|Market Commentary||Friday, July 20, 2012 08:59 Hrs IST|
RIL will be watched as it sells Kurdish blocks to Chevron
Reliance Industries (RIL) has sold its 80% stake in two exploration blocks in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to Chevron as part of RIL's rationalisation of its international portfolio. Reliance did not reveal the value of the deal, but media reports suggest that it had sold the stake for about $200 million. RIL said its wholly-owned unit, Reliance Exploration and Production DMCC has compleated the transaction for divestment of its 80% working interest and operatorship in the production sharing contracts (PSCs) for the Rovi and Sarta Blocks in the Kurdistan region to subsidiaries of Chevron Corporation. OMV will continue to maintain its 20% interest in each of the two blocks. RIL said it would continue to look for opportunities to invest globally, a press release from RIL issued after market hours on Thursday said.
Reliance Industries and Asian Paints unveil Q1 results today, 20 July 2012. Hindustan Zinc, UltraTech Cement, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Crompton Greaves, United Phosphorus, Karnataka Bank, Praj Industries and JSW Energy, among others, will also declare their April-June 2012 quarter results today, 20 July 2012.
Oil & gas and infrastructure stocks will be in focus after the government decided to set up a Project Clearance Board along the lines of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary for review and issue of one-time clearances, including security clearance for energy and infrastructure projects in a time-bound manner. The proposed Project Clearance Board will include representatives from the Ministries of Home, Defence, Environment & Forests, Commerce, Coal, D/o Space and other infrastructure and energy related Ministries/Departments, the government said in a statement on 19 July 2012.
Power equipment makers, Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) and Larsen and Toubro (L&T) may edge higher on reports the government will shortly impose a 5% import duty on power generation equipment in a move that will benefit domestic firms, including Bhel and L&T, that have been lobbying with the government to limit imports. Information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni told the media that the cabinet approved a proposal to impose duties on power equipment imported for building large power projects. In addition, the government will also impose a 12% countervailing duty (CVD), a sort of equalization levy, to make up for the excise duty on local products, and 4% special additional duty (SAD), taking the effective tax rate to 21%. The decision was reportedly taken by the Union cabinet on Thursday, 19 July 2012, evening.
State-run Steel Authority of India (Sail) will be watched on reports the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved 10.82% disinvestment in the state-run steel major. The divestment may help the exchequer raise about Rs 4000 crore. The government holds 85.82% stake in Sail.
Tata Communications will be watched on reports the Cabinet on Thursday approved spinning off surplus land held by the company into a special purpose vehicle (SPV) majority owned by the state. The spin-off will pave the way for the sale of the land, and could be a breakthrough for the company, which has said the unresolved matter has hindered its equity raising plans. The government had barred Tata Communications from raising non-debt funds because that could dilute government's stake in the land.
State-run VSNL (now Tata Communications) was acquired by the Tata Group, in 2002 when it was privatised by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government. The Tatas had bought a 45% stake in VSNL. Later, the Tata group had raised its stake in VSNL to 50% by buying an additional 5% stake from the open market via some of its group firms. The government still owns 26% of the company. The total surplus land, measuring about 774 acres, was to be hived-off into a separate company, but the process has been delayed for almost a decade.
Maruti Suzuki India issued a statement on Thursday stating that the company was deeply disturbed by the mob violence and arson at the Manesar plant on Wednesday evening. Several executives, managers and supervisors were brutally attacked and injured, and nearly 100 of them had to be hospitalised. The company said General Manager (HR) at Manesar plant Mr. Awanish Kumar Dev was burnt to death by the mob.
Maruti said the company is still assessing the total damage to property and facilities from the acts of arson. The company added that the office facilities have been burnt beyond repair, as have the main gate, security office and the fire safety section. Maruti said its Manesar plant remained shut on Thursday. The company said it will shortly announce a decision on the next steps with regard to resuming operations at the unit. After being terrorized, abused and attacked in a brutal manner by the mob, recovery for the injured employees will not be easy, Maruti said adding that the management will ensure the injured employees continue to receive quality medical attention and that the company is extending all possible to the families of the injured employees.
Sugar stocks could see action on reports the CCEA has approved a 17% hike in sugarcane price that mills pay to farmers to Rs 170 per quintal for 2012-13.
Israel-based Taro Pharmaceutical Industries on Thursday reportedly said a special committee of its board has rejected an offer from Sun Pharmaceutical Industries to purchase its issued and outstanding shares not held by the Indian pharma firm due to inadequate price. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, which holds 66.5% stake in Taro, had said it was proposing to acquire 15 million outstanding shares at a price of $24.50 per share. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries had acquired a controlling stake in Taro in September, 2010.
Cadila Healthcare and its subsidiary Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc on Thursday announced that they have entered into a settlement and license agreement with Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and ProCom One to resolve pending patent litigation involving Silenor (Doxepin) 3 milligram (mg) and 6 mg tablets. According to a company statement, Cadila Healthcare and Zydus Pharmaceuticals will now have the right to begin selling a generic version of Silenor 180 days after another party begins selling its generic version in the US. This will be under a license from Somaxon, 180 days after a United States court enters a final decision that Somaxon's patents are not infringed, invalid or unenforceable, or earlier under certain circumstances, the release said.
Tata Power has reportedly completed construction of the second 800 megawatt (mw) unit of its flagship Mundra ultra mega project in Gujarat, taking the company's overall capacity to over 6,000 MW. With synchronisation of unit 2, the thermal power generation capacity of Tata Power stands at 5,247 MW and the generation through clean sources such as hydro, wind and solar stands at 852 MW, reports added. Tata Power's total generation capacity now stands at 6,099 MW, it added.