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Sensex Remains Flat; Metal Witness Selling Pressure
Fri, 16 Dec 11:30 am

After opening the day on a flat note, the Indian share markets have continued to trade near the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks in the metal sector and oil and gas sector witnessing maximum selling pressure. Consumer durables stocks are trading in the green.

Both the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty are trading flat. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading down by 0.4%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading down by 0.1%. The rupee is trading at 67.80 to the US$.

According to data released by the government, India's merchandise exports grew for the third consecutive month in November this year. However higher imports owing to gold purchases have pushed the trade deficit to 2 year high of US$13 billion.

Part of the gold imports could also have been due to the demonetisation with various reports showing high gold purchases to absorb cancelled currency.

In November, exports of engineering products rose by 14.1% YoY, while those of petroleum and chemicals rose by 5.7% YoY and 8.3% YoY respectively.

The exports in November added US$20 billion as compared to US$19.5 billion on a YoY basis. However, it was lower than the US$23.5 billion recorded in October, indicating that demonetization may have hurt shipments.

Imports for the same period stood at US$33 billion. Gold imports were up 23% YoY and stood at US$4.3 billion.

Exporters body FIEO remains wary about the growth in exports saying that although growth is encouraging, uncertain global conditions remain a challenge.

As per the World Trade Organization data for International Trade, India's share in total exports of manufactures stands at just 1.6%, compared to 18.6% for China. Japan and US account for 4.7% and 8.7% respectively.

Make in India: A Distant Dream?

Moving on to news from stocks in telecom sector... According to an article in The Economic Times, Norway's Telenor is said to have held negotiations with Aditya Birla Group's Idea Cellular to sell its India unit.

The negotiations have been for a cash-less sale, which would entail a transfer of all the assets and liabilities without any actual payout.

Telenor India, however carries with it a significant amount of debt. It owes close to Rs 19 billion to the government in lieu of spectrum payments and about Rs 18 billion to financial institutions as debt.

Telenor has significantly marked down its India business valuation by almost Rs 5 billion since the beginning of this year. It also did not participate in the spectrum auctions held in October this year, signaling its intent to leave the market in which it has suffered losses and has struggled to expand.

The acquisition, if it goes through, will help Idea gain 4G spectrum in the 1800 MHz band in key sectors, and would help Telenor India exit the market.

At the time of writing, Idea Cellular was trading down 1.4%.

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Mar 19, 2018 (Close)