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Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a negative note. Stock markets in Japan and Indonesia are trading lower by 3.6% and 0.9% respectively. Benchmark indices in Europe and US ended their previous session on Friday on a disappointing note. The rupee is trading at 66.51 per US$.
Indian stock markets have opened the day on a negative note. The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 216 points (down 0.9%) and NSE Nifty is trading lower by 62 points (down 0.8%). Both, BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap are trading lower by 0.1% and 0.3% respectively. Major sectoral indices have opened the day in red with stocks from automobile and capital goods sectors witnessing maximum selling pressure.
As reported in Business Standard, Indian corporates have been generous in giving dividends. The business daily took a sample comprising of 144 companies, which have declared their results for the fourth quarter of fiscal year ended 2016.
Reportedly, the dividends paid by these companies for FY16 have registered a growth of 19.2% YoY. Whereas, their combined net profits have just reported a growth of 5.7% YoY in FY16.
Further, the dividend payout ratio has improved as compared to preceding years. The dividend payout ratio is the percentage of earnings paid to shareholders in dividends. The sample states that 43% of the net profits were paid as dividend in FY16, as compared to 38% in FY15 and 19.3% in FY11.
The slow uptick in the domestic economy coupled with subdued global growth has forced corporates to go slow on their expansion plans. Further, over leveraged balance sheet of the corporates too have led companies to go slow on their expansion plans. Thus, most of the companies are retaining less money and paying it back to the shareholders in the form of dividends or buy-backs.
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As reported in Mint, the companies who have reported a fourth quarter earnings, project a 6-8% growth in cement demand, compared to about 3% in the previous year. The producers are forecasting an improved scenario on the back of an improved demand from infrastructure and housing projects backed by the government.
Early signs of a pick-up in the demand have already been visible in the March quarter earnings. However, this pick up could be seasonal as the last quarter is typically considered to be the best quarter due to increased construction activity seen before the onset of monsoon.
A pickup in the infrastructure and housing activities will be the key things to watch out for going forward to assess an improvement in the cement demand.
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