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Pharma & IT Stocks Lift Markets
Fri, 29 Jan 11:30 am

After opening the day on a positive note, the Indian Markets have continued their rally and are presently trading well above the dotted line. Barring banking stocks, most sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the pharma, software, and consumer durables sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 179 points (up 0.7%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 61 points (up 0.9%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.5% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.2%. The rupee is trading at 67.90 to the US$.

Stocks in the power space are trading on a positive note with Torrent Power and NHPC leading the gainers. As per an article in Economic Times, the Coal Ministry will seek the nod of CCEA (cabinet committee of economic affairs) for coal supplies to power projects that have a total capacity of 30,000 MW (megawatt). This comes as some of these plants are likely to get commissioned in this fiscal, while some are likely to go on stream in 2016-17.

One shall note that, power projects with a capacity of 30,000 MW were given LOAs (letter of assurances) in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The Coal Ministry will be seeking approval for conversion of these LOAs into fuel supply agreements (FSAs).

Historically, power companies in India have been unable to meet the electricity demand on account of inadequate coal supplies (subscription required). Supply of coal is made through legally enforceable fuel supply agreements (FSAs). Here, the new consumers need to approach the existing Standing Linkage Committee under the Coal Ministry for recommendation for issue of LOAs by coal companies. Further, LOA is issued on furnishing a Commitment Guarantee which is followed by execution of the FSA on fulfillment of the LOA conditions in a stipulated period of time.

Earlier, power producers with 30,000 MW had approached the ministries for early signing of FSAs. This was in order to do away with uncertainty and bring in some clarity to the entire process. However, these projects were not covered as part of the list of 78,000 MW of capacity for FSAs through a directive issued after the CCEA's nod during the UPA rule.

The above nod for coal supplies assumes significance as the government aims to provide round-the-clock power to everyone across the country. Moreover, the initiative will also aid the power companies that are facing a myriad of challenges and setbacks.

Telecom stocks are trading on a negative note with ADC India Communications and Tata Communications leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, Bharti Airtel and Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata) will merge their telecom operations in Bangladesh. This comes as both the companies have signed a definitive agreement to merge their respective telecommunication subsidiaries in Bangladesh; namely, Robi Axiata (Robi) and Airtel Bangladesh (Airtel).

The agreement follows the September 9, 2015 announcement of both parties entering into an exclusive discussion to explore possibility of combining the business operations in Bangladesh. Upon completion of the agreement, Axiata will hold 68.3% controlling stake in the combined entity, while Bharti will be holding 25%. The remaining 6.7% will be held by the existing shareholder, NTT Docomo of Japan. Post-merger, the combined entity operating as Robi will serve approximately 40 million customers.

The proposed transaction is subject to conditions precedent including receiving applicable approvals from relevant authorities and is expected to complete in the first half of 2016.

Bharti Airtel is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. The company ranks amongst the top 3 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. The above merger will substantially expand the geographical coverage of the company and also aid its profitability.

Presently the stock of Bharti Airtel is trading down by 2.4%.

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Mar 19, 2018 (Close)