Indian markets continued to slide on the back of weak global cues
Weak global markets, along with fears of stimulus tightening by the Indian government, weighed heavily on market sentiments. The Sensex declined 155 points from the previous day’s close, ending the day at 17,486 while the Nifty ended the day at 5,226, down 49 points.
India VIX, a volatility index based on the S&P CNX Nifty index option prices which measures the market’s expectation of volatility over the next 30 calendar days, rose 4% at 22.
During trading hours, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that it was permitting the introduction of currency futures in euro, yen, and pound sterling with immediate effect. Prior to this, the RBI had only allowed currency futures trading in dollar-rupee contracts.
Pronab Sen, chief secretary, said in a television interview that monthly inflation may touch double digits by March 2010.
As per recent media reports, commercial banks are unlikely to raise lending rates in the near term, given the surplus liquidity in the system and poor demand for loans, even if the central bank signals a tightening of the monetary policy by hiking the cash reserve ratio (CRR). Bankers, economists and bond markets expect a hike in CRR by the central bank at the quarterly policy review on 29 January 2010.
At 14:00 hrs IST, the Sensex was trading at 17,572, down 68 points from the previous day’s close, while the Nifty was trading at 5,250, down 24 points.
However, by 15:00 hrs IST, the Sensex was trading down 125 points from the previous day’s close at 17,515 while the Nifty declined 42 points at 5,233.
Divestment candidates were the major gainers today following the divestment secretary’s comments on Monday. Andrew Yule, Transport Corporation, National Fertiliser and FACT were locked at the 20% upper circuit each while RCF and Hindustan Copper were up nearly 19%. HMT, ITI and NMDC were up 14%, 11% and 6% respectively. STC India gained 6%.
DLF has reportedly decided to exit its mutual fund venture, DLF Pramerica Mutual Fund, by selling its entire stake to its overseas partner in the venture, US-based Prudential Financial, as the company seeks to focus on its core business. Prudential Financial is expected to buy DLF’s 39% stake in the asset management company that is yet to start operations. DLF fell 2%.
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) will reportedly invest around Rs25,000 crore to build its thermal power business in the next five years. L&T Power, the wholly-owned subsidiary of L&T, will have a generation capacity of 5,500 megawatts (MW), including hydropower, by 2015. The stock declined 1%.
As per media reports, Reliance Capital is looking to sell up to 20% stake in Reliance Mutual Fund to a strategic foreign partner. The stock was down 1%.
The finance ministry disbursed Rs12,000 crore subsidy to oil companies, according to reports. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was given Rs7,000 crore subsidy while the total subsidy payout to Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) stood at Rs5,000 crore.
However, oil-marketing companies witnessed selling pressure despite the news of disbursement of subsidy. HPCL, IOC and BPCL fell 2%-3%.
During the day, Asia’s key benchmark indices in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan fell by between 0.09%-1.07% whereas indices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and China rose by between 0.03%-1.02%.
As per media reports, the central banks of China and Taiwan tightened policy to drain money from the banking system. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) lifted the auction yield on one-year bills in its regular open market operation for a second week in a row, and by more than expected. Taiwan also pushed up its overnight lending rate, the rate at which banks borrow and lend to each other, by one basis point to an eight-month high.
On Monday, 18 January 2010, US markets remained closed. However, in premarket trading today, the Dow was trading 40 points lower.
Yesterday, we had said that the bourses would open higher and they did so. Tomorrow, we expect Indian markets to remain down.
