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Weak Finish to the Week
Fri, 9 Sep Closing

Indian equity markets continued to remain under pressure in the afternoon session amid weak international markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 248 points, while the NSE Nifty finished down by 86 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 1% and 0.5% respectively. Losses were largely seen in metal & FMCG stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 0.75% and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.04%. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.55%. European markets are lower today with shares in London off the most. The FTSE 100 is down 0.25% while Germany's DAX is off 0.19% and France's CAC 40 is lower by 0.11%.

The rupee was trading at 66.55 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 47.08 at the time of writing.

Shares of Oil & Natural Gas Corporation ONGC surged more than 3% in today's trade after it was reported that the company is considering to buy a stake in a field operated by Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC). According to an article in The Economic Times, ONGC has appointed Ryder Scott as a consultant for an independent assessment of the asset.

Since the BJP-led government came to power at the Centre, GSPC has been seeking to sell a majority stake in its KG-OSN-2001/3 (Deendayal) block in Bay of Bengal to ONGC to avoid defaulting on loans.

ONGC initially was not keen to buy stake in the block as it felt the block had reserves far less than what GSPC was claiming and the asking price for the stake was not corresponding with the returns.

As per the reports, GSPC was to begin gas production from the block in 2013 but after sinking in USD 3.6 billion it was found that gas reserves are one-tenth of 20 trillion cubic feet claimed in 2005 and that too is technically difficult to produce. In the process it has amassed Rs 195 billion of debt, on which interest cost was Rs 18 billion in 2014-15.

GSPC reportedly also wants ONGC to use its under-sea infrastructure for a fee. ONGC has gas discoveries in a neighboring block and GSPC wants gas from those to be routed through its Deendayal block infrastructure for onward transportation to the shore.

Meanwhile, ONGC saw its net profit during April-June FY17 drop by 21% to Rs 42.33 billion against Rs 53.68 billion in the same quarter previous year with the fall in crude oil and gas prices. The sales of the oil and gas explorer dropped 21.41% to Rs 177.84 billion in Q1 of current fiscal year.

Oil & Gas stocks finished on a mixed noted with ONGC and GAIL leading the gains.

Moving on to news from information technology sector. Infosys is reportedly splitting itself into 12-15 smaller business units, each with revenue of $500 - $700 million in a massive reorganization. Each business units will have its own sales heads and P&L (profit & loss) responsibilities. The move will help the company in better market penetration and in client management.

Currently, the organization is divided into four large verticals-banking & financial services and insurance, with $3 billion in revenue; retail & life sciences, with US$2.3 billion; manufacturing & hi-tech, with US$2.2 billion; and energy & utilities, communications and services, with US$1.9 billion. Each of these will be split into smaller units.

Meanwhile, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is seeing some sequential loss of momentum in Banking and Financial Services Solution (BFSI) business in US. The company further said it is holding back discretionary spending seen in the segment. THE BFSI segment accounts for 40% of the company's revenue.

As per the reports, the BFSI exposure of TCS was 40.6%, the largest among the big five companies. For Infosys, this stood at 27.3%, Wipro 26.3%, HCL Tech 25.8% and Tech Mahindra 10% in the fiscal year 2016.

TCS is the second IT Company to issue a warning about the current quarter. Earlier, Mindtree Ltd issued a profit warning and lowered its revenue guidance for the second quarter on account of project cancellations, cross-currency movements and slower ramp-up in a few large clients across different verticals.

Infosys finished the trading day down by 0.2% while TCS was up by 1.3% on the BSE.

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Nov 20, 2017 (Close)