The run-up to Railway budget failed to invoke any strong positive response from investors in the current month, with stocks tumbling 2-21 percent thereby underperforming benchmark Sensex which declined over 7 percent during the period.
Amid bearish broad market sentiment prevailing since the beginning of the new year, railway stocks also bore the brunt as traders saw little hope with regards to any major announcement coming-in on the day of budget.
Among the major laggrds, Gateway Distriparks has been the biggest loser in the month so far, plunging 29 percent to Rs 214. Similarly, shares of Allcargo Logistics dropped 21 percent to Rs 148, Stone India declined 21 percent to Rs 68 and Kernex Microsystems fell 15 percent to Rs 38.
Further, the performance of railway-related stocks failed to generate any positive response from investors since the last year's railway budget. Once again Gateway Distriparks was the biggest laggard, crashing nearly 49 percent in past one year. Others such as Hind Rectifiers tumbled 24 percent, Siemens faltered 22 percent and Kernex Microsystems eased 19 percent.
Despite the tepid response to the stocks in last few weeks, all eyes will be on the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who is considered to be one of the best-performing ministers in the Narendra Modi government.
But markets want to see whether he will play to the gallery with a populist budget or take the bitter pill and opt for some tough steps for greater good in the long term.