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Indian Markets Inch Northwards
Thu, 31 Mar 11:30 am

After opening the day on a positive note, the Indian Markets have added to their early gains. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the power, banking and FMCG sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 104 points (up 0.4%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 35 points (up 0.5%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.3% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.5%. The rupee is trading at 66.32 to the US$.

A majority of the stocks in the steel sector are trading on a positive note with Adhunik Metaliks and Tayo Rolls leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Steel has commenced the production of 'Tata Ferroshots'. The production for this product is commenced at the company's Kalinganagar steel plant.

Tata Ferroshots is granulated pig iron or iron droplets solidified by cooling in water. The product has been commercially launched in India for the first time and is expected to be a game changer in the metallic industry.

The end use of this product is in electric arc furnaces, induction furnaces, cupolas, basic oxygen furnaces and foundries as a replacement of pig iron, scrap or DRI. Its inherent properties lead to better yield, higher productivity and lower energy cost.

Tata Steel is the Asia's first integrated private sector steel company. The company is now the world's second-most geographically-diversified steel producer, with operations in 26 countries and a commercial presence in over 50 countries. The company recently reported that it is considering the sale of its entire UK business in order to stem heavy losses. After a marathon board meeting in Mumbai, the company stated that the financial performance of its UK arm had deteriorated substantially in recent months. As a result, the company is now exploring all options for portfolio restructuring, including the potential divestment of Tata UK, in whole or in parts.

It was well known that Tata Steel's European operations were under the weather for quite some time. But was it so bad that the business could not come out of it? One of our recent editions of The 5 Minute WrapUp titled - 'The Perils of Big Acquisitions Spare No One...Not Even the Tatas' answers this question. You can read it here.

Presently the stock of Tata Steel is trading down by 1.6%.

As per an article in IIFL, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has revised the overseas borrowings or external commercial borrowings (ECB) framework for Indian firms.

As reported, RBI has expanded the source of funding for the infrastructure sector by allowing them to raise shorter-term external commercial borrowings (ECBs).

RBI in its circular said that the companies in infrastructure sector, non-banking financial companies-infrastructure finance companies (NBFC-IFCs), NBFCs-asset finance companies (NBFC-AFCs), holding companies and core investment companies (CICs) will be eligible to raise ECB under Track 1 of the framework. The framework comes with minimum average maturity period of 5 years and is subject to 100% hedging.

The central bank further said that for the purpose of ECB, exploration, mining and refinery sectors will be deemed as in the infrastructure sector. These companies will be able to access ECB as applicable to infrastructure sector.

It further noted that companies in infrastructure sector shall utilize the ECB proceeds raised under Track I for the end uses permitted for this Track. However, NBFCs-IFCs and NBFCs-AFCs will be allowed to raise ECB only for financing infrastructure.

In view of India's comfortable foreign exchange reserves, we believe that the decision to ease the guidelines is a step in the right direction. However, the companies opting for this route must be cautious of the fact that a depreciation in the value of the rupee vis-a-vis the US Dollar could significantly impact the cost of borrowing (in the absence of hedging).

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Mar 23, 2018 (Close)