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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Market may open lower on weak Asian stocks

The market may start the day's trade lower tracking weakness in Asian stocks. Trading of CNX Nifty futures on the Singapore stock exchange indicates that the Nifty could fall 33 points at the opening bell. The market may remain volatile today, 25 July 2013, as traders roll over positions in the futures & options (F&) segment from the July 2013 series to August 2013 series. The near month July 2013 derivatives contracts expire today, 25 July 2013.

ACC, GAIL (India), ITC, Maruti Suzuki (India) and Sterlite Industries unveil quarterly results today, 25 July 2013.

Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp after trading hours on Wednesday, 24 July 2013, reported 10.86% decline in net profit to Rs 548.58 crore on 1.25% decline in total income to Rs 6271.78 crore in Q1 June 2013 over Q1 June 2012. The company said the net profit declined due to higher tax rate on account of the expiry of 5 years (April 2008-March 2013) of 100% exemption in Haridwar, where the largest-producing manufacturing plant of the company is located. With the expiry of the tax benefit, the tax liability of the company went up to 26.9% in Q1 June 2013, from 16.3% from Q1 June 2012. The decline in net profit is also reflective of the newly-levied higher surcharge in the Finance Bill 2013, Hero MotoCorp said in statement.

Commenting the first quarter results, Mr. Pawan Munjal, MD and CEO, Hero MotoCorp said: "The fact that our profit before tax has surpassed the previous as well as the corresponding quarter, despite a marginal de-growth in our volumes during the quarter and the overall economic downturn, is a strong statement of our intent and vision. Our operating profit has also improved compared to the previous and the corresponding quarter. We are determined to sustain the trajectory of positive momentum in the coming quarters as well. Q1 of this fiscal was an action-packed quarter for us when we rolled out a slew of innovative initiatives including the 'industry-first' five-year warranty on our entire range of products and our own dedicated retail financing arm. We continued to grow ahead of the industry in both scooters and 125cc motorcycles this quarter, thereby building further on our market share gain in these segments. We had a record month in May, with our highest ever dispatches in a month. Retails also kept pace with record 1.1 million-plus retail sales in April-May -- the highest-ever retails in a non-festival period. Heavy and early rains in June have slowed down the momentum a bit, but we are optimistic about growth in the second half of the fiscal. Our product launches that are planned around the festive season should contribute towards accelerating growth. On the new market front, after entering Central America and Africa, we are now geared-up for Latin American markets of Peru and Ecuador which should be in the month of August".

Oil exploration firm Cairn India's consolidated net profit fell 18% to Rs 3127 crore on 8% decline in revenue to Rs 4063 crore in Q1 June 2013 over Q1 June 2012. The company announced Q1 result after market hours on Wednesday, 24 July 2013.

Cairn India reports revenue net of profit-sharing with the government in all blocks and Rajasthan block royalty expense. During the quarter, the profit petroleum pay-out to the government rose from 20% to 30% in the DA1 in the Rajasthan block. The gross cumulative Rajasthan development capital expenditure as on 30 June 2013 was $3.9 billion, of which $107 million was spent in Q1 June 2013 including $19 million in DA 2.

Cairn India said it achieved highest ever gross operated production of 212,442 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in Q1 June 2013. The company achieved record average daily production of 173,517 boepd for Rajasthan block during the quarter.

Commenting on the first quarter results, Mr. Elango P, Whole time Director, Cairn India said: "I am very pleased to report that we are once again delivering robust operational and financial results with the company achieving its highest ever gross operated daily production. We continue to generate substantial cash flow from one of the lowest cost producing assets in the world and are well placed to deliver success from our $3 billion capital expenditure programme. We remain focussed on driving production growth from our core Rajasthan asset and delivering positive results from our extensive exploration and appraisal program. We remain particularly excited by the deep gas prospects and welcome the recent Government decision on gas pricing that will encourage higher investments in exploration and the development of gas discoveries. We expect the government to come out with a policy on Integrated Development Plan that will help in reducing the time from discovery to production".

