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Sensex Begins Week on a Flat Note; Indiabulls Real Estate Soars 40%
Mon, 17 Apr Closing

Indian share markets began the trading week marginally lower dragged by metal stocks, power stocks and PSU stocks. The sentiments also remained frail on account of weak Asian markets.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 48 points, while the NSE Nifty finished down 12 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap and the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 0.2% and 0.5% respectively.

Sun pharma share price fell 2.5% after the US FDA issued 11 observations as part of audit to its Dadra unit, the biggest unit after Halol for the company for US supplies. With these observations, the problem for the company may aggravate. Its Halol plant has already been under import alert, which contributed 40% to US sales in FY16.

Pharma stocks finished on a mixed note with Indoco Remedies share price and Alembic Pharma share price leading the losses. Meanwhile, Natco Pharma share price and Aarti Drugs share price witnessed majority of the buying activity.

Asian equities ended mixed in today's trade, with the US$ sinking against the yen, following tensions in the Korean Peninsula. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.11%, while the Shanghai Composite & the Hang Seng fell 0.74% and 0.21% respectively.

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The rupee was trading at Rs 64.42 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 52.76 at the time of writing.

The Finance Ministry has approved the employees' provident fund (EPF) interest rate at 8.65% for the 2016-17 fiscal, which will benefit over 40 million subscribers of Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO). According to EPFO estimates, the fund will see a surplus after providing 8.65% interest rate for the last fiscal.

As per the practice, the Central Board of Trustees' (CBT) decision is concurred by the Finance Ministry after evaluating whether the EPFO would be able to provide the rate approved by trustees through its own income or not. Once the Finance Ministry ratifies the rate of interest approved by the CBT, it is credited into the account of EPFO members for that financial year.

However, the Finance Ministry in its recommendation to the Labor Ministry has put a rider that the interest rate should not result in a deficit for the retirement fund. In December last year, a reluctant Finance Ministry had been nudging the Labor Ministry to lower the EPF rate to below 8.65% as approved by the EPFO trustees, as it wanted the interest to be aligned with the rates of small savings.

Furthermore, Labor Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has been maintaining that the EPFO subscribers would be provided 8.65% rate of interest for 2016-17. Earlier, he had said that the CBT had decided to give 8.65% and added that they would have surplus of Rs 1.58 billion on providing 8.65%.

In news from real estate sector, Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd share price surged 40% to Rs 148 and hit its 52 week high after the company said its board approved restructuring real estate business by demerging commercial and residential into separate companies.

Reportedly, the commercial business of Indiabulls has a net worth of Rs 23.11 billion while its debt stands at Rs 39.5 billion. It expects its revenue to reach Rs 13.57 billion by 2020-21 from Rs 6.92 billion in the current financial year.

The move comes at a time when a host of developers are in the process of bringing strategic investors for their commercial and rent-yielding assets. The move by Indiabulls could also be a precursor to bringing an investor on board for the commercial segment.

Currently, countries like China and Vietnam are ahead of India when it comes to spending on infrastructure. While these two countries are spending 6.8% and 5.7% respectively, India at 5.4% isn't far behind.

China & Vietnam Beating India in Infrastructure Race

But is this going to be enough? As per the Government's own admission, India would need a massive spend of US$ 1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. Considering India's current GDP, this amounts to more than 7.5% of the same.

Moving on to news from stocks in mining sector. Coal India share price fell 1.8% in today's trade after the national coal quality watchdog has downgraded 177 of Coal India Ltd's 413 mines, potentially impairing the company's profitability, starting from the current year.

According to an article in The Livemint, a total of 2,636 samples from the miner's seven subsidiaries were examined and that led to the downgrading of 177 mines. The downgrades have mostly been by one, and in some cases, by two notches while total upgrades have been only in 2-3 cases

Thermal power companies including NTPC, the biggest of the lot, would be paying less for their coal requirement as downgrade of quality means prices would be revised downward.

Because of the downgrade, Coal India's realization from the 177 coal mines will decline whereas the cost of mining will remain unchanged or inch up due to inflation.

And here's a note from Profit Hunter:

Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd (IBREAL) had been out of favour after topping out at Rs 850 in January 2008. It traded in a downtrend for four years to hit a low of Rs 40 in December 2011. The stock then traded in a broad range of Rs 40 to Rs 105 for more than five years.

A few days back, the company announced a share buyback, and today it announced a restructuring of its business. This led the share price to explode more than 87% in just eleven trading sessions. Much of it (42%) came today after the restructuring news.

This massive rally broke of the stock's five-year sideways range. Extremely heavy volumes are confirming the breakout.

So will the stock trade in an uptrend and challenge its 2008 high, or is this just a temporary breakout? We'll have wait and see.

IBREAL Hits a Seven Year High
IBREAL Hits a Seven Year High 

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