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PSU & Power Stocks Least Favored
Thu, 15 Sep 01:30 pm

Indian equity markets continue to trade flat with negative bias amid weak global markets. Barring FMCG, healthcare and realty sectors, all the sectoral indices are trading in the red. Losses are largely seen in PSU and power stocks.

The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 35 points and the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 12 points. The BSE Mid Cap index is down by 0.2%, while the BSE Small Cap index is up by 0.3%. The rupee is trading weak at 66.90 to the US$.

According to an article in The Economic Times, Hindalco Industries will continue with its plan to sell its alumina plant and mines in Brazil. The deal is expected to be in the range of US$90 million to US$100 million.

Reportedly, the company wants to use the money to cut debt and focus on the India business where demand is showing signs of improvement amidst stiff import competition.

Metal and commodity companies are trying to sell assets, refinance old expensive loans to survive an increasingly tough operating environment. This exit will leave Hindalco with two aluminum assets in Brazil that are owned by Novelis. Resource rich Brazil's commodity boom went bust last year as commodity prices crashed world over.

As per the reports, Hindalco refinanced US$2.5 billion of debt in August and September, helping save US$54 million in interest annually. Consolidated debt of Rs 675 billion should come down after completion of the Brazil deal.

Hindalco also exited Australia earlier this year after accepting a takeover bid from MetalsX for partly-owned Australian subsidiary Aditya Birla Minerals in a deal worth US$103 million. Hindalco is presently trading up by 0.4% on the BSE.

Moving on to news from energy sector. ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) announced that the firm and its wholly owned subsidiary ONGC Videsh Vankorneft Pte. Ltd., Singapore (OVVL) inked agreements with Russia's OAO Rosneft to acquire shares in JSC Vankorneft.

One must note that, OVL, the overseas subsidiary of ONGC, had last year bought a 15% stake in the field for US$1.268 billion. It paid an additional US$930 million for another 11% stake.

Reportedly, the acquisition will increase OVL's shareholding to 26%. Vankor is Russia's second largest field by production and accounts for 4% of Russian production. The field produces around 421,000 barrels per day of crude oil. Notably, together with earlier acquisition of 15%, OVL's share of daily oil production from Vankor will be about 110,000 bpd, the reports noted.

Moreover, the acquisition of a larger interest in Vankor is in line with the goal of meeting India's growing energy needs. The company also stated that the acquisition bears strategic importance and would add about 30% to its existing production at the current rate. It will add approximately 2.2 million tons of oil and 35.3 billion cubic feet (1.0 billion cubic meters) of gas annually.

Oil & Gas stocks are trading with negative bias with BPCL and Oil India Ltd leading the losses.

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Feb 23, 2018 (Close)