Indian equity markets continued to trade weak over the last two hours of trade on back of selling across sectors. Oil and Gas and Pharma stocks witnessed maximum buying interest, while Metal and Auto stocks witnessed maximum selling pressure.
FMCG Stocks are trading strong led by Emami Limited and Godrej Consumer Limited. According to a leading financial daily, ITC has raised its stake in EIH Hotels by 1%. EIH runs the Oberoi and Trident chain of hotels.With this acquisition, ITC's stake in EIH goes up to 15.89%. The cigarettes-to-hotels major, which has been accumulating shares in EIH since 2000, had kept it almost at a static level of 14.98%, a shade below the earlier 15% which was SEBI trigger for open offer, for a long time. However, under the new SEBI takeover code, shares can be acquired up to 25% without triggering an open offer.At one point in time, ITC was keen on a partnership in the form a joint ownership or marketing alliance. However, in 2010, EIH brought in Reliance Industries Limited as a stakeholder in a surprise move to ward off any possible takeover.
Energy stocks are trading in the green led by Castrol and BPCL. As per a leading daily, the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs will meet today to discuss hikes in diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) prices. We may note here that state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation are losing Rs 15 per litre on sale of diesel. On an average, they lose Rs 200 every day on diesel sales. The oil ministry is proposing a hike of minimum Rs 4 per litre in diesel. For LPG, it is demanding an increase in price of Rs 50 per cylinder. Last diesel price hike was of Rs 3 per litre last year. However, the oil marketing companies claim that this is not sufficient for them. In the meanwhile, it may sound more trouble for the common man already suffering from high inflation if the prices are actually raised.