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Profit booking during the afternoon session led the Indian stock markets to slide deeper into the red amid weak international markets. The BSE-Sensex ended the day lower by about 461 points, while the NSE-Nifty closed lower by about 133 points. S&P BSE Midcap and S&P BSE Smallcap closed on a weak note as well with their indices down by about 0.8% and 1.1% respectively. All the sectoral indices traded below the dotted line barring realty. Losses were largely seen in oil & gas and metal stocks.
Japanese shares dropped 3.6% and the yen surged against the dollar after the Bank of Japan's decision to keep monetary policy steady disappointed market sentiments. The Hang Seng gained 0.12%, the Shanghai Composite 0.27%. European markets are sharply lower today with shares in France off the most. The CAC 40 is down 1.33% while Germany's DAX is off 1.24% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 1.09%.
The rupee was trading at 66.40 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 45.33 at the time of writing.
Power stocks languished in red with CESC and Reliance Power leading the losses. As per The Economic Times, Tata Power has commissioned its 44 MW Lahori wind farm project, located in Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh through its 100% subsidiary, Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL). This wind farm project is expected to generate about 84 million units (MUs) per year. TPREL also has a further 500 MW of wind capacity under development and construction in the states of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
With this addition, Tata Power's total installed capacity now stands at 9,183 MW, besides 2 million customers it serves through retail power distribution. The company continues to pursue avenues to add clean and renewable energy generation capacities to increase its portfolio. TPREL proposes to grow its capacity through organic and inorganic means over the next few years.
Meanwhile, NTPC has reportedly invited bids from contractors to set up a 100 MW wind energy project or two projects of 50 MW each anywhere in India. The winner of the contract will implement the project from concept to the commissioning stage and subsequently monitor it. Renewable energy and hydro projects currently account for about 2% of the 40,000 MW capacity that NTPC owns. It has 110 MW of solar plants and 1,200 MW under construction. It also has 800 MW of small hydroelectric plants with another 800 MW being set up. Tata Power and NTPC finished the day down by 2.1% and 2.6% respectively.
The power sector is going through troubled times. The State Electricity Boards (SEBs) that buy power from generators are reeling under huge losses and bloated debt (Subscription Required). The capacity utilization level or the plant load factor (PLF) of generating companies has been on a steady decline over the years. As per the annual report from the Ministry of Power, the PLF has fallen from a peak of 78.6% in FY08 to about 65% upto November 2014.
Moving on to the news from paint sector. According to a leading financial daily, Berger Paints India has entered into business transfer agreement with its joint venture (JV) firm BNB Coatings. The amount involved in the transaction was not disclosed.
BNB is understood to have entered a similar agreement with Nippon Paint (India) Pvt Ltd for transfer of its four wheeler car body paint business. BNB Coatings is a 51:49 percent joint venture between NPAU and Berger Paints, respectively. In November last year, Berger Paints India Ltd and Nippon Paint Automotive Coatings Company (NPAU) together with Nippon Paint (India) Pvt Ltd (NPI) entered into a non-binding understanding to transfer three-wheeler and four-wheeler paint business to BNB Coatings India.
In another development, Kansai Nerolac Paints has posted over tenfold jump in its net profit at Rs 6.15 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 as compared to Rs 603.7 million for the same quarter in the previous year. Total income of the company has increased by 10.30% at Rs 8.97 billion for quarter under review as compared to Rs 8.13 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. Kansai Nerolac, however, finished the day down by 1.3% on the BSE.
2015 had been a good year for paints companies. All the three major companies have outperformed the Sensex. Indeed, while in the first eight months of 2015, the Sensex has lost around 4.5%, paint stocks have managed to display positive returns (Subscription Required). But even then, while gains in Kansai Nerolac and Asian Paints have been in double-digits, those for Berger Paints have been relatively tepid at around 5% (Subscription Required).
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