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

Sensex Opens Higher; Realty & Auto Stocks Lead
Fri, 29 Sep 09:30 am | Karan Janani, TM Team

Asian stocks markets are higher in morning trade as Japanese and Hong Kong shares show gains. The Nikkei 225 is up 0.27% while the Hang Seng is up 0.34%. The Shanghai Composite is trading up by 0.25%. Stock markets in US and Europe closed their previous session in green.

Meanwhile, Indian share markets too have opened the day in green. BSE Sensex is trading higher by 159 points and NSE Nifty is trading higher by 53 points. S&P BSE Mid Cap and S&P BSE Small Cap are trading up by 1% respectively. Gains are largely seen in realty stocks, auto stocks and metal stocks. The rupee is trading at Rs 65.76 against the US$.

Grasim Industries share price opened the trading day on an encouraging note (up 0.9%) after it was reported that the company is expected to sell off its fertiliser business Indo Gulf to Saudi Arabia-based SABIC, for nearly Rs 32 billion.

SABIC has come out as the highest bidder for the fertiliser business, thus engaging Grasim and the Saudi Arabian company in advance talks, the report said.

As per the reports, the company plans to exit the low-margin and highly regulated business, whereas, Kumar Mangalam Birla is inclined towards aligning the group portfolio to focus majorly on key sectors.

Cement stocks opened the trading day on a firm note with India Cements share price and Ambuja Cements share price leading the gains.

As per an article in The Economic Times, cement demand growth is expected to be around 3.5%-4% during the current financial year. This is a downward revision against the earlier estimate of 5% as there has been a delay in the revival of cement demand during the first half of FY2018.

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The demand in Q1 of the current financial year was adversely impacted due to sand shortage (in a few southern and northern states), implementation of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and slowdown in the construction activity (in West) and drought and weak housing activity (in few southern states).

Although the cement demand is expected to be muted in Q2 FY2018 because the monsoons and the GST implementation issues, the demand is expected to rebound from the third quarter. As per the reports, the demand growth is likely to be driven by a pick-up in the housing segment - primarily affordable and rural housing, and infrastructure segment - mostly road and irrigation projects.

Moving on to news from telecom sector. As per a leading financial daily, Bharti Airtel is investing Rs. 180-200 billion this year in building hard infrastructure and the industry as a whole is likely to invest anywhere between Rs 500-600 billion in 2017-18.

According to company's chairman Sunil Mittal, government policies must make it easier for telecom companies to do business in order to expedite the impact of these investments.

Mr. Ambani, who shared the stage with Mr. Mittal at the maiden India Mobile Congress in Delhi recently said while the country may have missed out on the last three industrial revolutions terming data as the 'new oil' that India does not need to import.

They also stated that the telecom sector was well well-poised to take the lead in the fourth one fueled by data, connectivity and artificial intelligence.

Admitting that the industry faced challenges, Mr. Mittal said that he was confident that India would be the biggest telecom market in the world with its large population and the PM's belief in using digital platforms to serve the people.

In another development, as per an article in The Livemint, the telecom Commission may offer interim, piecemeal sops to debt-laden telecom firms, pending a comprehensive relief package.

The IMG recommended to the commission that instead of taking into account the full present value of the spectrum for calculating AGR during the sale or purchase of spectrum, telecom companies should pay only the "differential", which is the difference between the current value of the radio waves and the rate at which spectrum was bought in the first instance.

India has the Lowest Interconnect Usage Charge

Recently, the TRAI reduced the interconnect usage charge (IUC) from 14 paise per minute to six paise per minute. IUC are charges paid by operator companies for voice calls terminating from a different operator's network.

The IUC rate cut is expected to adversely impact established players like Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular. What this means is that these companies would no longer be able to enjoy additional revenues from having a large subscriber base thereby impacting their profitability and debt servicing capability. At the same time this development would entail significant cost savings for entrant Reliance Jio.

Bharti Airtel share price opened the trading day up by 0.3% while Idea share price opened 1.2% higher.

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