Stocks

Granddad is happy but mummy is…

Mumbai | Updated on November 10, 2017 Published on February 28, 2011

Women watch the screen outside BSE as Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, presents the Budget in Parliament. Photo: Paul Noronha   -  PAUL NORONHA

For the broking offices in Mumbai, it was overall a lukewarm Budget where excitement was seen in fits and spurts, somewhat like the course of the Sensex itself.

“Everybody's granddad is happy whereas the mother is left unhappy,” joked Mr Rajiv Deep Bajaj, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director at Bajaj Capital. The market was looking for immediate relief for the current problems, which it did not get from today's Budget, he added. “Within a six months-to-one-year time horizon it is a very promising Budget.”

Motilal Oswal Financial Services' dealing room in Mumbai was abuzz with activity on Monday morning; like everybody else, the officials and staff here were expecting big bang announcements by the Finance Minister.

Things did look promising in the beginning, when the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, made his announcements on giving FIIs more room for investing in India and on extension of subvention of interest rates for home loans.

Sudden spurt

The dealing room suddenly was full of phones ringing and dealers shouting out the rising prices of financial sector scrips. Reliance Capital and ICICI Bank seemed to be the favourite names. Housing finance stocks too were being bought.

After this excitement, the activity in the room slowed down as no big announcements appeared to follow. Stocks too subsided and were trading flat. “There is nothing great being announced here, investors are now either squaring off their positions or holding on to their stocks to see how the Budget further unfolds,” said one of the dealers.

When it was time for Mr. Mukherjee to announce the tax portion of the Budget, the buzz suddenly returned (obviously this was what was of most interest to the ‘aam junta”). The dealers were disappointed with just a Rs 20,000 increase in the exemption slab to Rs 1.8 lakh. “Aarey yaar just Rs 20,000 more,” shouted out a dealer.

The members in Parliament started objecting to this announcement, and a dealer watching television shouted out “maaro maaro!”

Some of the dealers were anticipating some kind of announcements on the Securities Transaction Tax. But it remained untouched.

‘Lacklustre'

At this time someone decided to distribute chocolates, as it was his birthday. A dealer joked and said that the chocolates were in celebration of a lacklustre Budget!

Mr K Jayaraman, Consultant and Equity Research Advisor, Bonanza Portfolio too said that the Budget was “neutral.”

“The way the equity market behaved today is rather worrisome and it is a negative sign,” he said.

The Sensex closed up 122 at 17,823 points on Monday; during intra-day trade it had risen 400 points. Among the sectoral indices on the BSE, FMCG, PSU and Realty were the best performing, with the other indices closing just marginally up.

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Published on February 28, 2011
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