Sensex hits 3-week high on Infosys; rupee advances [Gulf Times (Qatar)]
(Gulf Times (Qatar) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A general view of the Infosys campus at its headquarters in the southern Indian city of Bangalore yesterday. Infosys, kicking off the earnings season for the quarter ended September, said its dollar revenue will rise 9% to 10% in the year ending March amid economic recovery in the US and Europe. Bloomberg/Mumbai India's benchmark stock index rose for the sixth week in seven, led by technology shares, after Infosys Ltd raised its annual sales forecast. Infosys jumped to its highest level in 30 months, helping a gauge of software makers to its biggest gain in three months. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, HCL Technologies Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd climbed to a record. ICICI Bank Ltd rallied 5.2%. DLF Ltd led other developers higher after the market regulator allowed setting up of real-estate investment trusts. Infosys, kicking off the earnings season for the quarter ended September, said its dollar revenue will rise 9% to 10% in the year ending March amid economic recovery in the US and Europe. The nation's second-largest software maker in July projected growth of 6% to 10%. The S&P BSE Sensex added 1.3% to 20,528.59, a three-week high. The 30-stock gauge rallied 3.1% this week. "Infosys raising its guidance shows demand is strong in developed nations and that bodes well for software exporters for the next two quarters at least," P Phani Sekhar, a fund manager at Angel Broking Ltd in Mumbai, said by telephone. Infosys, which has the second-highest weighting in the Sensex, surged 4.7% to Rs3,274.50, its highest close since April 2011. Tata Consultancy added 2% and HCL Technologies increased 3.6%. Second-quarter net income at Infosys rose 1.6% to Rs24.1bn ($393mn), lagging behind the Rs26.6bn median of 46 analysts' estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Sales rose to Rs129.7bn, beating the Rs127.3bn median of estimates. The company, which got 64% of its revenue from North America in the year ended March, benefits from a slide in the Indian currency. The rupee was the worst performer after the Indonesian rupiah and Argentinian peso among 24 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg in the September quarter. The rupee rose to the highest level in almost two months yesterday on speculation policy makers will succeed in efforts to boost capital inflows and rein in the current-account deficit. Policy makers are in talks with JPMorgan Chase & Co about getting Indian debt into international indexes, Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said in Washington on Thursday. A concessional currency-swap window offered to local lenders last month attracted $5.6bn so far, Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan said October 4. The trade deficit narrowed in September to the lowest level since March 2011, official data showed October 9. "The rupee's progress is gathering momentum for now," Paul Mackel, head of Asian currency research at HSBC Holdings Plc in Hong Kong, wrote in a research report yesterday. The prospects are "high" that the government may achieve or exceed its goal of narrowing the current-account deficit to $70bn in the year through March 2014, he wrote. The rupee gained 0.6% this week and 0.5% yesterday to 61.08 per dollar in Mumbai, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 61.0150 earlier, the strongest since August 13. Profits in dollar-denominated sectors, including software, healthcare and metals, likely grew 19% in the quarter from a year earlier because of a weak rupee, Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd wrote in a note dated October 1. About 47% of Sensex companies missed analysts' profit forecasts in the June quarter, compared with 27% three months earlier. Tata Motors surged 3.7% to Rs385.30. ICICI Bank gained the most in three weeks to Rs997.05. DLF gained 3.5%, taking this week's rally to 11%, the most in a month. Unitech Ltd soared 7.5%, while Prestige Estates Projects Ltd climbed 3.1%. The S&P BSE India Realty rose to its highest level since September 19. The Securities and Exchange Board of India is considering allowing developers to introduce real-estate investment trusts, or REITs, that can raise money through initial share sales, the regulator said in draft guidelines on its website yesterday.
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