WITH steel sector stocks in the limelight, a new stock within the category to have caught market attention is Steelco Gujarat. In the last one week, investors have been buying the stock, dealers said. The Steelco stock has gained more than 20 per cent in the last one week.

On Tuesday, the stock moved up 7.1 per cent at Rs 18.10 on the BSE with volumes of 3.45 lakh shares.

Dealers said the interest in the stock is due to the turnaround by the company during the September quarter. Market talk indicates that the next few quarters are also expected to be very good for the company.

Besides, there is talk that a leading steel company is looking at acquiring the company. This has also led to buying support. However, this could not be confirmed.

Bata India: Retail, realty boostAT a time when real estate and retail sectors are in vogue, the stock of shoe company Bata India is being re-looked by market players from both the aspects.

Dealers said after being ignored by the market for some time, there is buying interest in the stock. On Tuesday, there was sudden buying in the stock. It closed at Rs 103, up 13.31 per cent, on the BSE with volumes of 15.36 lakh shares; on the NSE, it closed at Rs 102.70, up 12.67 per cent, with volumes of 24.36 lakh shares.

The talk is that the market is now looking at both the retail as well as real estate angles. Bata has one of the largest retail outlets. It is also planning to develop real estate at its Batanagar factory in Kolkata.

The rights issue planned soon is also seen as positive for the stock as it will bring in additional funds, which the company needs.

Profit booking caps momentumWITH international oil prices remaining firm and the financial year coming to end, mid- and small-cap stocks are loosing their steam.

Dealers said there is heavy selling in most of the mid- and small-cap stocks. The talk is that nothing has changed with the companies' fundamentals or market players view, but it is a usual profit taking at the end of financial year.

The selling is mainly from corporates which invest in stock market. But dealers said fresh buying is likely to come in the next 7-10 days as several mutual funds are sitting on cash and looking for opportunities to invest in these stocks.

Virendra Verma

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 16, 2005)
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