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Cement stocks edge lower

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After a range bound movement in early afternoon trade, key benchmark indices extended gains in afternoon trade. In percentage terms, the gains in the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, were higher than gains in the 50-unit CNX Nifty. The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market was negative. The Sensex was currently up 81.24 points or 0.28% at 29,360.08.

Cement stocks were trading lower. IT major and index heavywegith Infosys edged lower in volatile trade. Union Bank of India declined sharply after Q3 results. Godrej Properties rose after strong Q3 outcome.

India and the US on Sunday, 25 January 2015, reached an understanding on resolving the logjam in implementing the historic 2006 India-US nuclear deal besides deciding to jointly produce military hardware including advanced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 2019.98 crore during the previous trading session on Friday, 23 January 2015, as per provisional data. The stock market was closed yesterday, 26 January 2015, for Republic Day holiday.

Earlier, the Sensex and the 50-unit CNX Nifty, had, both scaled record high at onset of the trading session.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged lower against the dollar.

Brent crude oil futures edged lower in volatile trade amid a global supply glut.

In overseas markets, Asian stocks edged higher amid optimism the actions of Greece's new government won't force the nation to leave the euro currency bloc. US stocks eked out small gains yesterday, 26 January 2016, as investors mostly shrugged off the Greek election results which brought the leftist Syriza party to power.

Indian stocks may remain volatile this week as traders roll over positions in the futures & options (F&O) segment from the near month January 2015 series to February 2015 series. The near month January 2015 derivatives contract expire on Thursday, 29 January 2015.

At 13:16 IST, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 81.24 points or 0.28% at 29,360.08. The index jumped 177.79 points at the day's high of 29,456.63 at onset of the day's trading session, a record high for the index. The index rose 7.25 points at the day's low of 29,298.59 in early afternoon trade.

The CNX Nifty was up 12.70 points or 0.14% at 8,848.30. The index hit a high of 8,878.20 in intraday trade, a lifetime high for the index. The index hit a low of 8,825.45 in intraday trade.

The BSE Mid-Cap index was up 76.57 points or 0.72% at 10,772.24. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 34.81 points or 0.31% at 11,400.90. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market was negative. On BSE, 1,411 shares fell and 1,271 shares rose. A total of 111 shares were unchanged.

Shares of cement makers were trading lower. Shree Cement (down 3.24%), Ambuja Cements (down 2.38%), ACC (down 2.23%), Jaiprakash Associates (down 1.69%), Mangalam Cement (down 1.44%), J K Cement (down 1.43%), Kakatiya Cement (down 1.22%), Prism Cement (down 1.22%), India Cements (down 1.11%), JK Lakshmi Cement (down 0.7%), Saurastra Cement (down 0.61%) and Birla Corporation (down 0.22%), edged lower.

HeidelbergCement India (up 0.57%) and The Ramco Cement (up 1.26%), edged higher.

UltraTech Cement fell 0.56% to Rs 3,125.40. The stock hit a high of Rs 3,196.40 and low of Rs 3,107.55 so far in intraday trade. UltraTech Cement's consolidated net profit rose 1% to Rs 400 crore on 14% growth in revenue to Rs 5835 crore in Q3 December 2014 over Q3 December 2013. The result was announced after market hours on Friday, 23 January 2015. The consolidated figures include the financial results of the acquired units in Gujarat of Jaypee Cement Corporation (JCCL) with effect from 12 June 2014. As a result, figures for Q3 December 2014 are strictly not comparable with the corresponding previous year period.

UltraTech Cement's earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) rose 14% to Rs 1058 crore in Q3 December 2014 over Q3 December 2013. EBITDA margin was at 18.1% in Q3 December 2014, unchanged from Q3 December 2013.

The company's finance costs jumped 64% to Rs 164 crore in Q3 December 2014 over Q3 December 2013. Depreciation and amortization rose 3% to Rs 296 crore in Q3 December 2014 over Q3 December 2013. The increase in finance costs and depreciation and amortization was attributed to the acquisition of Gujarat units and commissioning of new capacities.

On a sequential basis, prices witnessed a downward trend in Q3 December 2014, UltraTech Cement said. However, the on-going cost optimisation measures helped in containing costs despite the continuing increase in price of input material and logistics cost, the company said in a statement.

UltraTech Cement said that the business outlook continues to remain challenging. Growth in cement demand in India is likely to be around 8% over the long term, the company said. The key demand drivers will continue to be housing and infrastructure spends, it added.

At the time of announcement of the third quarter results, UltraTech Cement said that its board of directors has approved signing of the definitive agreement with Jaiprakash Associates (JAL) for the acquisition of JAL's cement units located at Bela and Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh, having a capacity of 4.9 million tonnes per annum together with 180 megawatts (MW) captive thermal power plants. Earlier on 23 December 2014, the company's board had approved the proposal for the acquisition of the cement units of JAL located at Bela and Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh. UltraTech Cement will issue non-convertible debentures worth Rs 4538 crore and non-convertible cumulative redeemable preference shares worth Rs 10 lakh to JAL for the acquisition. UltraTech Cement will also take over JAL's debt of Rs 626.50 crore and negative working capital of Rs 160.50 crore. It is anticipated that the transaction will close in 7 to 9 months, UltraTech Cement said.

Grasim Industries rose 1.19%. Grasim holds majority stake in UltraTech Cement.

