All eyes are set on the outcome of the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) bi-monthly monetary policy meeting, which is slated to be unveiled at 11:45 am today. A rate cut looks dicey but the central bank is expected to change its stance from calibrated tightening to neutral, according to experts.
This apart, movement of rupee against the US dollar, next leg of December quarter results and global cues are likely to guide market sentiment.
STOCKS IN FOCUS
Vodafone Idea: In its second quarterly results after the merger, Vodafone Idea (VIL) posted a net loss of Rs 5,004 crore, which was higher than Street estimates. The telco lost 35 million customers during the quarter. The average revenue per user (Arpu), however, improved.
ADAG stocks: In a fresh contempt plea moved before the Supreme Court, Ericsson India has alleged that the insolvency route taken by Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) has "dishonest intention" intended to frustrate the orders of the court.
Lupin: The drug major reported a surprise loss of Rs 152 crore in December quarter on litigation over blood pressure drug.
Allahabad Bank: The state-run lender posted a net loss of Rs 733 crore for the third quarter of the present financial year, against a net loss of Rs 1,264 crore in the same period of the last financial year.
IT stocks: IT services major Cognizant gave a muted revenue guidance for 2019. It posted $16.13 billion of revenue, up 8.9 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in dollar terms and 8.5 per cent in constant currency terms for the 2018 fiscal year.
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Chalet Hotels is slated to list its shares on the bourses today. The company's Rs 1641 crore initial public offering, (IPO) was subscribed 1.57 times.
Over 200 companies are scheduled to release their December quarter earnings later in the day. Some of the notable names include Britannia Industries, Abbott India, Suzlon Energy, Tata Motors, SAIL, MRF, HCC, Cadila Healthcare, Coffee Day Enterprises, Adani Enterprises and Adani Green Energy.
The rupee on Wednesday ended almost flat at 71.56 per US dollar as participants preferred to wait for the Reserve Bank's interest rate decision for further cues.
Asian share markets were in a muted mood on Thursday. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little moved in early trade after ending almost unchanged on Wednesday. US stocks ended lower lower in the overnight trade. The Dow fell 0.08 per cent, while the S&P 500 lost 0.22 per cent and the Nasdaq 0.36 per cent.
Mutual Funds' collateral declines as shares of ADAG companies tank
Mutual funds (MFs) led by Franklin Templeton, which has the highest exposure of Rs 1,244 crore through its debt schemes in the promoter entities of Anil Ambani group companies, will have to either seek higher collateral by way of topping-up of shares from promoter entities or risk lowering values of their schemes.
According to data from Value Research, mutual funds’ exposure to the debt papers of Anil Ambani’s Reliance group’s promoter entities — Reliance Infrastructure Consulting & Engineers, Reliance Big Entertainment and Reliance Big — stood at Rs 1,418 crore as on December 31, 2018.
Govt explores pre-packaged bankruptcy plan to fast track insolvency process
The feasibility of implementing a ‘pre-packaged’ bankruptcy scheme, prevalent in the US, is under consideration, it is learnt. The move is meant to strengthen the insolvency framework, while cutting the cost and time of the resolution process, according to officials in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
Under the pre-packaged scheme, a company in financial distress will be able to chalk out a resolution plan prior to moving the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).