New Delhi: The country's leading bourses are gearing up to start trading in currency options, a move that provides another alternative to traders for hedging against currency fluctuation, reports PTI.
While, the MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) has started mock trading in currency options, two other bourses, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the United Stock Exchange (USE), are likely to launch the live trading soon after getting the approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
On Friday, market regulator SEBI allowed exchanges to introduce currency options on the US dollar pairing with rupee. At present, only trading in currency futures are allowed in the country in four currencies against the Indian rupee.
Currency option is a derivative instrument that gives an owner the right, but not the obligation, to exchange money denominated in one currency into another currency at a pre- agreed exchange rate on a specified date.
"We are applying to SEBI soon (for the launch of currency options trading) and will start as soon as the permission comes," a senior official of NSE told PTI on Sunday.
"The introduction of options trading is expected to give a fillip to currency volumes," a market expert said.
Exchanges are enthusiastic about the launch of currency options and said the approval has been long awaited by market.
"Introduction of currency options has been long awaited by market and is definitely a step in the right direction," United Stock Exchange CEO T S Narayanasami said.
Currency option is primarily a retail product and we hope corporates and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to enter this market in a big way by hedging their forex risk at the minimal cost, he added. USE is yet to start operations.
"We will start full-fledged operations in currency futures in September, followed by trading in options and interest rate futures," Mr Narayanasami said.
On the likely benefits of exchange-traded currency options, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) chief general manager foreign exchange department (trade) G Jaganmohan Rao had said, "By doing that, we will have another option in our pocket. Companies and exporters both will benefit."
In August 2008, SEBI allowed exchanges to introduce currency futures, a derivative contract to buy or sell one currency against other on a specified future date, at a price decided in the contract.
RBI and SEBI jointly regulate these products. While RBI approves the products, SEBI decides on the trading platforms.
To start off, here a few general observations:
* MNCs: The Reserve Bank of India circular removing the cap on royalty payment has paved the way for increased royalty or trademark fees to MNC parents.
* The next quarter will definitely not be favourable for cement. Too much capacity coming in, and the September quarter is sluggish for construction due to rains.
* Banks' results were above expectations. It seems given that most will see loan growth of 20% and above this year. However, with some banks, asset quality remains a bit of a concern.
* Execution issues exist among engineering companies despite brimming order books.
* Cash flow issues could catch up with real estate companies.
* Raw material prices are going up almost for all companies. If not, they are close to exhausting their low-cost inventory.
ACC (Q2) - A lot of capacity coming up
Performance veered towards disappointing. Raw material (fly ash and slag prices were higher), fuel, and freight costs were rising, volumes were down, and realisations were flat. ABB's 3mtpa expansion at Chanda (Maharashtra) is almost complete and expansion projects in Orissa (Bargarh) and Karnataka (Wadi) have begun commercial operations - these will boost ACC's capacity to 30mtpa from 26mtpa very soon. This does not bode well for cement prices in the October quarter.
ACC's RMC business continued to be a drag. Allotment of coal blocks will not be an immediate positive, and would reflect in valuations only when these blocks are almost near operation (this is a 4-5 year project).
AMBUJA CEMENT (Q2) - Lower clinker costs
Results came in at the lower end of expectations. Exports fell 27%, volumes were up, and realisations were flat. Clinker costs were low due to the stabilisation of its new clinker units (leading to stripped-down clinker purchases). Power and fuel costs were high.
'Other expenses' were also high - these included consultancy charges, advertising and marketing expenses, and plant maintenance cost. ACEM commissioned a 30-MW thermal plant at Ambujanagar. Depreciation was slightly up since it commissioned new capacities at the end of Q1CY10; management has guided a depreciation of Rs4 billion for the full year.
Ambuja Cement commands a valuation premium among cement stocks and in the seasonally weak September quarter, it might see a sharp fall.
AXIS BANK (Q1) - All about loan growth this quarter
Results were in line with estimates. The 39% growth in advances was way above expectations - large- and mid-corporate segment growth was 55% (boosted by loans to the telecom sector and the 3G auctions). Loan growth could continue to be strong over Q2 and Q3 due to a lower base.