BNP Paribas has introduced its enhanced trading platform free of cost for its existing customers after ICICIdirect launched its TradeRacer a few months back
The race for providing online trading platforms is gathering pace. Brokerage houses are doing all they can to woo traders to trade more with lots of bells and whistles. A few weeks ago, ICICIdirect launched its new online trading platform ‘TradeRacer’. Today, Geojit BNP Paribas, one of the leading retail stock brokers in India, launched its enhanced online trading platform ‘FLIP’ (Financial Investment Platform). The launch was carried out by Ravi Narain, chief executive officer and managing director of the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
The platform is available free of cost for its existing customers while brokerage charges remain the same at 0.3% for a delivery. FLIP is already available in stock exchanges of Saudi Arabia and Oman. Developed by Geojit Technologies (P) Ltd, a subsidiary of Geojit BNP Paribas, ‘FLIP’ provides features similar to ICICIdirect’s TradeRacer like alerts, research reports, intra-day charts, technical analysis, third party news, customised interface and a mobile edition called FLIP-Me. Both mobile integration options are available through low bandwidth GPRS-enabled mobile phones. Where FLIP scores is in its tie-up with eight banks, whose customers can access the platform. ICICIdirect does not allow any customer other than its own account-holders (in ICICI Bank) to trade in its online trading platform. In both the platforms, investors can arbitrage which provide multiple watch-lists. ICICIdirect’s ‘TradeRacer’ was initially available only to its sub-brokers. Now it is open to all customers after registration.
FLIP integrates with the risk management system offering financial instruments such as equities, derivatives (stock and currency), margin funding, mutual fund units and IPOs. FLIP also provides online fund transfer through multiple bank payment gateways in addition to RTGS/NEFT. FLIP uses FIX adapter to connect to multiple markets to serve different client categories including institutions, retail investors, traders and HNIs.
“We are confident that following the launch of FLIP, we will be able to add significant numbers to our expanding online client base comprising retail, domestic and NRI clients. Today, we have over 500,000 plus clients executing over 300,000 trades daily,” said AP Kurian, chairman, Geojit BNP Paribas. The entity has a strong presence in Gulf countries like Bahrain and Oman.
Geojit hopes that online trading platform volumes will catch up as Internet penetration increases in India. Further, once mobile trading is approved by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), traders are likely to spend more time on their mobile phones. Currently 400 million people use mobile phones while there are 8 million investors in India. Market commentators expect that top retail brokerages will come out with platforms that compete with Geojit and ICICIdirect. The question is, how big is the market for traders?
Sesa Goa will spend about Rs1,500 crore in its mining business during the next two years to reach an annual production capacity of about 50 million tonnes
Vedanta Resource group company Sesa Goa Ltd on Tuesday said that it will spend about Rs1,500 crore in its mining business during the next two years to reach an annual production capacity of about 50 million tonnes (MT), reports PTI.
"For reaching 50MT, the figure would be about Rs1,500 crore," Sesa Goa managing director PK Mukherjee said during an analyst conference call when asked about the company's capital expenditure plans for the next two years.
The company has an annual capacity of around 20MT and is targeting an additional 5MT by March 2010.
About the company's diversification and expansion plans, Mr Mukherjee said, "We have a prospecting licence (PL) in Jharkhand. We have already applied to convert the PL into mining licence (ML) and at the same time we are quite close to getting an access to land area. Once the land is there, then we will start talking about collaboration, as far as value-addition projects are concerned."
Vedanta Resources had indicated that Sesa Goa, which is already into manufacturing of pig iron, could further diversify into steel making.
Asked if Sesa Goa expects further hike in export duty on iron ore, Mr Mukherjee remarked, "The steel lobby is continuously talking about curbing the profits of iron ore (companies). I will request in this forum (that) this is not the way to tinkle with tariff and the duty structure."
By the end of the last quarter, Sesa Goa had cash and cash equivalent of Rs5,505 crore.
Further, the company is bullish about the domestic and overseas demand for its mineral and expects an annual production of 5-7MT of iron ore in 2010-11.
Moreover, for the next fiscal, the company expects the benchmark long-term contract rates to rise by 20%-40% from the current levels, Mr Mukherjee said.
The prices at which Australian mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton supply iron ore to Japanese and South Korean steel mills form the global benchmark rate.
In the current financial year, global benchmark rates, followed by India's largest iron ore producer NMDC, stand at about $61 a tonne for iron fines and around $72 a tonne for lumps.
Sesa Goa, which channelizes its chunk of exports to China, is cautious about temporary slackening in demand from the neighbouring country on account of sluggish industrial activity during the Lunar New Year Celebrations, which start next month.
However, on a long-term basis, Mr Mukherjee remained positive on demand for Indian iron ore from Chinese steel mills, which primarily helped it to clock a net profit of Rs827.50 crore for the quarter ended 31st December. The company notched up a net profit of Rs470.70 crore for the corresponding period a year ago.