Mahanadi Coalfields shows the way for increasing productivity
Mahanadi Coalfields, a unit of Coal India, has set a precedent that should encourage other subsidiaries of the state-run company, to increase their productivity in coal mining and thermal power
In the last Annual General Meeting of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, chairman and managing director (CMD), AN Sahay, was able to convey details of several interesting project moves that the company had undertaken during the year under review.
Mahanadi Coalfields is a jewel in Coal India Ltd's crown and has set a precedent that should encourage others to follow:
(a) Mahanadi Coalfields is setting up a coal-based thermal power plant (2 x 800) 1600 MW with super critical technology
(b) It has formed Mahanadi Basin Power Ltd (MBPL) which will utilise the coal deposits at Basundhara and Sundargarh 
(c) It has received coal linkage approvals from the Ministry of Coal (MoC).  The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has already accorded 'Terms of Reference' clearance to go ahead with the power project
(d) Water Resources Department (WRD) has agreed to provide 25 cusecs water and the balance 25 cusecs needed is under active consideration
(e) Mahanadi Coalfield's Board has already given in principle approval for 100% equity participation in the project
(f) Mahanadi Coalfield has ventured into the power transmission business and a joint venture with Orissa Power Transmission Co Ltd has resulted in the setting up of Neelanchal Power Transmission Pvt Ltd.
(g) Mahanadi Coalfields is planning to install 2 MW photovoltaic Solar Power plants at Anand Vihar, Burla, Sambalpur in the first quarter of 2014-15, so as to "mark its presence in renewal energy sector"
In the meantime, Mahanadi Coalfields recorded a marginal increase (2.36%) in its output, to mine 110.40 million tonnes of coal in 2013-14.  However, due to unusual rains, the production may fall during 2014-15. This is in addition to the loss of production that may be caused by a strike at Talcher.
According to press reports, 122 villagers of Hensmul at Talcher coalfields have refused to vacate their land for Mahanadi Coalfields to carry on mining operations. These villagers were given employment, in lieu of the land they were expected to vacate. A strike has been called by these villagers and this may have immediate repercussions on production at the Bhubaneswar and Ananta fields.
If this matter is not sorted out immediately, it is likely to affect the generation of 2,000 MW of power in the Southern States. On top of this strike threat, rains have also come to play a negative role.
Due to scanty or no rainfall in some areas, and delays in arrival of rains, Mahanadi Coalfield was able to produce some 4 million tonnes of coal, without interruption. But the onset of rains has slowed down the production, which had increased almost to double in the last 10 days or so. This will hit production. Mining is unlikely to resume till around the October-November period.
CMD Sahay has stated that some contingency plans are being prepared. But it is imperative that the root cause of the problem with 122 villagers be settled, particularly when Mahanadi Coalfield has such ambitious plans ahead to complete. It is also hoped that the orders for machinery requirements for the power plant are placed immediately, if not done already, so that project work goes on schedule.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)


Nifty, Sensex may dip over the coming ssessions – Friday closing report

Nifty has to rise above today’s high for the uptrend to restart


We mentioned yesterday that the Nifty and Sensex may try to hit new highs, but a short decline is overdue. This is exactly what happened today. The indices hit a new life time high but couldn’t sustain the levels and started moving lower. After hitting a three day low (including today) the indices recovered a bit towards the end of the day. We expect the market to dip again either on Monday or Tuesday.

S&P BSE Sensex opened at 26,257, while CNX Nifty opened at 7,828.  The indices hit a high at 26,300 and 7,841. Sensex hit a low at 26,007 and closed at 26,127 (down 145 points or 0.55%), while Nifty hit a low of 7,749 and closed at 7,790 (down 40 points or 0.51%). The NSE recorded a volume of 95.30 crore shares. India VIX fell 3.39% to close at 14.2200.

The Minister of State for Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman today said that the government does not have any current proposal to cut the record 10% import duty on gold, and also that the government has not decided its stance on its policy to allow foreign direct investment in supermarkets.

Today Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reportedly said that he is preparing to take a final decision on the controversial General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR). GAAR is a tool to curb tax avoidance.

The government is also planning to sell a 5% stake in SAIL, as also a public listing of the steel company Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, to sell a 10% stake this fiscal year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday. Meanwhile, the monsoon was reportedly 24% above average in the week ended July 23.