Following good loan growth, fee income growth was also strong at 19%. CASA growth continued to be strong, again on a lower base. Margins declined due to higher deposit costs and full impact of CRR hike, however, the dip was a little on the higher side. Asset quality was stable but slippages were more than expected. The theme of Axis' valuation discount to HDFC Bank narrowing is likely to continue playing out and by the end of this year, if performance continues to be strong, this discount may not exist.
BHARTI AIRTEL (Q1) - All eyes on SA
Results not yet out, but we are including this in any case, because the company held an analyst call recently. Clearly, in Bharti's case, the whole focus has shifted away from results to the Zain acquisition. Bharti is betting on the fact that penetration and usage is low in the South African countries where Zain operates and that it will be able to make a big headway in both these areas using its low-cost high-usage model.
Debt expectations have now been scaled down to $800 million from $1 billion and $200 million annual interest costs will have to be serviced by its SA operation.
BHEL (Q1) - Execution needs to pick up fast
Poor sales growth (16%, slowest in the past 2 years) was offset by a drop in raw material costs (the management believes this is sustainable through the year, despite the fact that its low-cost inventory will be exhausted by Q2). The industrial segment remains sluggish. Employee costs are rising due to new hiring. Order-flow in Q1FY11 was slightly lower than in Q1FY10. The company's management says it will book orders worth Rs550 billion in FY11 (current outstanding orders are at Rs1,480 billion) - which is flattish over FY10.
What BHEL expects now is more orders on the supercritical front and costs in this segment will come down with more indigenisation. Both these factors, along with a pick up in execution and revenue, will be critical to stock performance. BHEL is expecting good orders from National Thermal Power Corporation's bulk tendering Phase-I that is likely to invite financial bids in Q3FY2011.
CAIRN INDIA (Q1) - Eyes on future cash
Profits came in way, way below expectations due to higher depreciation costs and lower Rajasthan sales volumes. After commissioning its pipeline (to Gujarat) in June, Cairn has started charging depreciation on the pipeline at 10% straight-line method, resulting in excess
depreciation charge of Rs1.2 billion. Realisations were higher than expected. Cairn is currently producing 100,000bpd of crude at Rajasthan, which is expected to touch 125,000bpd in the second half of this year. With the pipeline to Salaya in Gujarat, it has linkages with refineries of RIL, Essar and IOC. But it still delivers to MRPL and HPCL through trucks (which is expensive). Cairn is expected to generate annual free cash flowof $2.5 billion-$3.0 billion from FY12E onwards and remains a favoured play on crude
prices - two reasons why the stock has not fallen despite disappointing numbers. The market could also be looking at positive news on reserve accretion in Rajasthan. Besides, Cairn is also doing some 'wildcat' drilling in the KG basin.
DLF (Q1) - Cash flow needed badly
Profit was generally disappointing due to higher interest expenses and depreciation charges. Residential sales were the weakest in the last 5 quarters but leasing picked up quite a bit. Overall, DLF sold 1.9 million sq ft for Rs11.5 billion, down 30% y-o-y and 47% q-o-q. Debt is just not going down, indicating that the operational cash flows that it is generating are not enough. This means that it has to have more launches at prices that can bring in high levels of volumes and this is clearly not happening as yet. DLF has said that it will withdraw from affordable housing (not sure if it was in this segment in the first place) and raise Rs 25 billion from sale of non-core assets.
HCL TECH (Q4) - Great sales numbers
Sales were stronger than expected, but margins declined, hit by BPO losses, subcontracting costs, and initial costs for large outsourcing deals. Margins may decline further with salary increments in the September quarter. Hiring was stronger than expected, indicating confidence in future growth.
HDFC (Q1) - Just about okay
The key positive was 62% growth in new residential loans that led to a 17% loan book growth. Volume growth was 23% despite sell-down of loans to HDFC Bank. Disbursements were up more than 25% (on a low base) and sanctions were up 31%. HDFC did not book some expected profits on sale of investments, but dividend income was higher. Fee growth also lagged.
