Despite witnessing strong buying activity during the last hour of trading, the Indian markets ended the day on a weak note. The BSE-Sensex closed the day with losses of about 64 points. The NSE-Nifty ended lower by about 18 points. Stocks from the power and capital goods sectors were amongst the top gainers, while those from the oil & gas and FMCG spaces were in amongst the top underperformers today. BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap stocks ended the day on a flat note.
As regards global markets, Asian indices ended on a weak note. European indices opened on a mixed note. The rupee was trading at Rs 62.42 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Capital goods stocks ended the day on a firm note led by Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), ABB and Alstom Projects leading the pack of gainers. The stock of Larsen and Toubro ended with marginal gains today. As per a leading business daily, the engineering behemoth is looking sell stake in a few assets to raise as much as RS 82 bn. This it aims to do by the end of the year. It is believed that the company is looking to sell its 26% stake in the Hyderabad Metro project as well as its 50% stake in Dhamra Port project. These are expected to help the company raise close to Rs 42 bn. Further, the company is believed to be looking at the option of listing L&T IDPL (at the Singapore stock exchange via the trust route) to raise about Rs 40 bn. Of this Rs 82 bn, nearly three-fourth of the amount will be put towards existing projects and the balance to fund new projects.
The stake sale and divestment will help L&T maintain a comfortable debt service coverage ratio. Also, IDPL stake sale will ensure that there is no additional equity required from the parent company, which is struggling with working capital issues itself. Availability of funds will also help company target upcoming projects in roads and railways.
Stocks in the oil and gas space ended the day on a subdued note with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) leading the pack of losers. As per Economic Times, Petroleum Minister, Veerappa Moily, has decided to defer the hike in diesel prices. He has stated that as of now the proposed hike has been postponed. With regards to the under recoveries being faced by the oil marketing companies, he has stated that the government is working on alternatives to reduce the stress. Currently the oil marketing companies are seeing a loss of nearly Rs 14.5 per liter on diesel. The government had earlier planned to hike diesel prices by nearly Rs 3.5 per liter. Though the hike would not have eliminated the loss completely, however it would have provided some relief to the oil marketing companies.