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Markets Remain Range Bound
Mon, 11 Apr 11:30 am

After opening the trading week on a flat note, Indian markets continue to trade near the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading mixed with consumer durables and realty stocks leading the gains. Healthcare and FMCG stocks witnessed maximum selling activity.

The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 35 points and the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 6 points. The BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index are trading higher by 0.4% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 66.43 to the US$.

Shares of Bharti Airtel are trading up by 3.5% on the BSE after it was reported that the company and its subsidiary, Bharti Hexacom have entered into a definitive agreement with Aircel and its subsidiaries Dishnet Wireless and Aircel Cellular to acquire rights to use 20 MHz of 2,300 MHz band 4G spectrum in eight circles for an aggregate consideration of Rs 35 billion.

The eight circles are Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal, Assam, North East, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. The spectrum is valid till September 20, 2030. With this acquisition, the company will become the first pan India 4G operator.

Last month, Airtel bought Videocon Telecom's 4G airwaves in the 1,800 MHz band in six circles for Rs 44.28 billion, also through a spectrum trading deal. Bharti's aggressive 4G push comes when industry experts expect incumbents with wider data spectrum holdings to be in a stronger position (Subscription Required) to increase their customer base. This is the third acquisition in the telecom sector after the government allowed trading of radio waves in October 2015. Reliance Jio and Reliance Communications had also signed a spectrum sharing and trading pact across 17 wireless areas in the 800 MHz band in January 2016.

Metal stocks are trading on an encouraging note with Vedanta Ltd and Hindalco leading the pack of gainers. According to a leading financial daily, Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has confirmed that it opened a criminal investigation into the activities at one of Tata Steel's units in December 2015, as the process to sell the company's UK assets is set to begin from today. The SFO's investigation relates to charges of falsifying certificates on steel composition at Tata Steel's Yorkshire site.

The allegation is that some company employees may have falsified certificates detailing the composition of its steel before sale. Tata Steel's Specialty Steels produces around 225,000 tonnes of steel, comprising around 3% of Tata Steel Europe's total output, and 275 million pounds of turnover.

On 29 March, Tata Steel decided to sell its UK operations, called Tata Steel Europe Ltd. The company said that it will consider various restructuring options, including a partial or full sale of its UK assets, putting in jeopardy nearly 15,000 jobs.

In 3QFY16, Tata Steel registered a loss (Subscription Required) on a consolidated level. The current business conditions for the global steel industry are extremely challenging with elevated imports across regions and depressed market sentiments. This has affected Tata Steel Group's profitability.

Meanwhile, the directorate general of foreign trade recently imposed a minimum import price (MIP)on 173 steel products. The prices range from US$ 352 per tonne to US$ 752 per tonne. The MIP has been imposed in order to counter the dumping of cheap Chinese steel and should help Indian steel companies. Tata Steel is presently trading up by 0.4%.

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Mar 16, 2018 (Close)