Sign up for Equitymaster's free daily newsletter, The 5 Minute WrapUp and get access to our latest Multibagger guide (2017 Edition) on picking money-making stocks.This is an entirely free service. No payments are to be made.
Indian equity markets finished on a strong note for the third consecutive day as indices traded firm throughout the trading session. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 260 points, the NSE Nifty finished higher by 84 points. The S&P BSE Mid cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap also finished up by 1.3% and 1% respectively. Gains were largely seen in realty, power and metal stocks.
Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 1.81% and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.06%. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.07%. European markets are trading higher today with shares in London leading the region. The FTSE 100 is up 0.21%, while France's CAC 40 is up 0.13% and Germany's DAX is up 0.07%.
The rupee was trading at 67.62 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 49.39 at the time of writing.
Buying activity was witnessed across majority of the power stocks with NTPC and Cesc Ltd leading the gains. According to a leading financial daily, Tata Power Solar, a subsidiary of Tata Power has commissioned a 100 kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar plant at Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts Ltd. at Bidadi. The 340 modules manufactured by Tata Power Solar used for the project will generate 146,000 units of power and offset nearly 117 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
With 112 megawatt of rooftop and distributed generation projects (Subscription Required) across the country, Tata Solar is ranked first in the solar rooftop market by 'Bridge to India'. Tata Solar has a production plant in on the city's outskirts, with 300 mw production capacity and 180 mw of cells.
In another development, the Maharashtra government plans to sign a MoU with Tata Power for sourcing 1,000 MW from the upcoming Dherand Thermal Project. Maharashtra's Power Minister has reportedly said both power requirement and transmission capacity for the Mumbai region requires further augmentation.
The Minister also announced a series of power subsidies for industries located in Vidarbha, Marathwada, Northern Maharashtra and other areas of the State, which have been classified as D and D-plus industrial areas. The subsidies were announced by a committee after a 13-month study of the power situation in the state. The subsidies are applicable with retrospective effect from April 1, 2016.
Tata Power finished the day on an encouraging note (up 1.2) on the BSE.
Moving on to news from the mining sector. According to a leading financial daily, Vedanta Limited is planning to produce 1.7 million tonne of aluminum this fiscal through a capacity ramp-up at Balco and Odisha's Jharsuguda plants. This would be a substantial increase in aluminum production as compared to 900,000 tonnes last year. The company plans to ramp up the alumina refining capacity at the Lanjigarh alumina refinery. The company plans to commission pot lines five and six at the Odisha facility.
Vedanta has produced robust results in a volatile market with relentless focus on cost discipline and improved productivity, leading to strong earnings and record cash flow according to the company's Chairman. During 2015-16, driven by open and capex optimization, Vedanta generated free cash flow of over Rs 110 billion, around three times higher than last year. He also stated that the liquidity for the group remains strong with over Rs 520 billion of cash and cash equivalents.
Meanwhile, the company's subsidiary Hindustan Zinc announced a historic dividend of over Rs 120 billion, of which around Rs 65 billion flowed to Vedanta Limited and approximately Rs 50 billion to the Indian government. Vedanta finished the day up by 3.7% on the BSE.
Mining stocks finished on a positive note with Hindustan Zinc and MMTC leading the gains. After much deliberation and delay, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 had been recently revised and Rajya Sabha approved the amended Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Bill, 2016. In a recent edition of The 5 Minute WrapUp Premium, we looked at the impact of the Act on various mining and metal companies (Subscription Required).
For information on how to pick stocks that have the potential to deliver big returns, download our special report now!