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SGX Nifty Up 77 Points, UltraTech Cement's Quarterly Performance, Deadline for AGR Dues Moratorium, and Buzzing Stocks Today
Tue, 19 Oct Pre-Open

UltraTech Cement

Indian share markets ended on a strong note yesterday.

Benchmark indices extended their winning streak for the seventh straight day, ending at fresh record closing highs, led by gains in index heavyweights Infosys, ICICI Bank and ITC.

Investors shrugged off weakness in other Asian markets even as China's quarterly GDP growth hit a one-year low.

At the closing bell yesterday, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 460 points (up 0.8%).

Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty closed higher by 139 points (up 0.8%).

Hindalco and Infosys were among the top gainers.

M&M and HCL Technologies, on the other hand, were among the top losers.

The BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index ended up by 1% and 0.7%, respectively.

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Sectoral indices ended on a mixed note with stocks in the metal sector, power sector and IT sector witnessing most of the buying interest.

Healthcare and telecom stocks, on the other hand, witnessed selling pressure.

At 8:00 am today, the SGX Nifty was trading up by 77 points, or 0.4% higher at 18,565 levels. Indian share markets are headed for a positive opening today following the positive trend on SGX Nifty.

Gold prices for the latest contract on MCX were trading on a flat note at Rs 47,212 per 10 grams at the time of closing stock market hours yesterday.

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Top Stocks in Focus Today

Among the buzzing stocks today will be PNB Housing Finance.

Shares of PNB Housing Finance were locked at the 5% lower circuit at Rs 607.1 per share yesterday after the housing finance company called-off the Rs 40 bn deal with Carlyle-led group of investors.

The board of PNB Housing Finance decided not to proceed with a preferential issue of shares to investors led by Carlyle after the plan was delayed due to pending legal proceedings.

The share subscription agreements executed with the proposed allottees have been terminated. Carlyle's Pluto Investments will be initiating the process to withdraw the open offer for PNB Housing made at Rs 403.2 per share.

On 31 May 2021, the board of PNB Housing Finance had approved to raise Rs 40 bn through a preferential issue of equity shares and share warrants to a group of proposed allottees led by entities affiliated to the Carlyle Group Inc.

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The board discussed that the proposed preferential issue has been held up for more than 4 months (after already having taken over two years), due to the pending legal proceeding before the securities appellate tribunal (SAT).

There continues to be no visibility or certainty as to the timeline for judicial determination of the legal issues, in particular as a third member of the SAT is yet to be appointed. The board further noted that due to the protracted litigation and the continuing interim order of the SAT dated 21 June 2021, there is no clarity on the shareholders' approval for undertaking the preferential issue.

The board's primary objective was to raise capital to support the growth of the company, and the board believes that the current situation is not in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders.

Indiabulls Real Estate share price will also be in focus today.

Shares of Indiabulls Real Estate (IBREL) rose over 7% on the exchanges to hit an all-time high, after the company said its sales bookings jumped over two-fold to Rs 8.7 bn during the first six months of the financial year 2021.

The company's sales stood at Rs 3.7 bn in the same period last year.

IBREL also announced the resignation of Sameer Gehlaut as non-executive director and chairman of the company with effect from 31 December 2021.

The resignation of Gehlaut comes amid the proposed merger of IBREL projects with Bengaluru-based Embassy group.

After the conclusion of the merger, Embassy will become the main promoter of the merged entity.

With respect to the merger, IBREL has already got regulatory approvals from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the NSE, the BSE and the market regulator.

The company has also filed the requisite joint application with the NCLT for approval of the same.

Embassy Group has around a 14% stake in IBREL which will increase to 45% after the merger of both companies.

Post-merger, the combined entity will have 80.8 m square feet of launched and planned development potential. The merged entity will have about 30 projects.

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Govt Gives Airtel, Vodafone Idea till 29 October on Opting for Payments' Moratorium

The government has given telcos - Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea till 29 October 2021 to respond on whether they would opt for the four-year payment moratorium.

Further, 90 days have been given to carriers to respond on whether they would want to opt to convert the accrued interest due to the deferred payments into equity.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) letter, sent to the three telcos on Friday, is one of the most important aspects of the relief package which was announced mid-September and is expected to be a lifeline for cash-strapped Vodafone Idea.

'MoF letters came on Friday. The deadlines for responses start from the date the letter was sent, or Friday' said a senior executive from one of the telcos.

Vodafone Idea and Airtel have already made it clear that they would opt for the payments moratorium as well as the debt conversion option. Jio is widely believed to be opting for the payments moratorium as well.

UltraTech Cement's Quarterly Results

UltraTech Cement reported a 7.6% year on year (YoY) rise in its net profit for the quarter ended September to Rs 13 bn. The figure fell below analysts' expectations.

The company reported a 15.3% YoY growth in revenue from operations for the reported quarter to Rs 115.5 bn.

During the quarter, the company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose merely 1.6% YoY as the company was unable to take as many price hikes as seen in the previous quarters.

The reported quarter is considered to be seasonally weak for cement companies as most construction work around the country slows down due to monsoons.

The biggest hit was taken by UltraTech's margin which slid 340 basis points YoY to 22.6% as the company was battered by increase in costs and an inability to pass it on to consumers.

The company said that prices of petcoke and coal nearly doubled in the reported quarter, causing energy costs to rise 17% YoY.

UltraTech said that it expects to resume coal mining operations at Bicharpur in December quarter to reduce dependence on external sources for coal, which is currently in short supply across the country.

We will keep you posted on more updates from this space. Stay tuned.

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

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