HDFC BANK (Q1) - Simply great
Net profits came in on the higher side of expectations. Loan growth at 40% y-o-y was also higher than expected. NPAs declined, asset quality remained one of the best in the industry and low-cost deposits increased. The bank will probably continue to sustain its rich valuations. The initial view after RBI tightened rates on 28th July was that banks will not follow suit. However, HDFC Bank surprised the market by hiking FD rates by 0.75% the very next day.
HERO HONDA (Q1) - Facing an uncertain future
The deviation in PAT numbers was due to higher-than-anticipated costs of technology changes that were needed to meet new emission norms. Realisations were up only 2% (price hike was taken only late June).
Raw material costs were also rising. Recent reports suggested that Honda Motors is likely to offload 6% of its 26% stake in Hero Honda.
Until now, most believed the reverse - that Honda Motors will buy out Hero Group's 26% stake. If the news is true, it means that Honda will eventually exit the JV and that the technological agreement between the two may not be renewed beyond 2014. This will certainly mean a completely different future for HH and it is reflected in the share price that has tanked from almost Rs2,050 to Rs1,800.
HINDUSTAN UNILEVER (Q1) - Margins at the altar of volumes
Net sales and profits were in the middle of the expectations band. Volume growth continued in double digits led by personal products, beverages and processed foods. There was some mild recovery in soaps & detergents - detergent volumes grew in double digits (due to price
cuts) and a re-launch of 'Rin'. Premium soaps got a shot in the arm with the launch of 'Dove' in a Rs20 price-point pack. Other notable growth stories - 'Pepsodent', 'Close Up', 'Fair & Lovely' re-launched, 'Pond's White Beauty' and 'Vaseline Healthy White', 'Vaseline Menz' and 'Max Fairness', 'Kissan' and 'Annapurna', 'Knorr Soupy Noodles', 'Brooke Bond
Sehatmand tea', and ice creams.
Ad spends continued to eat into margins. This is in line with HUL's strategy to stay focused on volumes rather than margins at the moment. The stock will be sensitive to prices of the key inputs (including palm oil, LAB, HDPE and raw tea) in the coming quarters and to competitive action. The buyback price of Rs280 was supporting the stock but it has slipped of late.
ICICI BANK (Q1) - Loan growth has to pick up
There was hardly any growth in advances at 7% but within advances the corporate loan book grew 30%. CEO Chanda Kochhar gave a guidance of 20% for the domestic book for the year, lower for the international book, 15-16% overall (lower than peers). NPA ratio came down to 1.62% from 2.19% and Ms Kochhar seemed confident it will end lower than that. The focus seems to be on housing and car loans now. The deliberate shrinking of its credit card book is almost over.
IDEA CELLULAR (Q1) - Heavy capex ahead
Numbers were good. 2G voice traffic was up ~13% q-o-q but ARPM (Average Revenue per Minute) fell sharply by 5.6% in the quarter to reach Rs0.44. EBITDA margins came off due to higher spectrum charges and the Spice amalgamation. ARPUs (Average Revenue per User) continued to decline but not as sharply. Minutes of usage actually went up for the
third quarter in a row. Value-added services share continues to inch up and is now at 12.6% of revenue. Debt and capex remain concerns. Q1 capex (excluding 3G and Indus) was only Rs3.2 billion versus recent quarterly run rate of Rs7 billion-Rs9 billion. But full year capex guidance is Rs40 billion-Rs44 billion, much higher than the Rs30 billion guided earlier. 3G spectrum cost amortisation could happen in Q3 or Q4 depending on the initiation date of the 3G offering.
ITC (Q1) - Volumes finally drop
Most worrisome was the drop in cigarette volumes. Maybe the tipping point has finally arrived where the price hikes are not being absorbed and could lead to shrinking volumes. FMCG, agri-business and hotels are doing well in terms of revenues. Losses were lower than expected in paper and FMCG. New brands and variants such as 'Lucky Strike', 'Classic
Menthol Rush' and 'Gold Flake SLK' were launched during the quarter. Some non-cigarette growth: 'Sunfeast' biscuits grew by 43% y-o-y, 'Aashirvaad' flour grew 21% y-o-y, the confectionery segment was up 25% and the personal care segment was up 86%.
