Bloomberg News

Wipro, ICICI Earnings; Weekly Food Inflation: India Week Ahead

October 30, 2011

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Hindustan Unilever Ltd., Wipro Ltd. and ICICI Bank Ltd. are among companies that will report this week their earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Wipro, India’s third-largest software exporter, may say today that profit in the three months rose 2 percent to 13.07 billion rupees ($268 million), according to the median estimate of 32 analysts polled by Bloomberg. ICICI, the nation’s second- biggest lender, may today report a 17 percent jump in net income to 14.5 billion rupees, a separate survey showed.

Steel Authority of India Ltd. will report its performance on Nov. 3, while Oil & Natural Gas Corp. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. will detail their quarterly numbers on Nov. 4. Hindustan Unilever will announce its earnings today.

The commerce ministry will release food inflation data for the week ended Oct. 22 on Nov. 3 after the previous reading showed the index rose by the most in more than six months.

The gauge measuring wholesale prices of agricultural products rose 11.43 percent in the seven days to Oct. 15 from a year earlier. Higher prices of cereals, vegetables, eggs, meat and fish boosted inflationary pressures, prompting the Reserve Bank of India last week to raise interest rates for the 13th time since the start of 2010.

Rate Increase

Reserve Bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao has raised the benchmark rate by 375 basis points since mid-March 2010, the fastest round of increases since the central bank was established in 1935, Bloomberg data show. India’s benchmark wholesale-price inflation was 9.72 percent in September, having stayed above 9 percent all this year.

Inflation will start to decline from December and ease to 7 percent by March before moderating further in the first half of the new fiscal year starting April 1, the central bank said last week.

India’s benchmark stock index had its biggest weekly rally in almost two months as Europe’s leaders agreed to expand a bailout fund to stem the region’s debt crisis and as the nation’s central bank signaled it’s nearing the end of a record cycle of interest-rate increases.

The BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, advanced 6.1 percent last week, the most since the period ended Sept. 2.

Hindalco Industries Ltd., the aluminum maker that controls Atlanta-based Novelis Inc., and Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd., the nation’s biggest copper and zinc producer, were the top gainers in the week.

Rupee, Bonds

The rupee completed its biggest weekly gain in two years after the central bank increased interest rates for the seventh time this year. The rupee strengthened 2.6 percent last week to 48.77 per dollar in Mumbai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

India’s 10-year bonds declined the most in three weeks on Oct. 28 as speculation record government debt supplies this fiscal year will deter investors damped demand. The yield on the 7.8 percent notes due April 2021 rose nine basis points, or 0.09 percentage point, to 8.85 percent on Oct. 28, completing five weeks of losses, according to the central bank’s trading system. The rate was the highest level for a benchmark 10-year bond since August 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

--With assistance from Rajhkumar K Shaaw in Mumbai. Editors: Sam Nagarajan, Arijit Ghosh

To contact the reporter on this story: Swansy Afonso in Mumbai at safonso2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net


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