Swiss cement major Holcim on Wednesday, 24 July 2013, announced a major restructuring of its India operations. The board of directors of Ambuja Cements on Wednesday, 24 July 2013, approved a proposal, wherein Ambuja will first acquire from Holderind Investments, Mauritius (Holcim), a 24% stake in Holcim India for a cash consideration of Rs 3500 crore, followed by a merger of Holcim India into Ambuja. The intra-group transaction will result in Ambuja holding 50.01% stake in ACC. The merger swap ratio proposed by two independent accounting firms and approved by Ambuja's board, is one Ambuja share for 7.4 Holcim India shares, translating into an implied swap ratio of 6.6 Ambuja shares for every ACC share, Ambuja said in a statement. Based on the approved merger ratio, Ambuja will issue 58.4 crore new equity shares of the company to Holcim, as consideration for the merger. Post the merger, the expanded capital base of Ambuja (post cancellation of the shares held by Holcim India in Ambuja and the issuance of new shares as aforesaid) will increase by 28%. Holcim will then own 61.39% of Ambuja and Ambuja in turn own 50.01% of ACC.

In addition, Ambuja's board also provided its approval for Ambuja to make commercially reasonable efforts to invest up to Rs 3000 crore to acquire an economic ownership in ACC of up to 10% without triggering a mandatory open offer.

Ambuja said that this restructuring exercise is expected to be EPS accretive from year one post completion of the transaction. There is synergy potential of about Rs 900 crore through supply chain and fixed cost optimization expected to be realised in a phased manner over two years post completion of the transaction.

Currently, Holcim owns a little over 50% stake in both Ambuja and ACC.

Meanwhile, Ambuja Cements' net profit fell 30.9% to Rs 324 crore on 8.6% decline in net sales to Rs 2346 crore in Q2 June 2013 over Q2 June 2012. The company announced Q2 result after market hours on Wednesday, 24 July 2013.

Ambuja Cements also that the board of directors of the company at its meeting held on 24 July 2013 approved setting up of a 2.17 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) greenfield clinkerization project at Marwar Mundwa, District Nagaur, Rajasthan and three clinker grinding units of 1.5 MTPA capacity each at Marwar Mundwa, Rajasthan, Dadri (phase II), Uttar Pradesh and Osara, Madhya Pradesh at an approximate cost of Rs 3500 crore.

Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) have signed a loan agreement for funding of DVC's first 2X660 MW supercritical thermal power unit at Raghunathpur in West Bengal's Purulia district. The agreement was signed on at Kolkata recently in the presence of Mr. Rajeev Sharma, CMD, REC, Mr. R.N Sen, Chairman, DVC and other senior officials from both the organizations. The loan amount of Rs 6362 crores is to be funded solely by REC. These units will be a part of Raghunathpur Phase II expansion programme of DVC. REC provides financial assistance and promotes rural electrification projects throughout the country. It funds state electricity boards, state government departments and rural electric cooperatives for rural electrification projects.

Key benchmark indices edged lower in choppy trade on Wednesday, 24 July 2013, as the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) latest measures to squeeze liquidity from the banking system to stem rupee's decline rattled investor sentiment. The S&P BSE Sensex lost 211.45 points or 1.04% to settle at 20,090.68 on that day, its lowest closing level since 17 July 2013.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 404.50 crore on Wednesday, 24 July 2013, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

Asian stocks fell on Thursday as investors weighed US economic data to gauge the fate of Federal Reserve stimulus. Key benchmark indices in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan were down by 0.07% to 0.85%. China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.36%. South Korea's Kospi was flat.

US stocks closed largely lower on Wednesday after improving home sales in the US renewed expectations that the Federal Reserve remains on course to winding down stimulus measures this year.

A report yesterday showed that new home sales rose more than forecast in June to a five-year high, and a manufacturing gauge rose. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has said asset purchases that have stoked bond and equity gains may be trimmed this year should economic risks subside. US new-home sales climbed 8.3% to an annualized pace of 497,000, the highest level since May 2008, according to Commerce Department data. The Markit Economics preliminary index of US manufacturing increased to 53.2 in July from a final reading of 51.9 a month earlier, the London-based group said.