The Foreign Policy website has its own list of movie-plot threats: machine-gun wielding terrorists on paragliders, disease-laden insect swarms, a dirty bomb made from smoke detector parts, planning via online games, and botulinum in the food supply. The site fleshes these threats out a bit, but it's nothing regular readers of this blog can't imagine for themselves.
Heavy selling pulled down Indian bourses despite a strong opening
Indian markets opened strongly during the day after the latest data showed a jump in manufacturing activity across the US. However, markets slipped massively towards the end of the day as investors turned cautious ahead of the opening of the large follow-on public offer (FPO) of state-run power generation firm NTPC tomorrow. As per reports, Indian firms may raise $30 billion from share sale in 2010, led by government stake sales and initial public offers from power and property firms, which will result in soaking up liquidity from the secondary market. Indian companies raised about $20 billion from share sales in calendar year 2009.
At the end of the day, the Sensex declined 193 points from the previous day’s close to 16,163 while the Nifty closed at 4,830, down 70 points.
Yesterday we had said that the markets would be up today. They did open higher with a gap but eventually declined under selling pressure. Tomorrow we expect Indian markets to end up higher.
At 11:00 hrs IST, the Sensex was trading at 16,395, down 39 points from the previous day’s close. However, at 14:00 hrs IST, the Sensex was trading down 84 points from the previous day’s close at 16,272.
At the end of the day, National Fertiliser rose 6% after the company received the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) nod for feedstock conversion projects, estimated to cost the company Rs4,066 crore.
Cement stocks were among the major gainers. UltraTech Cement rose 3% after Aditya Birla Group’s cement shipments rose 14% to 34.3 lakh tonnes in January 2010 over the same period last year.
Ambuja Cements rose 1% on reports that the company’s January 2010 shipments rose to 17.5 lakh tonnes, up 7.5% from a year earlier, whereas Shree Cement remained flat after the company said that January 2010 shipments rose 18% to 8.82 lakh tonnes, up from 7.49 lakh tonnes a year earlier. The company also said that the total shipments during April-January period rose 24% to 76.5 lakh tonnes, from 61.8 lakh tonnes a year ago.
ACC’s shipments in January 2010 rose 1.1% to 19.1 lakh tonnes from 18.9 lakh tonnes a year earlier. The stock remained flat.
NTPC was down 2%, after the government fixed the floor price for the company’s follow-on public offer at Rs201 per share.
L&T announced on Monday that it had won orders worth Rs2,155 crore from NFL for projects in Haryana and Punjab. The stock was down 1%.
Siemens has received an order from Power Grid Corporation of India for construction of a new 765/400KV substation and augmentation of substations. The stock was down 1%.
As per reports, D Subbarao, governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has for the first time on Monday stated that the nation may have to take some measures towards capital control. Mr Subbarao also said that it is important for the government to withdraw the stimulus and that the government and central bank would have to coordinate in withdrawing the same. He reiterated that the economy is back to growth and added that the challenge is to accelerate momentum.
During the day, Asia’s key benchmark indices in South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and China fell by between 0.23%-1.26% while the indices in Hong Kong and Japan rose by between 0.14%-1.63%.
On Monday, 1 February 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 118 points while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite index were up 15 points and 24 points. As per US media reports, the ISM manufacturing index for January hit a five-year high of 58.4, which is stronger than the expected 55.5. Personal income and spending rose, while construction spending fell 1.2% for the month of December.
In premarket trading, the Dow was trading 24 points higher.
FCI intends to revive its Sindri sick plant due to the rising demand of urea in the country
With the rising demand for urea in the country, state-run Fertilizer Corporation of India (FCI) is planning to revive its Sindri-based plant in Jharkhand, a senior official said.
“FCI has chalked out a revival plan for the Sindri unit, in view of the increasing demand-supply gap in the availability of urea in the country,” a senior FCI official said. The demand for urea is expected to increase by about 3% in 2011.
However, according to local media reports, Jharkhand’s industrial secretary NN Sinha had said that ArcelorMittal was interested in using 6,000 acres of the ailing FCI unit at Sindri. Officials from ArcelorMittal visited Dhanbad during the third week of January and assessed the pros and cons of setting up a proposed 12-MT steel mill in the state by investing Rs40,000 crore, the report said.
FCI’s Sindri unit was closed in 2002 and was under the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR). FCI filed a review petition in the High Court, which directed it to approach BIFR for reconsideration.
The Projects & Development India Ltd (PDIL) in 2005 had submitted its report to the Union government on the revival of the Sindri unit. The report had suggested two alternatives. One was to make the plant functional as soon as possible and the second option was to improve the performance and energy efficiency of the facility. However, the FCI board did not accept this proposal and instead proposed a brown-field, gas-based plant.
Before the Sindri unit was shut down, it was supplying urea, nitric acid, ammonium nitrate, ammonium bicarbonate, liquid nitrogen, oxygen and ammonia to the eastern region.
The FCI plan is still in the preliminary stage. However, officials say that the plant would annually produce one million tonnes of urea. But construction dates for the revival of the plant have not been finalised. However, the FCI official added that the construction process for the revival of the plant would take at least three years.
FCI has made a detailed plan for the revival of the unit which entails an investment of nearly Rs4,000 to Rs5,000 crore, he added. The fertiliser company has already got an in-principle approval from the government and is waiting for a Cabinet nod.
“We are also in search of global tenders and project partners,” the official said.
However, another FCI official said that it would be giving its Sindri revival feasibility study contract to Deloitte as per the Union government’s decision. Deloitte would be looking into the feasibility of the facility and will also seek potential partners for the company.
FCI’s intention to revive the plant comes at a time when global urea demand is expected to increase by 4.7% per annum during the period 2008-2012 with the demand-supply gap expected to remain tight and supply just managing to meet demand.
According to a report by Chemical Weekly, India’s fertiliser demand is expected to increase by about 4.3% per annum from FY2008-FY 2013, higher than the global growth rate of 2.8% per year for the same period.