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Strong End to the Day
Tue, 6 Sep Closing

The Indian markets continued with the positive momentum, with banking, consumer durables and auto stocks being the key gainers. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 446 points, while the NSE Nifty finished higher by 133 points. The S&P BSE Midcap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 1.8% and 1% respectively.

Asian markets finished broadly higher today with shares in Hong Kong leading the region. The Hang Seng is up 2.7%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.92% and China's Shanghai Composite is up 0.89%. European markets are trading sharply higher today with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 is up 2.58%, while Germany's DAX is up 1.67% and London's FTSE 100 is up 1.29%.

The rupee was trading at 66.53 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 44.92 at the time of writing.

Mining stocks traded mixed with Moil Ltd and Coal India leading the losses. As per an article in a leading financial daily, Coal India Limited (CIL) is planning to develop solar power plants of 600 MW capacity in four states. This will come up under the second phase of its plan to set up a total 1,000 MW green energy plants. In this regard, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has already floated tenders for development of solar capacity in the second phase.

Reportedly, CIL has signed an agreement with SECI for setting up of solar power plants of total 1000 MW capacity in different parts of the country. In the first phase, CIL will set up 2100 MW solar power plants in the state of Madhya Pradesh. And in the second phase it will develop a capacity of 600 MW in the solar parks of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Maharashtra for which notice inviting tender has already been floated by SECI.

Moreover, CIL has issued a Green Energy Commitment letter to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for developing 1,000 MW of solar power projects during 2014-19. This was undertaken to promote the government's green initiatives.

One shall note that, CIL's initiative have resulted in installation of 2.0 MW capacity, 0.19 MW capacity, and 0.14 MW solar PV power plants in Burla, Ranchi and Kolkata, respectively. Also, the slowdown in offtake by power generation companies has been one of the factors leading to a glut in India's coal production. Therefore, the government has asked power plants to procure their coal requirements from Coal India's e-auction.

Rahul Shah, Co-head of Research, pointed out that a few of the solar projects are already running into financial troubles. Can we rule out a similar fate for the other solar projects? Click here to read more.

CIL finished the day down by 1.2% on the BSE.

Moving on to the news from the engineering sector. According to an article in The Economic Times, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) announced that its construction arm had won orders valued at Rs 14.6 billion across various business segments. These included orders worth Rs 6.5 billion bagged by its Power Transmission & Distribution Business in the international and domestic markets.

Internationally, it has got a contract from the National Grid (a subsidiary of Saudi Electricity Company) for the construction of a 132 kV double circuit transmission line and 132 kV cabling in Saudi Arabia.

While in the domestic market, it has won one order from the Kanpur Electricity Supply Co Ltd and another from Power Grid Corporation of India for the construction of gas-insulated substations in Vadodara, Navasari, Pune, and Gwalior. The projects in the national level mainly include an urban electrification project involving design and construction of new substations, feeders and upgradation of electricity network.

Further, L&T's building & factories business has bagged projects worth Rs 5.2 billion in the home market. It has additionally obtained an order valued at Rs 2 billion from Bihar State Electronics development organization (BSEDC) for the implementation of a Wi-Fi mission within the campuses of government universities and constituent colleges within the state of Bihar. It has also received extra orders valued at Rs 0.9 billion from more than a few ongoing projects.

Diversification continues to help L&T (Subscription Required) negotiate and get better terms and margins for projects. Apparently, this is because it is less desperate to win orders as compared to a company which is present in only a couple of sectors. Its reputation, extensive technical prowess, and large skilled workforce have enabled L&T to command a certain premium from customers and vendors alike. Whether, further addition to these new projects provide a cushion to its profitability will be an interesting thing to watch out for going forward.

L&T ended the day up by 0.9%.

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