JINDAL STEEL (Q1) - Disappointing
Performance was lower than expected, hit by lower steel deliveries despite strong steel production. Subsidiary Jindal Power's realisations dropped sharply. (More details in the conference call).
JP ASSOCIATES (Q1) - PAT disappoints
Net profit was below estimates despite strong revenue growth. This was because of lower margins in engineering and construction and cement, higher interest, depreciation and taxes. E&C margins were lower because of a higher contribution from low margin in-house construction work and a force majeure at its Srisailam irrigation project due to flooding.
KOTAK BANK- Loan growth up but subsidiaries need to catch up
Results were in line. Loan growth was strong at 40%. NPA provisions declined. Broking and IB posted a 30% decline. Decline in market share (80bps y-o-y) and falling yields is putting pressure on K-Sec profitability.
LARSEN & TOUBRO (Q1) - Execution woes
Execution was lower than expected in engineering and construction, but good in electrical and machinery divisions. EBITDA margins were up due to lower raw material prices. Current order-book is Rs1,078 billion, implying book-to-bill ratio of 2.9x. The management is still confident of achieving 25% y-o-y growth in FY11 based on large orders from the Hyderabad Metro project and from the road sector.
MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA (Q1) - Another good quarter
The company exhibited healthy revenue growth. Automotive realisations slightly down due to shift towards light commercial vehicles. The tractor segment was up 15%. Cost-control led to margin rises in the automotive segment. Raw material costs were higher but were offset to some extent with lower employee expenses.
MARUTI SUZUKI (Q1) - Royalty hit
Results were very disappointing despite 25% growth in sales volume as other expenses rose 42% due to higher royalty payments. Income from exports to Europe also fell due to the weakening of the euro. The higher royalty payments have already resulted in huge downgrades (20% +) by brokerages and it is possible that the stock will languish here for some time.
NTPC (Q1) - Uninspiring
Results characterised by lower PLFs and flat volumes despite the additional 990-MW Dadri
and Kahalgoan units in operation. Higher fuel and employee expenses hit margins. Margins were also affected by lower PLFs resulting in lower incentives.
ONGC (Q1) - Lower production from fields again
Earnings were below expectations. No clarity about the under-recovery contribution to oil marketing companies yet (ONGC has paid 80% of up-stream's share of under-recovery). The company is still struggling to sustain production from its oilfields. There was some marginal improvement in gas production from its fields.
PUNJAB NATIONAL BANK (Q1) - Restructured assets strain
The bank exhibited good credit growth at 25%. CASA continued to improve marginally with
branch expansion. Fee-income growth was moderate maybe because a large part of the credit growth came from SMEs. NPA provisions were the highest in six quarters. Slippages surprised negatively as they stood at Rs12 billion for the quarter with one large account of Rs2 billion and Rs2.6 billion slipping from the restructured asset portfolio. Of its total
restructured assets of Rs130 billion, approximately 8% have already turned into NPAs.
Restructured assets now stand at almost 7% of gross advances and this will weigh on stock performance.
RELIANCE INFRA & RELIANCE POWER
On the face of it, RELI's results look lower than expected whereas RPWR's look better than expected. More details needed to comment.
SAIL (Q1) - Not smooth sailing
Weak sales volumes resulted in an inventory build-up. Higher raw material and staff costs eroded profitability. We expect more details after the conference call.
SIEMENS (3Q) - Not the usual sluggish 3Q
Sales were driven by strong performance of the power-transmission segment but profitability was impacted by significant margin erosion in the power generation and oil & gas segments. However, the pace of execution has picked up in the quarter. The order backlog of Rs135.5 billion (up 34% y-o-y) could give more confidence in future execution.
