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Indian Equity markets remain in red
Tue, 23 Apr 11:30 am

Indian equity markets have remained firm in the previous two hours of trade. Maximum buying interest have been witnessed in the metal and IT sectors while capital goods and banks have faced the maximum selling pressures.

The BSE-Sensex is down by 53 points and NSE-Nifty is up down by 22 points. BSE Mid Cap index is trading down by 0.24% while BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.39%. The rupee is trading at 54.34 to the US dollar.

All except one mining share, Ashapura Minechem are trading in the green. According to a leading financial news daily, Coal India (CIL), the country's largest coal miner, is on the verge of a massive restructuring exercise involving its work-force. Nearly 100,000 of its 345,000 workers will retire in the next 3-4 years, thereby cutting costs of production to a large extent and making the monopoly's operations significantly more efficient and productive. The retirement of more than a quarter of its workers will help the coal giant increase mechanisation and outsourcing of production and cut the average age of employees from 50 years to less than 45 years. Apart from workmen, the company has nearly 20,000 executives on its rolls. As a result of the drastic decline in the number of workmen, the share of salary and wages in the cost of production is expected to decline from 46% to anything between 35% and 40%.Considering a reasonable rate of inflation, total cost of coal production, as a result, is also expected to decline by at least 10% and per person productivity per shift is expected to improve from the current 4.5 tonne to at least 9 tonne. CIL's share is trading up by 0.74%.

Steel shares are trading on a mixed note with Jindal Saw Ltd. and Tayo Rolls leading the gains while Tata Sponge and Jindal Steel are facing the maximum selling pressures. According to a leading business daily, Tata Steel is looking to raise about 250 m Singapore Dollars in its first foreign currency bond issue this fiscal to repay some of its existing foreign loans. Tata Steel will raise the money through its fully owned subsidiary, ABJA Investment Co and will be the guarantor to the bonds. Standard Chartered Bank, SBI Caps, ANZ, RBS and Nomura Securities are some of the bankers to the issue. Though nothing about the tenure has been finalised, it is expected to be a long-term bond, anywhere between 7 and 10 years. Tata Steels consolidated debt rose to US$11.7 bn in June 2012 from US$10.7 b in March and is rated BB- by Standard & Poors and BB+ by Fitch Ratings. Tata Steel's share is trading up by 0.7%.

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