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Indian Indices Open with Listless Gains
Wed, 20 Jul 09:30 am

Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. Stock market in Hong Kong is trading up by 0.76%, while markets in Japan are trading down by 0.67%. Major indices in Europe also ended their session on a mixed note. US markets ended their previous session on a positive note. The rupee is trading at 67.16 per US$.

Indian stock markets have opened the day on a flat note. The BSE Sensex is trading up by 96 points (up 0.3%) and NSE Nifty is trading up by 25 points (up 0.3%). The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap indices are trading in the green, up by 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively. Gains are led by stocks in the healthcare, power and oil & gas sectors. IT stocks are, however, trading in the red.

As per a leading financial daily, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday slightly trimmed India's growth projections. It stated that in 2016 and 2017 India is projected to grow at a rate of 7.4% for each year. However, the as per the IMF revised estimates, there is a drop of 0.1% in both the years.

This was largely attributed to a more sluggish investment recovery.

As regards the global economy, the global lending agency stated that Brexit has resulted in global economic uncertainty. As per the IMF, the outcome of the UK vote, which surprised global financial markets, implies the materialisation of an important downside risk for the world economy. On the back of this, the IMF in its latest update stated that the global outlook for 2016-17 has worsened, despite the better-than- expected performance in early 2016.

As you may know, the Brexit caused mayhem in global financial markets. We believe that events like Brexit are barely a blip in the long term intrinsic value of stocks. And therefore, when markets over-react to such events, the risk-reward equation turns in our favour, making stocks an attractive long term proposition.

UltraTech Cement reported its results for the first quarter of the financial year 2016-17 (1QFY17). On a consolidated basis, the company's sales rose by 4.1% YoY during the quarter. This was seen on the back of 5.5% YoY growth in domestic cement sales volume. However, there was about 2% YoY fall in average cement realisations during the quarter.

Operating profits during the quarter increased by 24.7% YoY, while consolidated net profit increased by 29.2% YoY during the quarter. Operating margins were seen improving on the back of cost efficiencies and lower power and freight costs.

The company registered sales volumes of 12.57 million tonnes (MT) during the quarter. Further, the cost of production declined by 7% to Rs 3,643 per tonne during the April-June quarter.

As regards the Jaypee Group deal, the company stated that financing for the deal has been tied up and application for approval to the fair trade regulator CCI has also been filed. The firm is going to approach the concerned High Courts by August and the transaction is expected to complete in the next 9 to 10 months.

During March 2016, Ultratech had announced that it will acquire Jaypee Group's cement plants in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The acquisition was said to be for a total capacity of 21.20 million tonnes per annum and at an enterprise value of Rs 161.9 billion.

Going further, the company's management expects cement demand to grow by about 7% during the financial year 2016-17, given the government's focus on infrastructure development, housing sector, smart cities, roads, etc. However, delay in execution of government projects coupled with the slowdown in urban real estate and increased fuel prices can be the areas of concern.

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