As regards global markets, most other Asian indices closed lower today while European indices have opened in the positive. The rupee was placed at Rs 54.18 to the dollar at the time of writing.
The government today released the revised guidelines on corporate social responsibility (CSR) for PSUs that would come into effect from April 2013. As per the guidelines, the CSR spend will be based on the profitability of the company and shall be determined by the profit after tax (PAT) of the company in the previous year. If the net profit of the PSU in the previous financial year is less than Rs 1 bn, the range of allocation for CSR would be 3-5% and if the profit is between Rs 1 bn and Rs 5 bn, it will be 2-3%.Those with Rs 5 bn and above in profits would allocate 1-2%. At the same time, loss making companies are not mandated to earmark specific funding for CSR activities. PSUs in select sectors that operate on thin profit margins see this as an additional burden on profitability. PSU stocks including Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Coal India, National Thermal Power Coorporation (NTPC), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Container Corporation of India Ltd. (Concor) closed lower today.
The Great Eastern Shipping Company (GE Shipping) has signed a contract to sell 'Jag Arnav', a Panamax dry bulk carrier. The company's current fleet stands at 33 vessels, comprising 23 tankers (9 crude carriers, 13 product tankers, 1 LPG carrier) and 10 dry bulk carriers with an average age of 10.0 years aggregating 2.60 mn dwt. The company's revenue days were up by 5% during the December quarter. However, there was a significant fall in time charter yields in both the crude carriers and the dry bulk segment and this affected its topline growth (0.4% YoY).