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Indian Markets Slip into the Red
Wed, 20 Apr 11:30 am

After opening the day on a positive note, the Indian indices registered losses and went on to trade in the red. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks from the energy and FMCG sector witnessing maximum selling pressure.

The BSE Sensex is trading down 37 points (down 0.2%) and the NSE Nifty is trading down 23 points (down 0.3%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading marginally lower and the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.3%. The rupee is trading at 66.33 to the US$.

Food & Tobacco stocks are trading on a mixed note with Wadala Commodities and VST Industries leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Nestle India has reported that its noodle brand Maggi has managed to garner 50% market share in five months of its relaunch. This marks a major upside for the FMCG major that had been hit last year after the ban on Maggi noodles due to alleged presence of excessive lead content.

Further, the company has relaunched vegetable atta noodles and oats variants of Maggi in its efforts to claw back its market share in instant noodles segment. The company's management stated that with this relaunch the company is aiming to provide more choices to suit consumer preferences, driving greater volumes and building back the company's market share.

The company has also partnered e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal for an exclusive preview sale of a special kit for four packs each.

We believe that the above efforts can strengthen the company's portfolio and help the company to further regain its brand image in the coming days.

As we had stated in one of our editions of The 5 Minute WrapUp titled Stop eating 'Maggi'! But don't stop owning it... 'Nestle's Maggi is a very big brand that has ruled the instant food market for decades. Of course, there may be temporary setbacks and the company may have to go into overdrive to protect its image. Competitors like ITC will try to make the best of this controversy and to grab market share from Nestle. But the long term impact of this controversy would be very limited.

Given its immensely strong brand equity, market penetration across the length and breadth of India and financial muscle, it has the essential ingredients to deal with such shocks, take corrective actions and resurrect its brand image.'

Nestle India Ltd is one the biggest players in the FMCG segment. It has its presence in milk & nutrition, beverages, prepared dishes & cooking aids & chocolate & confectionery segments. Presently, its stock is trading down by 0.2%.

Automobile stocks are trading mixed with Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Maharashtra Scooters leading the losses. In another news update it was reported that Bajaj Auto is aiming to sell three lakh three-wheelers in the current fiscal, up by 17% over the last fiscal. The company had sold 2,54,967 three-wheelers during the 2015-16 fiscal.

The company stated that with overwhelming customer response to its new range of diesel passenger vehicles and with its strategic re-entry into the three-wheeler cargo industry, it is now targeting leadership in the diesel passenger segment and a double digit growth in 2016-17.

One shall note that the company saw its diesel passenger vehicles sales grow by 6% YoY during FY16 as against a 2% YoY fall in the three-wheeler diesel passenger vehicle industry.

Bajaj Auto is one of the leading two & three wheeler manufacturers in India. While the December sales registered a decline, we believe the future prospects for the company remain strong. As Radhika Pandit, Managing Editor, ValuePro states in the analysis report of the company, "Although Bajaj Auto has no presence in the scooters segment, we believe there are various growth triggers for the company over the next couple of years." You can read the report here (subscription required) to know more about the business prospects and our view on the stock. Presently the stock of Bajaj Auto is trading up by 0.5%.

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