positive on real estate.

"India has these four big metros (Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai). These together are five times the size of HongKong, and real estate will also be growing at five times the pace of Hong Kong. So our real estate companies, when they list, should also get valued at prices better than the realty companies in Hong Kong," he said.

Oil and gas, and banking, will attract similar attention, Agarwal said. "Indian banks are very cheaply priced compared to other Asian banks. The Indian corporate sector will invest more than $200 billion over the next few years. This will reflect on the banks either as loans or deposits or in other ways," Agarwal pointed out.

Putting in a technical point of view, Anagram's Sharma said, "The Sensex had a barrier at 12,994 and the Nifty's barrier was at 3,774. Both those have been breached and that is a good sign."
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