Sensex to hit 24,500 by end of 2014: Poll
The BSE Sensex is forecast to continue setting new record highs this year as foreign capital is lured into the market, especially if general elections return the business-friendly opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. The BSE Sensex hit a life-time high of 22,040.72 on Tuesday but the poll of 23 equity analysts, taken in the past week, forecast the index to rise further to 23,000 by the end of June. It is then expected to hit 24,500 by the end of 2014, a 12 percent gain from Wednesday's close of 21,832.86. India's top share index has risen 3% this year, with foreign investors pouring in nearly $2 billion after ploughing in more than $18 billion last year. Analysts expect overseas investors to continue buying Indian shares in the run-up to the world's largest democracy going to the polls in April and May. "The market will keep going up until the (election) results are announced and the euphoria will last for a month or two after, until the budget is announced where people expect big bang reforms," said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at CARE Ratings in Mumbai. All but one of the 19 strategists polled expected the Sensex to rally in anticipation of reforms and draw further overseas funds if, as is widely expected, the opposition BJP wins the election. However, 13 of the 19 strategists expect the index to change little or fall if the ruling Congress Party gains a majority.
RBI to conduct 14-day term repo auction
The Reserve Bank of India will conduct a 14-day term repo auction for r40,000 crore on Friday, the central bank said in a release onThursday. It will also conduct a five-day term repo auction on March 28. As a one-time measure, standalone primary dealers will be allowed to participate in the auction to be conducted on March 28, 2014 within the notified amount of R20,000 crore, the RBI said. Further, banks can also borrow from the Marginal Standing Facility on March 31, it said.
Star Health to raise R120 crore next year
Chennai-based standalone health insurance major Star Health and Allied Insurance is looking at raising R120 crore next year to meet its capital requirement. The company is yet to decide on the mode of capital raising, said its chairman and managing director, V Jagannathan. Speaking at the launch of the