PSU bank, pharma, auto stocks surge over 3 pc on friendly budget

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Mumbai, Feb 29 (UNI) Scrips of public sector banks, pharmaceutical and automobile companies today surged over three per cent on the Indian bourses after Finance Minister P Chidambaram waived off farmers loans and reduced excise duty on medicines and small cars in the Union Budget 2008-09.

Despite overall sentiments being negative in the Indian equity market as the benchmark Sensex dipped around 250 points, public sector banks stocks climbed over 3 to 4.5 per cent after Mr Chidambaram revealed that the loan amount of Rs 60,000 crore, given to the three crore marginal farmers of the country by the PSU Banks, would be reimbursed by the government.

Country's largest lender State Bank of India shares zoomed 3.48 per cent to close at Rs 2,109.70, followed by Punjab National Bank that gained 3.93 per cent, Dena Bank 4.71 per cent, Union Bank of India went up 3.43 per cent and Canara Bank surged 3.56 per cent.

Exhibiting the same sentiment, Pharma and Auto stocks drove high on provision of excise duty reduction.

Pharmaceuticals shares rose on proposed reduction of excise duty to 8 per cent from 16 per cent in the budget.

Nicholas Parimal India Limited (Strategic Alliance&Communication) Director Swati A Piramal said ''It is definitely a great relief for pharma sector of the country especially to those firms which were closed due to high excise duties.'' She said that it was long awaited as many small units in Kerala and few other states were close due the same problem. ''This initiative will help us to revive those units,'' Ms Piramal asserted.

Pharma major Aurobindo Pharmaceutical surged 6.37 per cent, Navartis rose 4.30 per cent, Finolx gained 4.36 per cent, Galaxo Smith Kline was up by 4.52 per cent and Cadila Health gained 3.02 per cent, following the same sentiments.

Meanwhile, auto stocks rose on proposed excise duty reduction to 12 per cent from 14 per cent in general. Maruti Suzuki rose 3.86 per cent after the announcement of excise duty reduction on small cars to 12 per cent from 16 per cent. The budget has also provision of excise duty cut on hybrid cars to 14 per cent from 24 per cent. Farm equipment maker Mahindra&Mahindra rose 2.18 per cent to Rs 695 after the Finance Minister proposed higher farm credit target. Bajaj Auto rose 2.27 per cent to Rs 2,270 as the excise duty was also cut for two wheelers and three wheelers to 12 per cent from 16 per cent.

UNI PP GR/SSS VKG1920

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