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Sensex Ends Marginally Higher; Healthcare and Oil & Gas Stocks Witness Buying
Thu, 17 Jan Closing | Monish Vora, TM Team

Indian share markets continued to trade near the dotted line during closing hours and ended the day marginally higher. Gains were largely seen in the healthcare sector and oil & gas sector.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 53 points (up 0.2%) and the NSE Nifty closed higher by 15 points (up 0.1%). Both, the BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index ended the day down by 0.3%.

Asian stock markets finished on a negative note as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng stood down by 0.5% and the Nikkei was trading down by 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite stood lower by 0.4%.

European markets were also trading on a negative note. The FTSE 100 was down by 0.5%. The DAX was down by 0.4% while the CAC 40 was down by 0.3%.

The rupee was trading at 71.10 to the US$ at the time of writing.

In the news from the oil & gas sector, Indian Oil Corporation share price (IOC) was in focus today as the company stated that it may raise about US$ 3 billion more through US dollar bonds issue after the Reserve Bank of India permitted fuel retailers to raise an overseas loan to check fall in rupee value.

In the news from the macroeconomic space, as per a leading financial daily, India has committed to purchase US$ 5 billion worth of oil and gas and US$ 18 billion worth of defence equipment that are under implementation from the US per annum.

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The above commitment highlights the growing bilateral trade cooperation between India and the US.

India's Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla told the American business community that the US export to India has gone up by at least 30%.

In the last two years, the bilateral trade has increased from US$ 119 billion to US$ 140 billion.

In the field of oil and gas alone, India has committed to purchase US$ 5 billion from the US every year. Commercial Indian airlines have placed orders of 300 airplanes worth US$ 40 billion. Further, in the defense sector, India is looking at US$ 18 billion worth of orders that are under implementation.

Speaking of the defence sector, note that the opportunity for India's private corporate sector is huge in the defence space.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India is the world's biggest arms importer and has remained so for many years now. While Russia was the world's largest exporter of arms to India, it is now being challenged by Israel and the US.

Reckoning of Biggest Military Powers in the Making

Of course, not many private companies have participated aggressively in bidding for defence contracts so far. But, this will change as the government spends more on defense.

The Indian government wants increased participation from the country's private sector to reduce the need for imports.

This will open up massive opportunities for many domestic companies in the years to come.

We're keeping an eye on all the developments happening in this space and will keep you updated.

In the news from the airlines sector, Jet Airways share price was in focus today as report suggested Etihad Airways is seeking a hard bargain, given the imminent risk of the grounding of aircraft by lessors, thereby triggering a rapid cessation of operations.

As per the news, a report suggested that Etihad Airways CEO Tony Douglas has communicated to the lead lender that it will not pay more than Rs 150 a share for infusing funds and sought a complete exit by Naresh Goyal and his family from any management or even advisory role in the Indian carrier.

Note that Etihad has offered to invest in the domestic airline at discounted rate of Rs 150 per share. Along with this, Etihad has also agreed to infuse US$ 35 million from Jet Privilege, where it owns majority shares but after the due diligence is completed.

Etihad Chief Executive Tony Douglas has written to State Bank of India on the restructuring plan for the airline.

As per an article in The Economic Times, Etihad has sought exemptions from the markets regulator from making an open offer and preferential pricing guidelines.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

  • In addition, Etihad is also demanding that Mr. Goyal's future role as "Chairman Emeritus" should be "well defined," stressing that no board seat should be given for Mr. Goyal himself and no rights for him or his family and affiliates to act or represent the airline.

Shares of the company rallied around 18% in Monday's trading session on reports that the company is close to finalizing a resolution plan.

Last Friday, reports stated that the Tata-Jet Airways deal is back on the table.

The cash-strapped airline which had its credit rating cut to default this month is weighing a resumption of stake sale talks with Tata Group as the carrier is poised to run out of cash.

The creditors are open to lending US$ 500 million to Jet Airways if Goyal and Etihad inject a similar amount into the company. A decision will be made once a forensic examination being conducted into the airline's book is completed.

Jet's woes have worsened with higher oil prices and intense competition in 2018.

This would be the second time that the West Asian airline has come to the debt-laden carrier's rescue.

To know more about the company, you can access to Jet Airways' latest result analysis and Jet Airways' 2017-18 Annual Report Analysis on our website.

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

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