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Markets will remain closed on 19th & 20th October 2017.
We wish all our readers a very Happy Diwali!

Nifty Ends at Record Closing High; Bharti Infratel & Bajaj Auto Top Gainers
Mon, 18 Sep Closing | Rini Mehta, TM Team

Share markets in India ended the day on a strong note with the Nifty settling at its record closing high. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 151 points. While, the NSE Nifty finished higher by 68 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Midcap Index finished up by 0.7% while the S&P BSE Small Cap Index ended up by 0.8%.

BSE sectoral indices ended the day on a positive note. Among them, capital goods sector gained the most by 1.5%, followed by consumer durables sector 1.4%, while energy sector finished down by 0.1%.

Overseas, Asian equity markets finished broadly higher today with shares in Hong Kong leading the region. The Hang Seng is up 1.27% while Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.52% and China's Shanghai Composite is up 0.28%. European markets are mixed today. The DAX is up 0.56% while the FTSE 100 gains 0.34%. The CAC 40 is even.

The rupee was trading at Rs 64.04 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 50.40 at the time of writing.

Cadila Healthcare share price ended the day on an optimistic note after its arm, Zydus Nesher Pharmaceuticals, received final approval from the USFDA for Oseltamivir Powder for Oral Suspension, used in the treatment and prevention of influenza, according to an exchange notification.

Indiabulls Real Estate share price witnessed a sharp decline of 5% following the huge block deals today. Over 8% of total equity of real estate developer changed hands in multiple block deals on both NSE and BSE. A combined total of 41.89 million shares constituting 8.8% of the total equity of Indiabulls Real Estate changed hands on the bourses.

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Automobile stocks ended the day in green with only Escorts witnessing selling pressure. Bajaj Auto share price hit a record high of Rs 3,130, up 3.6% on BSE to regain its status as the country's most valued two-wheeler company in terms of market capitalization.

The market-cap of Bajaj Auto crossed Rs 900 billion mark today, after a sharp 7% rally in the first two trading sessions. With this, Bajaj Auto now stands ahead of Eicher Motors which quoted market-cap of Rs 885.1 billion.

So far in the September month, Bajaj Auto has outperformed the market by gaining 11% after the company reported 3% increase in total sales in the month of August, due to higher export sales. On comparison, Eicher Motors was up 3.5%, while the S&P BSE Sensex gained 2.4% during the period.

Further, Bajaj Auto showed a minimal growth of 1.4% from 279,911 motorcycles sold in August 2016 to 283,861 motorcycles sold in August 2017. Domestic sales dropped to 171,664 units from 174,719 units sold in August 2016 reporting a decline of 1.7%.

The company's exports grew by 6.7% to 112,197 units as compared to 105,192 units exported in August 2016.

Speaking of the two-wheeler's space in India, the steadily growing demand for scooters is changing the dynamics in the two-wheeler industry. Scooters acquired nearly one third share of the domestic two-wheeler market in FY17 for the first time in over a decade.

Scooters Make a Smart Comeback in Two-wheeler Market

Motorcycles, on the other hand, are bearing the brunt of the twin effects of rural slowdown as well as growing prominence of scooters. In the past three years (FY14-FY17), the motorcycles segment was the slowest performer logging growth of less than 6% whereas scooters surged by 55% during this period.

It is important to note that the market size of scooters in volume terms is still half that of motorcycles. Of the 17.6 million two-wheelers sold in the country in FY17, 11 million were motorcycles whereas 5.6 million were scooters.

But as per Tanushree Banerjee, co-head of research, the growing importance of scooters cannot be overlooked and is spilling on to financial performance. Here's an excerpt of what she wrote in the recent edition of The 5 Minute WrapUp:

  • "Thus, TVS Motors, the second largest scooter player in the country, reported double-digit growth in earnings in FY17. However, bike manufacturer, Bajaj Auto, eroded its earnings during the fiscal. Factors such as stiff competition in the bike segment and absence in the scooter segment is weighing down on its growth."

Moving on to the news from the economy. As per the latest report released by the Ministry of Finance, India's external debt position showed signs of improvements during preceding financial year 2016-2017, driven down by decline in NRI deposits and commercial borrowings.

The external debt declined by 2.7% or US$ 13.1 billion to US$ 471.9 billion at the end of March 2017, as compared to US$ 485.0 billion at the end of March 2016.

Additionally, India's long-term external debt decreased by 4.4% year-on-year to US$ 383.9 billion at end-March 2017, while short-term external debt increased by 5.5% year-on-year to US$ 88 billion at end-March 2017 on account of increase in trade related credits, which account for 98.3% of short-term debt.

Further, the country's external debt situation has improved in 2016-17 over 2015-16 as indicated by the increase in foreign exchange reserves cover to debt to 78.4% from 74.3% and fall in the external debt-GDP ratio to 20.2% from 23.5%.

Moreover, the ratio of India's external debt stock to gross national income (GNI) at 23.4% was the fifth lowest and in terms of the cover provided by foreign exchange reserves to external debt, while India's position was sixth highest at 69.7% in 2015.

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