Stocks in India broke a five-day losing streak Wednesday after the finance ministry released a statement that quashed rumors that the government was considering a new tax proposal to make up for losses among state-run oil refiners. The rally was fueled by short-covering ahead of the expiration Thursday of May equity derivatives contracts. The rally was led by the banking, telecom and metal sectors."Banking stocks were up during the day because these have been the worst hit over the past few days. There was across-the-board selling in banks after the State Bank had recently hiked deposit rates," said Hitesh Agrawa, head of research at Angel Broking. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex Index rose 249.78 points, or 1.5%, to 16,217.78. Here's a look at how some India-based American depositary shares traded in the U.S. Wednesday. Tata Motors ( TTM), India's top automaker, reported its fourth-quarter net profit fell 7% due to surging prices for oil, steel, aluminum and components as well as a challenging interest rate environment. The company said net profit declined to 21.67 billion rupees ($509 million), vs. 21.69 billion rupees a year earlier and total income jumped 10.4% to 359.18 billion rupees. The company said it hit a record for total units sold for the full year at 585,649, vs. 580,280 units last year. The company's board also approved a plan to raise $1.7 billion through three simultaneous rights issues of various securities to help the company finance its deal to buy luxury auto brands Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor ( F). American depositary shares of Tata, which trade on the NYSE, closed down 2% at $14.53 on 2 times the stock's average daily trading volume.
Infosys Technologies ( INFY), a Bangalore-based information technology company, announced it has inked a global agreement with Spanish banking giant Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA ( BBV) to implement Infosys' Finacle Universal Banking Solution. Banco Bilbao said it will start using the Finacle core banking, CRM, treasury and wealth management solutions at its location in Paraguay. Shares of Infosys jumped 2.5% to $44.39. Indian global business process outsourcing (BPO) services provider WNS ( WNS) announced it has formed a strategic partnership with Toronto-based Exchange Solutions to develop turnkey solutions to improve buyer-seller collaborations and to increase customer acquisition and profitability. Shares of WNS move up by 4% to $17.96. Leading the gainers list among Indian ADRs Wednesday were Satyam Computer ( SAY), which popped 2.4% to $26.48; Tata Communications ( TCL), which gained 1.8% to $24.14; and Wipro ( WIT), which added 1.7% to $13.51. Be sure to check out the Far East Portfolio at Stockpickr.com every night to find out which stocks in India and China are making big moves and announcing major news.
Stocks in Hong Kong gave up early gains to finish marginally down Wednesday after heavyweight blue-chip China Mobile ( CHL) slid lower on worries of increased competition caused by the restructuring of the telecom sector, and Cnooc ( CEO) dropped on profit-taking led by the cooling in crude oil prices. "There's still no buying interesting," said Linus Yip, a strategist at First Shanghai Securities. "There's no good news expected to help the market rebound." Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 32.53 points, or 0.1%, to 24,249.51. Here's a look at how some China-based American depositary shares traded in the U.S. Wednesday. Shares of Chinese interactive media company and online game operator Shanda Interactive Entertainment ( SNDA) dropped 8.3% after the company announced its first-quarter profits fell 36% due to higher service costs and operating expenses, which ballooned by 88%. The company said first-quarter net income was 288.8 million yuan ($41.2 million) vs. 448.8 million yuan from a year earlier. Net revenue jumped 46.5% to 779.8 million yuan ($111.1 million), vs. 532.2 million yuan a year ago. Following Shanda's earnings release, Piper Jaffray reaffirmed its buy rating and $44 price target on the stock and raised its EPS estimates. Jaffray raised its 2008 EPS from $2.15 to $2.33 and increased its 2009 EPS from $2.45 to $2.62. American depositary shares of Shanda, which trade on the Nasdaq, fell $2.94 to $32.36. China Architectural Engineering ( RCH) announced its board of directors has approved the decision to move the listing of its stock from the American Stock Exchange to the Nasdaq beginning on June 9. The company will trade under the new ticker symbol "CAEI." Shares of China Architectural Engineering traded up 5.7% to $9.83.
China's largest retail drugstore chain, China Nepstar Chain Drugstore ( NPD), announced its first-quarter net income soared 304% to $8 million and revenue jumped 16.8% to $77 million, despite a decrease in store traffic and out-of-stock issues caused by some of the most severe snowstorms to ever hit China. China Drugstore said first-quarter gross profit increased 47% to $37 million and gross margins hit 47.8%, vs. 37.7% from a year earlier. Looking ahead, the company said second-quarter revenue should come in between $79 million and $84 million and net income should fall in the range of $9 million to $9.3 million. Shares of China Nepstar added 6.4% to $13.25 on heavy volume. Shanghai-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology research and development outsourcing company WuXi PharmaTech ( WX) announced its first-quarter net revenue surged 68.7% to $57.1 million and first-quarter net income soared 131.9% to $13.9 million due to strong global demand for the company's core discovery chemistry and process research services and testing services from the AppTec acquisition. Looking forward, WuXi said 2008 revenue should come in between the range of $280 million to $300 million, vs. Wall Street estimates of $290.89 million. Shares of WuXi dropped 4.6% to $20.76 on above-average trading volume. Some big gainers among China-based stocks Wednesday were Agria ( GRO), which added 7.8% to $4.70; Xinyuan Real Estate Co. ( XIN), which climbed 7.6% to $8.92; Sohu.com ( SOHU), which rose 7.2% to $83.33; and eFuture Information Technology ( EFUT), which closed up 6% at $16.90. Be sure to check out the Far East Portfolio at Stockpickr.com every night to find out which stocks in India and China are making big moves and announcing major news. For more on Asia, check out Daniel Harrison's coverage at TheStreet.com.