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Markets Finish Strong
Tue, 28 Jun Closing

Indian indices finished well above the dotted line as buying activity intensified in the afternoon session amid strong start to European markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 122 points, the NSE Nifty finished higher by 33 points. The S&P BSE Midcap & the S&P BSE Small Cap also finished up by 0.5% and 0.8% respectively. Gains were largely seen in FMCG and metal stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.58% and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.09%. The Hang Seng lost 0.27%. European markets are trading sharply higher today with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 is up 2.4%, while London's FTSE 100 is up 2.39% and Germany's DAX is up 2.21%.

The rupee was trading at 67.89 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 47.58 at the time of writing.

According to an article in The Financial Times, Exide Industries is planning to spend over Rs 14 billion for the next one year on capital expenditure for technology up-gradation and capacity expansion. A significant amount of this capex will be incurred at its Haldia facility in West Bengal.

For the technology up-gradation, the company has tied up with leading US-based lead-acid batteries manufacturer East Penn Manufacturing Company (EPM), which is providing the knowhow, technical assistance and support for the punch grid technology. This advanced technology (Subscription Required) for batteries would be for the first time in India.

Apart from investing in Haldia facility, Exide is also implementing a large scale Cast-On-Strap line at Tamil Nadu's Hosur, which will be manufacturing large-size batteries in the current financial year, enabling faster turnaround and output.

The battery maker at present has nine factories spread across the country. Total production capacity stands at around 34.2 million units of automobile batteries (including batteries for motorcycle applications) annually, and over 2,824 million ampere-hours of industrial power every year.

The company reported a 7% YoY and 29% YoY growth in revenues and net profits (Subscription Required) respectively for the fourth quarter ended March 2016. Exide Industries finished the day down by 0.6% on the BSE.

Moving on to news from the oil & gas sector. ONGC will reportedly have to bear a heavy loan repayment burden if it buys more than 50% equity stake in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin deep-water block which is currently held by Gujarat government-owned GSPC. The debt burden could mean that size of a potential deal between the two firms would be much lower than the reported US$2-2.5 billion.

GSPC has reportedly raised Rs 120 billion mortgaging KG basin receivables. Of this, Rs 100 billion has been spent. Currently, servicing the loan for KG basin development alone costs close to Rs 10 billion annually which includes Rs 8 billion interest and Rs 1.78 billion as principal amount.

GSPC has spent whopping Rs 146 billion till March 2015, which exceeds the field development plan target of Rs 131 billion, to develop single field of the block - Deen Dayal West (DDW). For the entire block, which has other prolific areas such as the DDW Extension and Six Discoveries, an expense of Rs 195 billion has been incurred till March 2015. The development costs incurred in the block also resulted in increased borrowings and stressed finances for the company.

Also, the block is yet to start commercial production indicating inadequate revenue generation and re-payment of loans as a major dampener to buy the equity in the asset.

ONGC finished the day on an encouraging note (up 0.5%) on the BSE. Since the highs of June 2014, oil prices have crashed 57%. ONGC's stock price was also battered as a result (Subscription Required).

Oil & Gas stocks finished the day with positive bias. Indian Oil Corporation and Gujarat Gas Ltd led the gains.

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