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Sensex Sheds 300 Points; Cigarette Stocks Plunge
Tue, 18 Jul 01:30 pm

Indian share markets continued to witness selling pressure during the noon session. Losses are largely seen in FMCG stocks, oil & gas stocks and power stocks. While, metal stocks and software stocks traded in green.

The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 297 points and the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 70 points. Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index is down by 0.2% & the BSE Small Cap index is down by 0.1%. The rupee is trading at 64.37 to the US$.

Cigarette stocks suffered the most after the GST Council on Monday hiked cess on cigarettes in order to ensure that the effective tax rate does not reduce the prices of cigarettes before the implementation of GST.

ITC share price continued to trade down by 13%, Godfrey Phillips share price and VST industries share price plunged 5.6% and 6.2% on the BSE.

Acc share price is trading up by 1.8% after the company reported a jump in standalone net profit for the quarter ended June, beating street estimates.

Acc reported a 32.6% YoY jump in consolidated net profit at Rs 3.26 billion for the June quarter. The company had reported Rs 2.46 billion profit for the corresponding quarter last year. Net sales for the quarter rose 17.8% YoY to Rs 33.29 billion from Rs 28.27 billion.

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Acc said cement sales volume rose 10.1% to 6.74 million tonnes during the quarter from a year-ago. Readymade concrete sales growth lagged at 5.6%. As per an article in The Livemint, two of its newly launched brands Suraksha and HPC launched during the March quarter have been well accepted and the company's strong performance during the quarter was a function of improved productivity and operating efficiencies.

Meanwhile, Ultratech cement share price too is trading on an encouraging note ahead of its quarterly results to be announced later during the day.

Cement Companies Increasing Leverage

Cement companies have started the year on a good note. Big-wigs like Ultratech, ACC, and Ambuja have seen a 20-25% increase in their stock prices in 2017. A major reason for the rise is the wave of consolidation sweeping across the sector. Two of the top-five biggest mergers and acquisitions (M&A) took place in the cement sector in 2016. While Dalmia Bharat acquired Odisha Cement for US$2.54 billion, Ultratech Cement had to pay US$2.38 billion to acquire Jaypee Cement.

India, with 550 companies, is the second-largest producer of cement in the world. However, 70% of the cement is produced by the top twenty companies. The other companies used to dump cement at low prices creating havoc in the market.

Moving on to news from mining stocks. As per an article in The Economic Times, the government has decided to defer stake sale in Coal India this year after the share price fell sharply, close to a 52-week low, making it impossible for the government to fetch the sum it hoped for.

The government planned to sell up to a 10% stake in the company by August to raise Rs 200 billion. Reportedly, a disinvestment of Coal India would now be considered if the share price improves.

The stock has declined 23% in the past year and recently touched a 52-week low. At the current market capitalisation, the sale of 10% equity would fetch about Rs 153.45 billion. Coal India share prices fell after profit was lower than expectations and production declined as demand growth was less than anticipated.

Coal India share price is presently trading up by

In another development, as per Business Standard, the Government has accorded 'in-principle' approval for strategic disinvestment of three units of Steel Authority of India (SAIL) viz, Visveswaraya Iron and Steel Plant, Bhadravati, Salem Steel Plant, Tamil Nadu and Alloy Steel Plant, Durgapur. These three units of SAIL have been consistently making losses.

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