India's six biggest companies by market capitalization lost a combined 413 billion rupees ($6.64 billion) last week, dragged down by a broader sell-off in Asian markets and a lower-than-expected outlook for the country's growth in 2014, while technology majors, TCS (BOM:532540) and Infosys (BOM:500209), bore the brunt of the loss, local media reported Sunday.
Mumbai-based TCS, which is India's largest information technology company, saw its market value fall by about $2.92 billion to $67.5 billion, making it the biggest loser among the top 10 firms listed on the BSE Sensex, India's benchmark stock index. Infosys, India's second-largest software services exporter, lost $1.2 billion last week to see its value reduce to $32 billion while conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited or RIL’s (BOM:500325), which is led by Mukesh Ambani, the country's richest man, fell by $859 million to $42.31 billion.
According to a report from the National Council of Applied Economic Research, India's gross domestic product growth is expected to remain in the range of 4.7 to 4.9 percent in the current financial year. Meanwhile, disappointing economic data from the U.S. -- on manufacturing and jobs -- led to a massive sell off in Asian markets and benchmark indexes in most countries came under pressure. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s bleak warning about the debt ceiling situation and his statement that the treasury would not be able to sustain U.S. spending for more than a month, also scared the markets.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd. or ONGC’s (BOM:500312) market value fell $859.78 million to $37.04 billion last week. A report by Mint, a local business newspaper, suggested that the country’s largest hydrocarbon explorer will have to dip into its reserves to take care of its capital expenditure for this year and the next.
India’s third-largest IT services exporter Wipro’s (BOM:507685) value dropped by $555.073 million to $22.24 billion last week. The company has been eagerly eyeing new acquisitions to increase its level of automation, according to a report Monday from The Economic Times. And, the market value of ITC Ltd. (BOM:500875) declined almost $217 million to $41.29 billion, at the end of last week. Kolkata-based ITC is the country’s largest cigarette manufacturer, and has a presence in the consumer goods and hospitality industries.
Despite the steep fall in its market value, TCS continued to remain at the top of the domestic market-cap chart, followed by RIL, ITC, ONGC, Infosys, Coal India Limited (BOM:533278), HDFC Bank (BOM:500180), Wipro, Bharti (BOM:532454) and Hindustan Unilever or HUL (BOM:500696).
The Sensex lost 137.29 points to close the week at 20,376.56 on Friday, down 0.7 percent for the week. On Monday, the Sensex ended the day down 0.21 percent.