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No Respite for Indian Indices
Thu, 3 Dec Closing

Profit booking during the last hour of trade led the Indian stock markets to slide deeper into the red. The BSE-Sensex ended the day lower by about 231 points, while the NSE-Nifty closed lower by about 67 points. S&P BSE Midcap and S&P BSE Smallcap closed on a weak note as well with their indices down by about 0.4% and 0.5% respectively. All the sectoral indices traded below the dotted line barring realty. Losses were largely seen in FMCG and metal stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 1.35%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.28%. Shares in Japan were unchanged. European markets are higher today with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 is up 0.62%, while Germany's DAX is up 0.50% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.04%. The rupee was trading weak at 66.75 against the US$ in the afternoon session.

According to a leading financial daily, National Aluminum Company (NALCO) is drawing up a focused policy to step up its share of procurement from local businesses in its home state of Odisha. NALCO currently procures goods and services worth Rs 4 billion from MSMEs every year. Now, the company is coming up with a focused policy to procure more from Odisha-based MSMEs. This is in the wake of Odisha government's new Industrial Policy and CII's role to attract more investors to the state.

More recently, the company received US$8.05 million or around Rs 540 million in an out-of-court settlement with a US firm. This ends a long-drawn litigation with Peak Chemical Corporation Inc. of the US in a case related to 1994 supply contract for a specific variety of caustic soda used in the alumina refinery.

Nalco's move comes at a time when the global aluminum stocks and margins are under severe pressure due to concerns over Chinese aluminum exports and global meltdown in commodity prices. Moreover, domestic aluminum companies are also struggling with higher fuel costs. The aluminum companies were forced to source coal from the open markets in the wake of cancellation of the captive coal blocks allotted to them by the Supreme Court last year. And price hikes taken to pass on the cost has further dented their competitiveness in the global markets. This has all been reflected in the weakening financial performance during the first half of FY16. (Subscription required)

According to a leading financial daily, Musashi Seimitsu Industry Co. and Bharat Forge Ltd are among companies weighing bids for the German unit of car-parts maker Amtek Auto Ltd. Reportedly, Amtek Auto is seeking a valuation of more than US$800 million for its Amtek Tekfor Holding GmbH unit. Furthermore, Amtek Auto has hired a separate adviser to sell some assets in India with both Mahindra CIE Automotive Ltd and Bharat Forge having expressed their interest in purchasing part of Amtek Auto's Indian operations.

Amtek Auto is looking to sell stakes in its overseas units after missing a September deadline to pay bonds worth Rs 8 billion. Shares of Ametk Auto and Bharat Forge surged and finished the trading day up by 9.3% and 2.2% respectively.

In our recent edition of 'The 5 Minute WrapUp', we have discussed how the Amtek auto saga exposes the limitations of credit rating companies.

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Mar 20, 2018 (Close)