STERLITE INDUSTRIES (Q1) - Cost overruns
Results were below estimates mainly because of higher costs at BALCO and VAL. Hindustan Zinc's Dariba smelter produced only 33,000 tons, while production of old smelters suffered due to shortage of water. Besides, the company was also hit by higher alumina prices, wage inflation due to higher provisioning required on gratuity calculations, and higher power
costs. There is still no improvement in the visibility of bauxite mines, which will drag down production growth and margins of aluminium.
SUN PHARMA (Q1) - US sales surprise
A positive surprise came from higher US sales (non-recurring). Domestic market growth looks great at 91% but this is due to a low base. Base business is up just 9%. While margins are recovering, they are not near their normal levels yet.
The market started the week on a soft note ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) monetary policy announcement on 27th July. Taking the lending and borrowing rate hike by the central bank in its stride, the market ended in the positive terrain the next day. However, the market remained range-bound for the rest of the week. The Sensex and the Nifty ended 1% down on a weekly basis.
The top Sensex gainers during the week were Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) (up 6%), HDFC Bank (up 4%), Hindalco Industries and ACC (up 1% each). Maruti Suzuki (down 12%), Jaiprakash Associates (down 8%), Hero Honda, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and DLF (down 7% each) were the top losers on the benchmark.
The PSU index with a gain of 1% ended as the sole gainer in the BSE sectoral pack. Capita goods (down 5%) and the oil & gas index (down 3%) were the top sectoral losers.
The RBI, in its first quarterly review of the monetary policy announced on 27th July, increased the short-term lending rate (repo) to 5.75% and short-term borrowing rate (reverse repo) to 4.50% with immediate effect. It, however, kept the cash reserve ratio (CRR), the cash which banks are required to keep with RBI, and bank rate unchanged as liquidity is tight in the system following over Rs1 lakh crore outgo due to payments by telecom companies for acquiring spectrum.
Food inflation fell to single digit at 9.67% for the first time this year at a time when the government is facing a concerted opposition attack on rising food and fuel prices. Inflation fell by 2.80 percentage points for the week ended 17th July from 12.47% in the previous week, on a decline in prices of vegetables, especially potatoes and onions.
Fuel inflation for the week ended 17th July inched up marginally to 14.29% as compared to 14.27% for the previous week. The impact of the government's hike in retail fuel prices last month is still seen to impact the fuel price inflation albeit to a lesser extent.
Global rating firm Moody's upgraded India's local currency sovereign rating by a notch on the country's efforts toward fiscal reforms and the economy's capacity to face a crisis, a move that that will result in greater capital inflows and appreciation of rupee value. Though the global rating agency has upgraded the local currency government bond grading from Ba2 to Ba1, it is still a notch below investment grade. Moody's has a positive outlook on the rating, which means there might be a further upgrade later.
The country's infrastructure industries expanded by 3.4% in June, the lowest in 10 months, on a sharp slide in coal, electricity and cement output. Output of crude oil, petroleum refinery products and steel that make up the six core infrastructure industries were marginally higher or flat, according to commerce ministry data released this week. The six industries account for around 27% of factory output measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
The Instanex FII Index for the week ended 30th July was down 2% at 375.60 and the Instanex DII 15 portfolio was down 1%. Of the 20 components of the Instanex FII Index, 16 were down, TCS was unchanged and three were up. The main losers were Maruti Suzuki (-12%), Jaiprakash Associates (-8%) and Hero Honda (-7%). The main gainers were HDFC Bank (+4%) and ITC (+2%).
Monsoon rains across the country are expected to be better than earlier forecast for the remaining season but the eastern regions could see deficient falls. Ajit Tyagi, director general India Meteorological Department (IMD) said a late monsoon surge in July has bridged the gap in the rainfall for the month which now was 1% more than normal. He added the rainfall was evenly distributed across the country and over 75% part of the country had received normal rainfall.
Credit growth of banks stood at 21.26% during the one-year period ended 16th July, up from 14.70% a year ago, as per RBI data. As on 16th July, bank credit stood at Rs34.61 lakh crore. In absolute terms, credit expansion was Rs6.06 lakh crore. The RBI, in its annual monetary policy estimated that credit would grow by 20% this fiscal.