Stocks in Indian rose sharply on Wednesday, trading back above the psychologically important 15,000 level after market speculators covered big short positions. However, the gains may be short-lived after India's central bank raised interest rates for the first time in 15 months to combat rising inflation caused by soaring food and energy prices.The Reserve Bank of India hiked the repurchase rate, which is the rate commercial banks borrow funds from the central bank, to 8% from 7.75%. The decision was announced after the Indian markets were closed. "Inflation was becoming a major concern for the central bank. We could see a knee-jerk reaction to this move in the stock market tomorrow," said Jayesh Shroff of SBI Asset Management. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex Index rose 296.07 points, or 1.99%, to 15,185.32. Here's a look at how some India-based American depositary shares traded in the U.S. on Wednesday. India's largest private sector bank, ICICI Bank ( IBN), announced it will cut 1,000 jobs at various levels as the company moves to get rid of poor performers and hire 2,500 people for entry-level positions in the next 90 days. The company denied rumors that the cuts were done to help save costs. American depositary shares of ICICI Bank, which trade on the NYSE, lost 4.5% to $32.63. Indian information technology firm Infosys Technologies ( INFY) announced it has been presented with two prestigious awards by The Banker Technology Awards for the company's outstanding work in the fields of wholesale and capital markets. The company won the 2008 Offshoring and Outsourcing Project of the Year award and the 2008 Payment & Treasury Service Project of the Year award. Shares of Infosys fell 1.84% to $44.89.
Elsewhere in the Indian technology space, U.S.-based Cognizant Technology Solutions ( CTSH), which has major exposure to India, and Bangalore-based Wipro Technologies ( WIT) have been ranked among the top 100 largest healthcare IT providers in the U.S. by Healthcare Informatics magazine. The magazine ranked Cognizant 11th and Wipro 23rd. Shares of Cognizant dropped 1% to $34.15 and shares of Wipro moved lower by 3.2% to $12.69. The only Indian ADRs to advance on Wednesday were Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ( RDY), which traded up 1% to $16.14, and WNS Holdings ( WNS), which tacked on 9 cents to $18.42. 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
Canadian-based solar technology company Arise Technologies announced its wholly owned subsidiary, Arise Technologies Deutschland, has inked a six-year deal with Chinese alternative energy company ReneSola ( SOL) to supply Arise with 203.5 megawatts of silicon wafers. Shares of ReneSola slipped 3.3% to $19. Elsewhere in the Chinese solar complex, Trina Solar ( TSL), rose 3.8% to $37.95; JA Solar ( JASO), jumped 3.8% to $19.51; Solarfun Power ( SOLF), added 2.7% to $18.63; and Suntech Power ( TSL), climbed 1.5% to $38.33. Agria ( GRO), a Beijing-based agricultural solutions provider, announced it has acquired the production and sales rights to two proprietary corn seeds from privately held NKY Company. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The proprietary corn seeds, JKN2000 and JKN120, were developed for human consumption in end products such as fresh corn, corn oil and corn-based drinks and foods. Shares of Agria jumped 5.5% to $6.05 on twice the average daily volume. China's largest oil producer, PetroChina ( PTR), announced plans to issue up to 60 billion yuan ($8.7 billion) in domestic corporate bonds since rising oil prices have caused large losses for the company's refiners. PetroChina said it will use the money from the bond sale to satisfy the demand for mid-term and long-term capital requirements, to improve its debt structure and for investment in several projects. If the issue receives shareholder and regulatory approval, it would be the largest corporate bond sale for a Chinese-listed company in the country's history. The company also said it has restarted its main fuel pipeline in Western China after no damage was discovered from the Tangjiashan "quake lake," which formed after the major earthquake rocked the Sichuan province last month. Shares of PetroChina dove 1.7% to $129.44.