IT major Infosys was off 3.34% to Rs 2,140. The stock hit a high of Rs 2,216 and a low of Rs 2,132.50 so far during intraday trade.

Godrej Properties was up 2.98% to Rs 274. The stock hit a high of Rs 280.70 and a low of Rs 267 so far during intraday trade. Godrej Properties' consolidated net profit rose 26.45% to Rs 47.24 crore on 112.13% increase in total income to Rs 538.64 crore in Q3 December 2014 over Q3 December 2013. The result was announced during trading hours today, 27 January 2015.

Union Bank of India dropped 6.21% to Rs 235.80. The stock hit a high of Rs 253 and a low of Rs 232.20 so far during intraday trade. The bank's net profit fell 13.33% to Rs 302.42 crore on 8.39% growth in total income to Rs 8921 crore in Q3 December 2014 over Q3 December 2013. The result was announced during market hours today, 27 January 2015.

Union Bank of India's ratio of net non-performing assets (NPAs) to net advances stood at 2.95% as on 31 December 2014, compared with 2.71% as on 30 September 2014 and 2.26% as on 31 December 2013. The bank's ratio of gross NPAs to gross advances stood at 5.08% as on 31 December 2014, compared with 4.69% as on 30 September 2014 and 3.85% as on 31 December 2013.

The bank's Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) as per Basel III norms stood at 10.30% as on 31 December 2014, compared with 10.30% as on 30 September 2014 and 10.12% as on 31 December 2013.

Provisions (other than tax) and contingencies rose 39.56% to Rs 851.92 crore in Q3 December 2014 over Q3 December 2013. The bank's provision coverage ratio as on 31 December 2014 stood at 57.25%.

Net interest margin (NIM) stood at 2.57% for Q3 December 2014 as against 2.6% for Q2 September 2014 and 2.64% in Q3 December 2013.

CASA (current and savings account) deposits grew by 9.5% to Rs 89910 crore as on 31 December 2014 from Rs 82112 crore in the previous year. As on 31 December 2014, CASA share in the bank's total deposits stood at 28.7%. Domestic CASA ratio stood at Rs 29.2% as on 31 December 2014.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged lower against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 61.445, compared with its close of 61.44 during the previous trading session on Friday, 23 January 2015. The foreign exchange market was closed yesterday, 26 January 2015, for Republic Day holiday.

Brent crude oil futures edged lower in volatile trade amid a global supply glut. Brent for March settlement was off 23 cents at $47.93 a barrel. The contract had fallen 63 cents or 1.29% to settle at $48.16 a barrel during the previous trading session.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, 26 January 2015, said big projects involving large investment would be monitored by the Prime Minister's Office. He was speaking at the interactive India US CEO Forum, in the presence of US President Barack Obama, and top business leaders from both countries. He mentioned the importance of investment in the infrastructure sector, especially in the Railways.

India and the US on Sunday, 25 January 2015, reached an understanding on resolving the logjam in implementing the historic 2006 India-US nuclear deal besides deciding to jointly produce military hardware including advanced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama. The two countries resolved key hurdles pertaining to the liability of suppliers of nuclear reactors in the event of an accident and the tracking of fuel supplied by the US. Both countries also agreed on a Working Group to explore aircraft carrier technology besides designing and development of jet engine technology, according to media reports.

In a media statement issued during a joint press interaction with Obama, Modi on Sunday, 25 January 2015, said that the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement was the centrepiece of a transformed relationship between India and the United States, which demonstrated new trust. "I am pleased that six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving towards commercial cooperation, consistent with our law, our international legal obligations, and technical and commercial viability. President Obama has also assured me of strong US efforts in support of India's full membership of the four international export control regimes at the earliest", Modi said. Separately, a joint statement issued by India and the US stated that Modi and Obama welcomed the understandings reached on the issues of civil nuclear liability and administrative arrangements for civil nuclear cooperation, and looked forward to US-built nuclear reactors contributing to India's energy security at the earliest.

Obama today, 27 January 2015, wound up his 3-day visit to India.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday, 23 January 2015, relaxed rules for companies and banks to restructure and reschedule existing overseas borrowings by permitting an increase in the total cost of external commercial borrowing (ECB). The RBI has also allowed changes in the drawdown and repayment schedules of ECB. However, the easing of rules will not be applicable for foreign currency convertible bonds, the RBI said.

Asian stocks edged higher today, 27 January 2015, amid optimism the actions of Greece's new government won't force the nation to leave the euro currency bloc. Key benchmark indices in Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia and South Korea rose 0.04% to 1.72%. Key benchmark indices in China and Hong Kong fell 0.50% to 0.89%.

Trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow could fall 15 points at opening bell today, 27 January 2015. US stocks ended higher yesterday, 26 January 2015, as investors brushed off fears that a leftist victory in Greece would bring fresh crisis to the Eurozone and energy stocks advanced.

A two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) begins today, 27 January 2015. In its last meet in December 2014, FOMC had based on its assessment, judged that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy.

In Europe, the leftist Syriza party, which ran on an antiausterity platform, won elections in Greece held on Sunday, 25 January 2015. Syriza and its outspoken leader, Alexis Tsipras, who had campaigned against the austerity measures imposed on Greece by its international creditors, formed a coalition government yesterday, 26 January 2015 with a right-wing fringe party, Independent Greeks.

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First Published: Tue, January 27 2015. 13:14 IST
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