Traders at a securities brokerage look at changing stock prices. (Photographer: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg)

Stocks Radar: ICICI Bank, Can Fin Homes, Kwality, Auto Stocks

Indian equity benchmarks got off to a steady start in the first trading session of the new financial year led by gains in Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., Tata Motors Ltd. and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

The S&P BSE Sensex rose as much as 0.5 percent to 33,130 while the NSE Nifty 50 Index was up 0.6 percent to 10,178. The Indian market played catch up with the rest of their global peers, returning from a long holiday weekend.

The market breadth was firmly tilted in favour of the buyers. Fifteen of the 19 sector gauges on the BSE climbed, led by a 1.4 percent gain in the S&P BSE Industrials Index. The S&P BSE Bankex was the top sectoral loser, down 1 percent weighed down this time by private sector lenders.

Here Are The Stocks Moving The Market This Morning:

ICICI Bank: Falls On Reports Of CBI Probe

Shares of the country’s largest private lender fell as much as 6.7 percent to Rs 259, its lowest level in seven months.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is said to have started a preliminary inquiry into the alleged nexus between Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar, husband of ICICI Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar.

ICICI Bank Ltd. for its part issued a statement last week denying charges of nepotism and quid pro quo by Chanda Kochhar in the Rs 3,250-crore loan granted to the Videocon group. The bank's board has reposed full faith in its CEO, it said in the statement.

Also Read: Why Whistleblower Arvind Gupta Questioned Videocon-ICICI Bank Dealings In 2016

Trading volume was 34 percent of the 20-day average. The stock has fallen over 11 percent so far this year as compared to the 3.2 percent drop in the Sensex during the same period.

Can Fin Homes: Falls As Canara Bank Calls Off Stake Sale

Shares of the Bengaluru-based housing finance firm fell as much as 8 percent to Rs 445.6.

The state-owned lender called off its plan to divest its entire stake in its housing finance subsidiary Can Fin Homes Ltd. after getting a lower-than-expected price quotation, according to a wire report.

The stock has now fallen for three consecutive trading sessions. Trading volume was nearly 7 times the 20-day average.

Kwality: Falls On Fraudulent Share Sale Allegations

Shares of the dairy products maker fell as much as 9.1 percent to Rs 53.7, its lowest level in over two-and-a-half years.

In the last trading session on Wednesday, Kwality’s stock had fallen sharply and without apparent reason, hitting its lower circuit. In an exchange filing, the company said, a Gurugram-based registered broker, F6 Finserve Private Ltd., fraudulently offloaded some shares of Kwality Ltd. in the market. The broker is now absconding, it said.

The stock has given negative returns of 51.5 percent so far this year. The relative strength index of the stock is 20, indicating that the stock may have been oversold.

IDBI Bank: Falls On RBI Report

Shares of the public sector bank fell as much as 2.7 percent to Rs 70.2.

The RBI wrote to the finance ministry expressing concern about the poor financial health of IDBI Bank Ltd. and called on the government to address the issue. The letter points out to several shortcomings, including the recognition of bad loans.

Trading volume was 48 percent of the 20-day average. The stock has returned 20 percent so far this year and a loss of 5.1 percent in the past year.

Electrosteel Steels: Vedanta To Acquire

Shares of the Kolkata-based steel producer rose as much as 6.7 percent to Rs 2.5.

Vedanta Ltd. has agreed to buy Electrosteel Steels Ltd., the company informed the exchanges. The deal closure however is subject to regulatory approval. Earlier, Tata Steel Ltd., Renaissance Steel India and Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors had submitted resolution plans for the company, according to an earlier stock exchange filing.

The stock has been rising for three consecutive sessions. The stock has returned a negative 55 percent so far this year and a loss of 41 percent in the past 52 weeks.

Axis Bank: RBI Questions Sharma Re-Appointment

Shares of the private sector lender fell as much as 2.5 percent to Rs 497.95 after a report in the Economic Times said the Reserve Bank of India had asked the bank to reconsider its re-appointment of Shikha Sharma as chief executive officer for a fourth term.

The regulator addressed the letter to the bank’s Chairman Sanjiv Misra, urging a review of the decision to appoint Sharma, who was believed to be considering her options after Axis Bank hired Egon Zehnder to find a replacement. The RBI is believed to have alluded to the deterioration of the bank’s asset quality and profitability in its letter.

The Economic Times reported that the board of Axis Bank is now considering a one-year term for Sharma while it searches for a replacement.

Axis Bank has been under pressure since the start of 2018, falling 11.2 percent. The stock is now trading significantly below its 100-, and 200-day moving averages.

Stocks Reacting To Auto Sales Numbers

Bajaj Auto:

  • Pune-based Bajaj Auto posted a 23 percent increase in total sales to 3.34 lakh units in March. The company had sold 2.72 lakh units in February.
  • Shares rose as much as 1.5 percent to Rs 2,786.

Eicher Motors:

  • Royal Enfield, the two-wheeler division of Eicher Motors Ltd., reported a 27 percent jump in total sales to 76,087 units in March. The two-wheeler manufacturer had sold 60,113 units in March 2017.
  • Shares rose as much as 1.5 percent to Rs 28,803.

Tata Motors:

  • Tata Motors Ltd.’s local sales jumped 35 percent in March aided by the commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles segments.
  • Shares rose as much as 3.6 percent to Rs 338.5.

Maruti Suzuki:

  • Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.’s sales rose nearly 15 percent in March led by sales in the mini segment.
  • Shares rose as much as 2.6 percent to Rs 9,088.

Read more on this month’s auto sales here.

New Listings

Karda Constructions:

Karda Constructions Ltd. listed at a discount of 24.4 percent at Rs 136 per share on the National Stock Exchange, compared to its issue price of Rs 180 apiece. The stock fell as much as 28.2 percent to Rs 129.20 thereafter.

The construction company’s Rs 77.4 crore initial public offering was subscribed 2.44 times on the final day of bidding.

Sandhar Technologies:

Sandhar Technologies Ltd. listed at a premium of 4.3 percent at Rs 346.10 per share on the National Stock Exchange, compared to its issue price of Rs 332 apiece. The stock rose as much as 5.4 percent to Rs 350 thereafter.

The company’s Rs 512 crore initial public offering was subscribed 6.12 times on the final day of bidding