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Dull End to the Week; Realty Stocks Fall
Fri, 23 Dec Closing

Indian share markets finished the week marginally higher amid mixed global markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 61 points, while the NSE Nifty finished up by 7 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap finished down by 0.4% while the S&P BSE Small Cap finished on a flat note. Losses were largely seen in realty, FMCG and pharma stocks. While, capital goods and consumer durables led the gains.

Asian markets finished lower today with shares in China being the biggest loser for a second day ahead of the Christmas holiday. The Shanghai Composite is down 0.94% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is off 0.28% and Japan's Nikkei 225 is lower by 0.09%. European markets are mixed today. The CAC 40 is up 0.14% while the DAX gains 0.09%. The FTSE 100 is off 0.02%.

The rupee was trading at 67.91 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 52.62 at the time of writing.

According to a leading financial daily, Wipro has reached an agreement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to formally resolve the previously disclosed six-year-old investigation. In agreeing to the settlement, the company neither admitted nor denied the SEC's allegations that it violated certain provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act). The SEC has credited the company's cooperation and remedial measures in arriving at the settlement.

Under the terms of the settlement, the company consented to pay a civil money penalty of US$5 million, to cease and desist from committing or causing violations of the Exchange Act, and to undertake certain follow-up through actions.

In December 2009, the company self-discovered that an employee embezzled funds amounting to Rs 228 million (approximately US$4 million), beginning in November 2006. The company was able to substantially recover the embezzled funds. The company publicly disclosed the embezzlement through a press release and in its annual report for financial year (FY) 2009-10.

In another development, Wipro Ltd recently split its India and Middle East business, which accounts for 10% of its revenue, into two separate divisions under new heads and merged one of the divisions focused on automation platforms with the larger technology unit.

Wipro decided to decentralize decision making as it is in the midst of its biggest push to embrace automation and is asking managers to identify processes that would not require engineers in each of the over 20,000 projects currently underway.

Wipro's share price finished the trading day up by 0.1% on the BSE.

Moving on to news from mining sector. The overall growth in coal production in the country during April-November 2016 was up by 1.6%. The production of raw coal in the country during April-November of 2016-17 was 391.10 Mte compared to 385.11 Mte during the corresponding period of previous year.

The lignite mining capacity of Neyveli Lignite Corp India Ltd is 30.6 Million Tonnes per annum as on November 30, 2016. The company has enhanced its power generating capacity from 4275.5 MW (as on March 2016) to 4293.5 MW inclusive of 10 MW Solar and 43.50 MW wind power.

The Coal Ministry has given special focus to decrease coal imports in the country. Government has saved about Rs 200 billion in the year 2015-16 and about Rs 48.44 billion in the first four months of the current year. The efforts on this front would lead to a further replacement of 15.37 MT of imported coal quantity by March 2017.

Keeping view in the digitisation, the ministry has also fully implemented e-office application in October 2016 and the entire file work in the Ministry is now being done electronically.

The ministry claims that digitisation process has brought 'transparency' and 'efficiency' in the working as it would facilitate quick processing and instant movement of files thus enabling seamless and fast decision making.

Meanwhile, global coal consumption declined for the first time this century in 2015, while global production decreased for the second year in a row. Global coal supply fell mainly because of production cuts in China, the US and Indonesia.

Global coal consumption fell by between 90 and 180 MT in the first half 2015

The dynamics in the coal market will continue to be determined by China, which will remain the largest consumer by far, representing with about half of total demand. The country demonstrated its global market leverage this year when its government's decision to curb domestic output triggered a remarkable recovery in coal prices.

Mining stocks finished on a mixed note with Hindustan Zinc and Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Ltd leading the losses.

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Mar 16, 2018 (Close)