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Sensex & Nifty Flat; Bharti Airtel Up 3.3% on Acquisition
Mon, 28 Nov 01:30 pm

The Indian share markets edged up as Asian markets advanced during the noon trading session. Banking stocks were the top losers as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked banks to maintain a temporary incremental cash reserve ratio (CRR) of 100% to absorb excess liquidity after the government's move to withdraw larger banknotes sparked a surge in deposits. Barring information Technology, consumer durables and banking stocks, all sectoral indices are trading in the green with power, oil & gas stocks witnessing maximum buying interest.

The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 62 points (up 0.2%) while the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 17 points (up 0.2%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.9% and BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 1%. Gold prices, per 10 grams, are trading at Rs 28,801 levels. Silver price, per kilogram is trading at Rs 41,185 levels. Crude oil is trading at Rs 3,165 per barrel. The rupee is trading at 68.76 to the US$.

Energy stocks were trading mixed with Gujarat Gas Ltd and Petronet LNG witnessing the selling pressure. According to an article in a leading financial daily, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has sought access to the India's longest LPG pipeline that Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is laying. The line stretches from Gujarat to Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh to cater to the growing demand for cooking gas in the country.

Reportedly, IOC will import LPG at Kandla in Gujarat. Then move the LPG through the 1,987-kilometer pipeline to Gorakhpur via Ahmedabad (in Gujarat), Ujjain, Bhopal (in Madhya Pradesh), Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Lucknow (in Uttar Pradesh).

RIL said it wants to put in its own LPG, possibly produced at its Jamnagar refineries in Gujarat, in the pipeline for transportation to hinterland. The pipeline will carry 3.75 million tons per annum of LPG. Of this, 25% will be common carrier capacity that can be provided to third parties.

Apart from getting right to move its own LPG through the pipeline, RIL also wanted third party access to storages IOC will build along the pipeline route. This will help in stocking the gas before sent to bottling plants for filling in cylinders for sale to consumers, the reports noted.

Moreover, IOC aims to feed LPG into the pipeline at Kandla port as well as its Koyali refinery in Gujarat. It will connect eight of IOC's LPG bottling plants in Central and Northern India. This will be the biggest LPG pipeline in the country.

IOC's share price was trading up by 2% at the time of writing.

Moving on to the news from stocks in telecom sector. Bharti Airtel's share price surged as much as 3% after it was reported that Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) has completed the acquisition of Econet Wireless in Airtel Nigeria.

As per the deal, Airtel Nigeria will hold Econet Wireless' entire 4.2% shareholding. As a result, Airtel's overall holding in Airtel Nigeria will increase to 83.3%.

In the wake of procuring Zain's telecom business for US$10.7 billion in 2010, Airtel kept running into a debate with Econet Wireless, a minority partner in Zain Telecom. Recently, Airtel had said that its auxiliary had achieved a concurrence with Zain Telecom. According to which Zain has to pay Airtel US$129 million for the settlement of the greater part of Airtel's cases. It also said a separate settlement has been reached between Airtel and Econet.

As the competition keeps on rising, many companies consider international expansion through acquisitions or embarking their own set ups. Some acquisitions can work wonders. While, some companies come under pressure post such expansion. Same is the case with Bharti Airtel. Ankit shah, our Research Analyst has penned an article stating how Bharti Airtel's international operations have been a drag on its overall performance in one of our premium editions of The 5 Minute Wrap Up.

For information on how to pick stocks that have the potential to deliver big returns, download our special report now!

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