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Sensex Finishes Marginally Higher; HPCL & ONGC Surge on Merger News
Wed, 12 Jul Closing

Indian share markets finished marginally higher in the afternoon session as investors turned cautious ahead of consumer inflation data. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 58 points, while the NSE Nifty finished up by 30 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 1.1% and 0.6% respectively. Gains were largely seen in PSU stocks, bank stocks, and energy stocks while software stocks finished in red.

Asian stock markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 0.66%, while the Nikkei 225 & the Shanghai Composite fell 0.48% and 0.17% respectively. European markets are higher today with shares in London leading the region. The FTSE 100 is up 0.95% while France's CAC 40 is up 0.77% and Germany's DAX is up 0.69%.

The rupee was trading at Rs 64.49 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 45.78 at the time of writing.

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has expressed his hopes that the 'game-changing' goods and services tax (GST) regime will help lower inflation by 1-2 percent by the end of financial year 2018, and it will also create buoyancy in the economy through better compliance and ease of doing business.

Revenue Secretary further stated that the primary objective of the government is to keep the inflation low and added that the government has tried to keep items for common man use under the lower tax bracket.

Under the GST, he noted that rates on items have been fixed in such a manner that it does not affect any section of the society adversely. He also predicted that the new tax regime will give a push to country's exports and Make In India initiative in the long term.

GST's Impact on Aam Aadmi's Spending

While GST will impact businesses and industries in a big way, it won't directly affect the salaried class and self-employed people. Since it is an indirect tax, it does not change the way they pay their personal taxes. The only impact they will see would be due to the change in rates of the goods and services they avail.

Talking about tax collection, Adhia said that there will be some losses in tax collection in short term, but in the long-term the revenue collection will go up as tax evasion is not possible under the GST regime. He also said that the government is organising master classes on GST to educate the people about various aspects of the new tax regime.

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Meanwhile, Tata Global Beverages share price finished the trading day up by 2.6% in today's trade after it was reported that the company has decided to sell its stake in various Tata group listed companies to its parent, Tata Sons.

As per Business Standard, Tata Global Beverages owns close to Rs 7.55 billion worth of stake in other group firms. While the stake sale would help TGBL to raise funds to expand its portfolio of products, it would also help Tata Sons to consolidate the group's cross-holdings of shares with itself. Reportedly, the new chairman is taking aggressive steps to make group firms agile and focusing on returns on investments.

With Tata Sons buying back shares in other listed companies, the shareholders of these listed companies would have less reason to complain about returns from these investments. The listed companies also own 14% stake in unlisted Tata Sons, which is estimated to be worth Rs 700 billion.

Tata Sons is also investing Rs 120 billion more in Tata Teleservices and buying back its former partner, NTT DoCoMo's stake in the arm for US$ 1.2 billion.

Moving on to news from energy sector. HPCL share price finished the trading day up by 5.1% in today's trade following reports that the ONGC merger with HPCL will be completed by the end of this fiscal year. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan confirmed that the merger would be completed by 2017-18. The merger entity is likely to be US$ 40 billion dollar in total size.

Following up on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's Budget announcement of creating an integrated oil company, ONGC had evaluated options of acquiring either HPCL or BPCL - the two-downstream oil refining and fuel marketing companies. However, ONGC found the nation's second-biggest fuel retailer BPCL too expensive.

ONGC share price too finished the day up 1.6%.

In news from pharma sector, Biocon share price surged 13.7% ahead of the company's meet with USFDA to discuss breast cancer filing. If approved by the regulator, it will be the first Herceptin biosimilar in the US market, a development largely seen as positive for the company.

Reportedly, Herceptin brand generated global sales of US$ 6.7 billion in last calendar year and is slated to lose US patent exclusivity in 2019.

And here's a note from Profit Hunter:

Biocon Ltd is the most active stock in the market today - up 14%. Let's have a look at its chart.

The stock traded in a range of Rs 135-180 from January 2014 to April 2016. After it broke out of this range, it rallied strongly to gain 120% to a life high of Rs 396 in a year's time. It corrected 25% from this high to Rs 295 but now seems to have resumed its up move.

Today, the stock rallied 14% with heavy volumes but is still 7% below its life high.

Given the strong momentum and healthy volumes, will Biocon hit a new life high or will the bears take this rally as an opportunity to sell?

Biocon Up 14% for the Day
Aurobindo Pharma Rallied 13% for the Day 

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Jan 16, 2018 (Close)