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Asian equity markets are lower today as Chinese and Hong Kong shares fall. The Shanghai Composite is off 0.05%, while the Hang Seng is down 0.19%. The Nikkei 225 is trading down by 1.54%. US equities closed mixed in their previous trading session.
Meanwhile, Indian share markets have opened marginally lower. The BSE Sensex is trading down by 78 points while the NSE Nifty is trading down by 26 points. The BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index have opened up by 0.2% & 0.3% respectively.
Sectoral indices have opened the day on a mixed note with realty sector and consumer durables sector leading the pack of gainers. While metal stocks and energy stocks are witnessing selling pressure. The rupee is trading at 65.46 to the US$.
Automobile stocks are trading mixed with Force Motors and Maharashtra Scooters being the most active stocks in this space. As per an article in a leading financial daily, Bajaj Auto Ltd. will end its eight-year-old sales and service tie-up with Kawasaki Motorcycle & Engine Company. Bajaj Auto will no longer manage sales and service of Kawasaki-branded motorcycles in India, from April 1.
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Bajaj Auto has been selling and providing after-sales services of Kawasaki bikes at its Probiking outlets since 2009. The company has now decided to focus on its partnership with Austrian firm KTM. It has been converting its Probiking outlets into KTM dealerships.
Reportedly, Kawasaki Motorcycles will be now sold in India through India Kawasaki Motors Pvt. Lltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Japan through its dealer network. This is also the time when Bajaj is steadily increasing focus on motorcycles.
One must note that KTM bike sales have been growing at a 48% compounded annual rate to 37,000 in 2016-17. Moreover, Bajaj Auto International Holdings BV, a subsidiary of Bajaj Auto based in the Netherlands, has invested Rs 12.2 billion in Austrian firm KTM.
Speaking of Digital showrooms and online retailing in the automobile industry, Sarvajeet Bodas, our research analyst pointed out that it will change the way people choose and buy two-wheelers and cars. However, will online platforms replace dealerships? (Subscription Required) He is of the opinion that this might not happen entirely. But don't be surprised if your local dealership does close its doors.
Bajaj Auto share price opened the day down by 0.2%.
Moving on to the news from stocks in mining sector. As per an article in The Economic Times, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 5.91 billion on Coal India Limited (CIL) for having unfair conditions in fuel supply agreements.
Besides, the fair-trade regulator has directed the coal behemoth to "cease and desist" from anti-competitive practices.
The penalty amount of Rs 5.91 billion translates to 1% of Coal India's average turnover for the three-year period from 2009-10 to 2011-12. The latest ruling has come on complaints filed against Coal India and its three subsidiaries, Mahanadi Coalfields, South Eastern Coalfields and Western Coalfields. They were filed by Maharashtra State Power Generation Company and Gujarat State Electricity Corporation.
On earlier occasions also, Coal India has come under the lens of the Competition Commission of India (CCI). Further, Coal India has also been directed to ensure uniformity between old and new power producers as well as between private and PSU power producers.
Coal India is falling back on increasing allotments under the auction route as its sales and price realizations to Fuel Supply Agreement consumers is feeling the heat, owing to the low demand of the fossil fuel in the domestic market.
However, Coal India has dramatically increased the target for selling coal through auction to 120 million tonnes (mt) this financial year. The company hopes that it will help in import substitution and meet electricity needs. Last year, the company had sold 66 mt of coal through auction.
Coal India share price began trading down by 2%.
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