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Sensex Opens Marginally Higher; Lupin Gains 1.7% in Early Trade
Mon, 24 Jul 09:30 am

Asian stocks markets were trading mixed as market focused on the weaker dollar and the upcoming two-day policy meeting of Fed later this week. The Nikkei 225 is up 0.86% while the Hang Seng is up 0.41%. The Shanghai Composite is up 0.18%. US and European markets closed lower in their previous sessions.

Meanwhile, Indian share markets have opened the day marginally higher. BSE Sensex is trading higher by 54 points and NSE Nifty is trading higher by 15 points. S&P BSE Mid Cap and S&P BSE Small Cap are trading up by 0.1% and 0.4% respectively.

Indices Close to Peak Valuations Measured Against Sales

For Indian investors, the upside in corporate earnings has been successful bait. And continues to be. The average profit margins of Indian companies continue to languish near historical lows. But the worry is that the surge in valuations since 2016 has been devoid of profit growth.

Now since earnings are currently unusually low, looking at sales, which are relatively more stable, can give a good sense of how expensive markets are. It turns out the Sensex and the broader BSE 500 indices are close to their peak valuations when measured against sales.

All the sectoral indices have opened the day in green with consumer durables stocks and software stocks leading the gains. The rupee is trading at 64.32 against the US$.

Lupin share price opened the trading day up by 1.7% on the BSE after the company said it successfully completed Prior Approval Inspection (PAI) carried out by the USFDA at its Goa manufacturing facility without any observations.

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PAI is triggered when a company seeks approval of an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA), filed for marketing, from USFDA. Around 40-50% of pending ANDAs have been filed from Goa plant.

In news from oil & gas sector, as per an article in The Livemint, ONGC will not be required to make an open offer to minority shareholders of HPCL after buying out government's 51.11% stake as the deal won't trigger takeover norms as did the Indian Oil Corp. (IOC)-IBP merger in 2002.

As per the reports, ONGC will not have to make an open offer to minority shareholders of HPCL as the government's holding is being transferred to another state-run firm and the ownership isn't really changing. HPCL will continue to be a separate listed company.

Meanwhile, as per The Economic Times, HPCL may acquire two subsidiaries of ONGC before its acquisition. The two ONGC units are Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) and ONGC Petro Additions (OPaL).

Such a move would consolidate all of ONGC's downstream operations in HPCL, leaving it free to focus on exploration and production. HPCL will look after refining and marketing, according to this line of reasoning.

The deal, which flows from finance minister Arun Jaitley's Budget announcement of creating an integrated oil company, will help ONGC spread its risks. From being a mere oil and gas producer, it will also have downstream oil refining and fuel retailing business.

ONGC share price opened the trading day down by 0.6% while HPCL share price opened up by 1.4%

Moving on to news from automobile sector. Ashok Leyland reported a 61.7% YoY drop in profit after tax at Rs 1.11 billion during the June quarter. The company had reported a profit of Rs 2.90 billion in the corresponding quarter of the last year.

The company attributed lower profits to richer mix and exchange gain on swap contracts in the corresponding quarter of last year. The mix is expected to significantly improve in the coming quarters as the company has already got an advance to the tune of US$50 million from Ivory Coast.

The company said its revenue for the quarter inched down to Rs 45.14 billion for the June quarter from Rs 45.31 billion in the year-ago quarter.

However, the company achieved its highest market share to the tune of 34.7% during the first quarter ending June 2017.

The company achieved No 12 rank in the truck segment and No 4 rank in the bus segment across the world last year. This has been helped, particularly, by continued growth in its market share in the domestic market, where it has grown to 32% in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle segment.

The company aims to be among the global Top 10 names in medium and heavy trucks and among the Top 5 in heavy buses that are larger than 8 metre.

Ashok Leyland share price opened the trading day down by 1.1%

In another development, Tata Motors is planning to consider a proposal to raise up to Rs 10 billion by issuing non-convertible debentures. In this regard, the company is planning to hold a meeting of its duly constituted committee of the board on July 26.

The company also recently rolled out its first batch of its upcoming compact SUV Nexon from Ranjangaon plant in Maharashtra. Nexon is the fourth product from Tata Motors which is based on its new IMPACT design philosophy.

Tata Motors is driving hard to try and regain its market share in the commercial vehicle segment. Reportedly, the company has set ambitious sales targets for its top dealers.

Tata Motors share price opened the day down by 0.3% on the BSE.

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Feb 20, 2018 11:21 AM