March 1, 2012 / 11:21 AM / 6 years ago

Indian shares fall on profit-taking; ICICI, ONGC drop

 * Sensex drops 0.95 pct; still up 14.5 pct in 2012
 * ICICI Bank, Larsen and Toubro fall more than 2 pct
 * Maruti Suzuki climbs 4.8 pct after Feb sales rise

 (Adds comments, updates to close)	
 By Kaustubh Kulkarni	
 MUMBAI, March 1 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell nearly
1 percent on Thursday, with ICICI Bank and engineering
conglomerate Larsen & Toubro leading the drop, as
investors took profits after a two-month rally.	
 State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp shed 1.7
percent after a government share sale in the country's largest
oil producer received bids for only about two-thirds the shares
on offer, television channels said. 	
 Exchange data was not clear on the final amount of bids, and
bankers and officials at the Department of Disinvestment were
not available. 	
 The stock closed at 288.20 rupees, below the floor price of
290. The government had aimed to raise at least $2.5 billion
through the sale of a 5 percent stake.	
 Tata Communications, which owns undersea cable
assets and provides telecoms and Internet services to companies
across countries, rose 1.1 percent after the company said it was
evaluating a potential bid for Britain's Cable & Wireless
Worldwide Plc. 	
 The main 30-share BSE index closed down 0.95
percent, or 168.71 points, at 17,583.97, with 24 of its
components in the red. 	
 ICICI Bank shed 2.5 percent and bigger rival State Bank of
India dropped 1.3 percent, as investors took profits.	
 The banking sector index has risen nearly
31 percent since the end of 2011, about double the gain in the
BSE index over the same period, on expectation interest rates
would be cut to help slowing growth.	
 "We are advising investors not to over indulge in equities,"
said Samir Gilani, head of equities at Mape Securities. "Growth
is going down and there are no indication when the monetary
easing will actually come in."	
 India's economy grew at the slowest pace in almost three
years in the December quarter as high interest rates and rising
input costs hurt investment and manufacturing. 	
 Larsen & Toubro dropped 2.3 percent, falling for a second
day, after the company missed out on a 160-billion-rupee bulk
tender by utility NTPC.	
 The company's bid, along with its joint venture partner
Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, was the third
lowest for the order. 	
 "...This would be viewed in general as a negative for L&T's
power equipment joint venture with Mitsubishi," brokerage Nomura
said in a note.	
 Leading utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra
 dropped 4 percent after its February sales fell 3.6
percent from January, although they were up 29 percent from the
same month a year earlier. 	
 Maruti Suzuki, the country's biggest car maker,
bucked the trend and rallied 4.8 percent after its February
sales rose 6.5 percent from a year ago. 	
 DLF Ltd, India's largest listed developer, closed
down 5.5 percent at 214.05 rupees after Canadian investment
research firm Veritas recommended selling the stock, saying the
share was worth 100 rupees. 	
 The 50-share NSE index fell 0.84 percent to
5,339.75. In the broader market, there were 1.5 losers for every
gainer on volume of 863.35 million shares.  	
 The MSCI's measure of Asian markets other than Japan
 was down 1 percent, while Japan's Nikkei 
fell 0.2 percent.	
 * Ambuja Cements rose 2.2 percent after its
February shipments grew 12.7 percent. 	
 * Steel Strips Wheels firmed 2 percent after its
February sales increased 34 percent. 	
 * Glenmark Pharmaceuticals rose 0.4 percent after
the drugmaker received U.S. drug regulator's approval to sell an
oral contraceptive tablet and a skin treatment gel in the United
 * Suzlon Energy on 87.8 million shares	
 * Lanco Infratech on 52.5 million shares	
 * IFCI on 50.3 million shares	
 * Indian rupee report                                    
 * Indian bond report                                      
 * Euro weak on profit-taking, dollar recovers            
 * Oil above $123 on economy hopes, Iran concern           
 * Euro, shares weaker after Fed hints               
 * U.S. stock futures point to steady Wall St open          
 * Foreign institutional investor flows         
 * For closing rates of Indian ADRs                      
 (Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)
 Pan-Asia........ Japan.......   S.Korea... 	
 S.E. Asia.......        Hong Kong...  Taiwan.... 	
 Australia/NZ....        India.......  China..... 	
 Wall Street ....        Gold ....... Currency.. 	
 Eurostocks.....         Oil ........ JP bonds... 	
 ADR Report .....      LME metals. US bonds.. 	
 Stocks News US.. Stocks News Europe    	
 Indian Data Watch   Asia earnings diary 	
 U.S. earnings diary    European diary       	
 Indian diary          Wall Street Week Ahead  	
 Eurostocks Week Ahead    	
 For top Asian company news, double click on:          	
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