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Sensex Opens Marginally Higher; ACC & Ambuja Cements Surge on Merger News
Mon, 8 May 09:30 am

Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher in morning trade following the landslide victory of Emmanuel Macron in the French polls on Sunday, with the Nikkei share average hitting its highest level since December 2015. The Shanghai Composite is trading down by 0.50%, while the Hang Seng is up 0.34%. The Nikkei 225 is up 1.82%.

Meanwhile, Indian share markets have opened the day on a positive note. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 60 points and the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 25 points. Meanwhile, S&P BSE Mid Cap and S&P BSE Small Cap are trading higher by 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. Gains are largely seen in capital goods' stocks, auto stocks and consumer durables stocks.

The rupee is trading at 64.31 against the US$.

ACC cement share price and Ambuja Cement share price surged 5.1% and 6.8% respectively in early trade after it was reported that their respective boards have agreed to start the evaluation of a potential merger between the two companies "with a view to combine the strengths of both businesses".

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As per an article in The Financial Express, Tata Motors expects to ship at least 15% more trucks and buses this financial year on the back of an over 11% growth last year. The company hopes to export at least half of the banned BS-III inventory.

The company also expects domestic sales of commercial vehicles, led by LCVs and buses, to grow 10-15% in fiscal 2018 aided by a favorable GST rate and the likely normal monsoons.

Reportedly, Tata Motors was left with around 15,000 trucks and buses while its dealers are sitting on around 3,000 units following the March 28 Supreme Court ban on sale. Out of this, it expects to ship at least 8,000 units beginning this month to the SAARC markets, where it already sells over 500 units each every month. A portion of the unsold BS-III units would be converted at minimal cost and the remaining would be cannibalized for parts.

Inventory Pile of Unsold BS III Vehicles

This decision leaves automobile companies saddled with a large inventory of BS-III vehicles estimated to be worth Rs 60-70 billion at the end of the month. The above chart shows companies with an unsold inventory of BS III vehicles.

No doubt, automobile companies will feel the pressure as the move to ban BS III vehicles will have an impact on revenues and profitability.

Tata Motors share price is trading up by 0.7% on the BSE.

In news from the economic sector, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu has said that the upcoming Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime among other new transformations will be a game changer for the media and entertainment industry, especially the broadcasting sector and added that campaigns like Make in India, Skill India and Digital India were positive signals for new transformation.

Noting India's broadcasting sector is at the threshold of entering a new era of digital broadcasting, Naidu said that this would open lots of opportunities to use advanced technological innovations to enhance the reach of media along with enhancing the quality of the reach.

He assured the government's commitment towards providing an enabling environment through various policies for the further growth of the media sector, praising the initiatives such as Digital India campaign along with the Make in India campaign and expects that they would strengthen the industries such as video streaming, online music services and gaming in India taking advantage of the increased internet penetration.

Eight state assemblies have passed the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Bill in April-May as the Centre gears up to roll out the new indirect tax regime nationwide from July. The remaining states/UTs (having Legislative Assemblies) are likely to pass the Bill before the end of this month. Some that get left would be approving it next month.

Moving on to news from the oil & gas sector. As per an article in The Economic Times, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas subsidiary of state-owned ONGC, produced a record 12.57 million tonnes of crude oil and equivalent gas from its assets abroad in 2016-17.

Production in 2016-17 was higher on account of acquisition of stake in Russia's Vankor oil field. For 2017-18, the company is targeting 14.37 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas production. As per the reports, OVL has 37 projects in 17 countries. Of this, 14 assets in 10 countries are producing and four in a similar number of countries are under development.

According to the company's managing director, OVL's next incremental production will come from Columbia where it has made a significant discovery and from Iran where it is negotiating a contract for a gas field it had discovered. OVL plans to spend US$ 1 billion in the current fiscal to drill new wells and add production facilities in fields from Russia to Venezuela.

ONGC share price began the day on an optimistic note (up 0.7%)

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