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Markets Give Up Early Gains
Fri, 15 Jan 11:30 am

After opening the day on a positive note, the Indian Indices booked some losses and went on to trade in the red. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks from the power sector leading the losses and energy stocks leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading down 41 points (down 0.2%) and the NSE Nifty is trading down 21 points (down 0.3%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading down by 0.1% and the BSE Small Cap index is trading down 0.2%. The rupee is trading at 67.41 to the US$.

Stocks in the power space are trading on a negative note with NTPC and PTC India leading the losses. As per an article in Economic Times, the government is considering to allow power companies to index rupee debt with global currencies in order to draw cheaper long-term loans from foreign investors. The consideration comes as domestic players in the industry have demanded to allow indexing of a portion of the debt of the power plants.

Power minister Piyush Goyal is open to consider the same and had stated in Tokyo that indexing a portion of the tariff to a basket of global currency can reduce foreign risks and thereby tariffs. The minister also said that Japanese banks and corporations are willing to invest in Indian energy sectors, with existing investors such as SoftBank, which has committed US$ 20 billion, indicating to increase its investments.

One shall note that, six leading banks of Japan are going to meet the Power Minister to discuss opportunities for investing in Indian energy sector including in ultra-mega power projects, renewable energy projects, rural electrification, and transmission and distribution projects. The meetings are part of an ongoing India-Japan energy dialogue led by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Power sector has taken a hit due to legacy issues like failure to pass on tariff hikes, power theft, infrastructure issues, over capacity etc. And companies in this sector are caught in a vicious circle of high debt and operational losses (Subscription required). All of the above efforts can be a further move to bring a turnaround in these companies.

Telecom stocks are trading on a mixed note with MTNL and Bharti Airtel leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, Idea Cellular has launched high-speed 4G LTE services in three new telecom service areas of Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Haryana. With this development, the company now offers 4G services across 7 telecom service areas.

As stated by the company, Idea has 2.7 million 4G devices, nearly 4% of its subscriber base, in these 7 telecom service areas that are registered on its network. On an all India basis, the company has nearly 49.5 million customers owing 3G devices and over 6 million customers with 4G devices.

Notably, the company is further going to provide 4G across 183 towns by the end of January. The company will also roll out 4G services in three more circles by the end of March. This would be in line with the company's plan to launch 4G services in 10 circles on the 1,800 MHz band during January-June 2016.

The company has planned for a capex of Rs 60-65 billion for FY16. This is significantly higher than the capex of previous year. Also, the company is eyeing to aggressively expand its 3G coverage in 13 circles and complete the 3G roll out in Kolkata this year. This can mean a further investment by the company which can impact margins of the company. As Rahul Shah states in the result analysis report of the company (subscription required),"Idea Cellular continues to play catch up in terms of data services. We believe, investments in infrastructure, spectrum as well as marketing will increase going forward. This will adversely affect margins."

Presently the stock of Idea Cellular is trading down by 0.2%.

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Jan 18, 2018 (Close)