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Weak Global Markets Take a Toll
Fri, 18 Dec Closing

The Indian markets lost momentum as the day progressed as selling pressure intensified towards the end amid weak international markets. While the BSE Sensex today closed lower by 285 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 82 points. Meanwhile, while the BSE Mid Cap index closed higher by 0.1%, the BSE Small Cap index closed the day lower by 0.2%. Losses were seen across the board with those from information technology and banking space leading the losses.

Asian markets finished broadly lower today with shares in Japan leading the region. The Nikkei 225 was down 1.90%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is off 0.53% and China's Shanghai Composite is lower by 0.03%. European markets are lower today with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 0.69%, while France's CAC 40 is off 0.41% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.07%. The rupee was trading at 66.42 against the US$ in the afternoon session.

According to a leading financial daily, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has signed an agreement with Mosons Group to acquire its flagship brand 'Indulekha'. The deal envisages the acquisition of the trademarks 'Indulekha' and 'Vayodha', intellectual property, design and knowhow, for a consideration of Rs 3.3 billion, payable upon closing of the transaction and a deferred consideration of 10% on the domestic turnover of the brands each year, payable annually for a 5 year period commencing FY18.

The proposed acquisition is in line with the company's strategic intent to strengthen (Subcription Required) its leadership position in Personal Care by providing an impetus to its play in the evolving Premium Naturals segment. The company recently reported a revenue growth of 4% YoY during the quarter, while profits declined marginally by 2% YoY (Subscription Required).

The script of HUL finished the day down by 1.2% on the BSE. The share price of HUL has risen more than 9% in the last month (Subscription Required).

Coal India has reportedly tied up with Indian Council of Forest Research and Education (ICFRE) as well as National Energy Research Institute (NERI) to find ways and means of producing coal through measures that would be beyond the mandatory environment norms. Further, the company is committed to set up at least 1,000 MW of solar power generation plants in various states to compensate for greenhouse effects.

The plan comes at a time when the company plans to achieve a production target of a billion tonnes by 2020. With a modest production of 79 million tonnes at the year of its inception, Coal India is the single largest coal producer in the world.

Coal India remains committed to strong volume growth (Subscription Required). In FY16, Coal India has envisaged a coal production target of 550 MT with capex of Rs 59.9 billion. To improve utilizing underground mines more efficiently, Coal India has invited bids from consultants for preparing a study of range of issues, including raising output.

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