Glenmark Pharma (6.83%) was among the top two gainers in the ‘A’ group on the BSE. The company has posted a net profit of Rs103.93 crore for the quarter ended June 2014 as compared to Rs117.80 crore for the quarter ended June 2013, while the sales increased from Rs509.43 crore to Rs616.46 crore for the relevant period.

Biocon (-7.07%) was among the top two losers in the ‘A’ group on the BSE, after posting a weak June 2014 quarter result. The company has posted a net profit of Rs74.63 crore for the quarter ended June 2014 as compared to Rs87.73 crore for the quarter ended June 2013.

Sun Pharma (4.44%) hit its 52-week high today on the BSE and was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack.

Global proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services has voiced concerns about Tata Motors' plan to raise funds through public deposits and advised shareholders to reject the proposal. It was also sceptical about the proposal to raise salaries of its executives. Tata Motors (-5.70%) was the top loser in the Sensex 30 stock.

US indices closed flat on Thursday. The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in more than eight years. Jobless claims fell by 19,000 to 284,000 in the week ended July 19, the lowest since February 2006 and lower than the forecast, a Labor Department report showed in Washington.

Fewer than forecasted new homes were sold in June in the US, and data for the prior month was revised down.

The International Monetary Fund lowered its outlook for growth yesterday. The world economy will expand 3.4% in 2014, the IMF said, less than its 3.6% prediction in April and stronger than last year's 3.2%. Next year, growth will be 4% compared with an April forecast for 3.9%, the fund said.

Except for Jakarta Composite (-0.19%), Straits Times (-0.11%) and Taiwan Weighted (-0.93%) all the other Asian indices closed in the green. Nikkei 225 (1.13%) was the top gainer. European indices were trading marginally lower. US Futures too were trading in the red.


Nifty, Sensex may move sideways with a downward bias - Weekly Market Report

If the Nifty is not able to close above 7,840 by Tuesday, the indices will head towards 7,600


The S&P BSE 30-share Sensex closed the week that ended on 25th July at 26,127 (up 485 points or 1.89%), while the NSE’s 50-share CNX Nifty closed at 7,790 (up 127 points or 1.65%) for the week. We had mentioned last week that the indices may rally for a day or two before a pause or a decline. Except for Friday, this week the market witnessed a rising trend, with the benchmark closing at a new high in two consecutive sessions. However, the market is highly overbought at present and we continue to maintain that it will give up some gains soon.

On Monday, the market closed in the positive for the fifth consecutive session, recording marginal gains. The upmove may have got support from news of an improved monsoon. Nifty closed at 7,684 (up 20 points or 0.26%).

On Tuesday, Nifty continued its uptrend. Nifty closed at 7,768 (up 84 points or 1.09%). Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the government is inclined to continue restrictions on gold imports, along with other steps taken by the previous UPA regime for controlling the widening CAD (current account deficit). The government is planning to offload its stake in certain profit-making infrastructure units of the Indian Railways. Since these companies may not be listed, it is likely that an initial public offer (IPO) will be accompanied by an offer for sale by the government.

Positive data from the US added more momentum to the current upmove back home. Nifty closed at its new high at 7,796 (up 28 points or 0.36%) on Wednesday. The Reserve Bank of India said that it expected that about 4-6 banks may be designated as domestic systemically important banks (D-SIBs) and that the RBI will disclose the names of the banks classified as D-SIBs in the month of August every year starting from 2015.

On Thursday, after a weak move until 2.00 pm, the indices witnessed a sudden upsurge and closed again at a new high. Nifty closed at 7,831 (up 35 points or 0.45%). Data from China showed the manufacturing gauge rising to an 18-month high in July, adding to signs that the government will meet its 2014 economic-growth target of about 7.5%.

The Union Cabinet approved the hike in foreign direct investment in the insurance sector to 49% from 26%. The Finance Minister, in the Union Budget 2014-15, had proposed a hike in FDI in insurance sector to 49% from 26%.

The market gave up gains for the first time after eight positive trading sessions. Nifty closed at 7,790 (down 40 points or 0.51%). Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that he is preparing to take a final decision on the controversial General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR). GAAR is a tool to curb tax avoidance.

The International Monetary Fund lowered its outlook for growth. The world economy will expand 3.4% in 2014, the IMF said, which is less than its 3.6% prediction in April and stronger than last year's 3.2%.

For the week, among the other indices on the NSE, the top two performers were IT and Pharma, both up 4% while the worst two performers were Nifty Midcap 50 and Smallcap both down 3%.

Out of the 27 main sectors tracked by Moneylife, the top five and the bottom five sectors for this week were:



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