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Sensex Finish on Weak Note, Pharma Stocks Crack on US Investigations
Fri, 4 Nov Closing

Indian share markets slid further in the afternoon session and finished well below the dotted line tracking a weak trend in global markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 156 points, while the NSE Nifty finished down by 51 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 1.3% and 2.2% respectively. Losses were largely seen in pharma, realty and metal stocks.

Pharma sector slid 4.2% in today's trade after Bloomberg reported that US prosecutors could file charges by year-end in a criminal investigation of generic makers over suspected price collusion. Shares of Sun Pharma and Dr Reddy's fell 7.4% and 5.7% respectively.

Asian shares slipped and the dollar harbored losses in a week marked by growing uncertainty about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. The Nikkei 225 is down 2.98% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is off 1.27% and China's Shanghai Composite is lower by 0.12%. European stocks too fell in early trade with shares in London leading the losses. FTSE 100 is down by 1.14% while shares in Germany and France are down 0.95% and 0.73% respectively.

The rupee was trading at 66.72 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 44.67 at the time of writing.

According to an article in The Economic Times, BPCL has received green nod to set up additional facilities at its Kochi refinery to meet the BS-VI quality auto norms. The company plans to establish new MS Block which will entail an investment of Rs 33.13 billion.

As per Auto Fuel Policy 2025, the government has laid down a roadmap for complete transition to Bharat Stage (BS)-VI auto fuel by April 2020 in the country.

The Kochi refinery of BPCL is currently implementing the Integrated Refinery Expansion Project (IREP), which will enhance refinery capacity from 9.5 million metric tonne per annum (MMTPA) to 15.5 MMTPA and upgrade auto fuel quality as per BS-IV and part BS-V norms.

Post IREP, BPCL said its Kochi refinery will be able produce BS-IV quality MS and diesel along with partial production of BS-V products, and it will require additional facilities to achieve BS-VI quality specifications for MS.

Share price of BPCL finished the day down 0.3% on the BSE.

In another development, the government will levy service tax of about Rs 19.22 billion on royalties to energy firms like ONGC and Cairn India from this fiscal onwards. The oil companies will have to pay to the exchequer on oil and gas they produce.

Companies currently pay 9.09% of the price they realize on oil and gas produced from on land or onshore fields and 16.67% on the same from offshore areas.

As per the reports, following the clarification, the Service Tax department has sent letters to companies like ONGC, Cairn India Ltd and Reliance Industries seeking information on royalty payments.

These companies had paid a total of Rs 48.85 billion royalty on oil and gas produced in 2015-16 to the Centre and another Rs 79.32 billion to states.

Reportedly, energy companies through their association have taken up the matter with the Oil Ministry saying their profitability has been severely impacted by slump in oil and gas prices to multi-year low and the additional levy would erode it further.

Moving on to news from stocks in mining sector. According to a leading financial daily, the present stock positions of coal could spiral into a national shortage if power plants raised their capacity utilization even by 6-7%.

Nevertheless, coal secretary Anil Swarup recently stated that coal imports by all state-owned power generation companies would stop from April 1, 2017. However, spot and forward e-auctions are an effort to supply as much coal as possible without disrupting supplies.

As per the reports, NTPC is by far the largest public sector coal importer and it has reduced imports drastically from a peak of about 16 million tonnes a few years ago to a couple million tonnes this year. The company has not placed fresh import orders this year and all its coal imports in 2016-17 have been delivery of orders placed in previous years.

While coal stocks at power plants receiving coal from Coal India have an average stock of 15 days, there are some 57,000 mw of thermal units starved for coal since they do not have any supply contract from Coal India.

The National Coal Distribution Policy (NCDP) formulated in October of 2007 stipulated that Coal India cannot supply to power plants without signing any fuel supply agreement. NCDP was framed at a time when the nation was faced with acute coal production shortage.

After much deliberation and delay, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 had been recently revised and Rajya Sabha approved the amended Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Bill, 2016. In a recent edition of The 5 Minute Wrap Up Premium, we looked at the impact of the Act on various mining and metal companies (Subscription Required).

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1 Responses to "Sensex Finish on Weak Note, Pharma Stocks Crack on US Investigations"

Avadh Kishore Vyas

Nov 4, 2016

Where Nifty & BSE Sense will be going in near future.

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Jan 17, 2018 (Close)