ONGC, 9 Other Sensex Firms Add Rs 28,382 Crore to Market Value

ONGC, 9 Other Sensex Firms Add Rs 28,382 Crore to Market ValueNew Delhi: The combined market valuation of top ten Sensex companies rose by Rs 28,382.58 crore during the week from December 21 to December 24, with (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) emerging as the biggest gainer.

The market capitalisation (M-Cap) of ONGC surged by Rs 9,154.37 crore – the most among the top 10 firms – to Rs 2,00,155.69 crore.

The M-cap of ITC jumped by Rs 4,779.31 crore to Rs 2,59,608.76 crore, while that of CIL rose by Rs 3,695.07 crore to Rs 2,03,639.59 crore.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) saw an increase of Rs 3,330.02 crore in its market capitalisation during the week, taking its M-Cap to Rs 4,79,474.08 crore.

The valuation of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) soared by Rs 2,866.7 crore to Rs 3,24,212.65 crore while that of Infosys jumped by Rs 2,273.97 crore to Rs 2,51,710.68 crore.

HUL’s market cap jumped by Rs 898.01 crore to Rs 1,86,796.15 crore.

The market value of HDFC rose by Rs 805.02 crore to Rs 1,94,143.24 crore while that of HDFC Bank was up Rs 315.38 crore at Rs 2,70,982.09 crore.

The valuation of Sun Pharma went up by Rs 264.73 crore to Rs 1,90,494.92 crore.

In terms of ranking, TCS was at the top, followed by RIL, HDFC Bank, ITC, Infosys, CIL, ONGC, HDFC, Sun Pharma and HUL.

The Sensex rose by 319.49 points to settle at 25,838.71 for the holiday-shortened week.

Stock Markets May Stay in Choppy Waters: Experts

Stock Markets May Stay in Choppy Waters: ExpertsNew Delhi: Indian stocks may see volatile trading during the week from December 28 to January 1 amid derivatives expiry and are likely to remain sideways as investors may stay light as the year comes to an end, say experts.

“Markets are expected to remain volatile as traders roll over derivative positions on Thursday. Activities usually dry up across global markets around the New Year, but due to derivatives expiry, traders will continue to see significant move on the local front,” said Vijay Singhania, founder-director, Trade Smart Online.

“Volumes will get pretty light at this time of year as most institutional investors are off on an annual vacation. Rupee-dollar movement and international crude oil price will dictate trend on the bourses in the week ahead,” Mr Singhania added.

The F&O expiry of the December series, scheduled for December 31, is expected to push up volatility on the domestic front.

“Macroeconomic data, trend in global markets, movement of the rupee against the dollar and crude oil price will dictate trend of the market in the near term on the back of reduced risks over global liquidity and correction in commodity prices to decade lows,” said Vivek Gupta, CMT-director research, CapitalVia Global Research.

“Market is now looking forward to cues to move ahead. However, as the year is heading towards December 31, people are in no mood to commit. Markets are thus expected to be range-bound for the last week of the calendar year,” SAMCO Securities CEO Jimeet Modi.

In the holiday-shortened previous week, the Sensex rose 319.49 points to settle at 25,838.71.

“The Indian market is expecting a better year ahead with a revival in FII sentiment… on expectations over government reforms,” said Vinod Nair, head-fundamental research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

Small Stocks on a Roll, Beat Blue-chips for Second Straight Year

Small Stocks on a Roll, Beat Blue-chips for Second Straight YearNew Delhi: On Dalal Street, it was minnows ruling the roost in 2015 as mid-cap and small-cap stocks beat their blue-chip peers for the second year in a row with an average return of up to six per cent.

As the year 2015 draws to a close, mid-cap and small-cap stocks of the BSE have rallied by nearly six per cent and five per cent, respectively, as against a decline of over six per cent in the bellwether BSE index Sensex on a full-year basis.

However, the gains recorded by the medium and small-size companies remained much below the huge returns of up to 60 per cent they generated in the previous year 2014.

“Growth expectation from markets increased tremendously in 2014 when for the first time in 40 years a single largest party came to power. However, due to political compulsions the fireworks did not go off as expected,” said SAMCO Securities’ CEO Jimeet Modi said.

“Markets had already built in those growth expectations which eventually were belied and markets corrected in 2015.

The large-caps having huge businesses could not deliver those growth numbers but small and mid-cap could, due to their nimbleness and lower base effect, this lead to their lesser down fall than large-cap,” he added.

The Sensex touched an all-time high of 30,024.74 on March 4 this year, while it hit a one-year low of 24,833.54 on September 8.

The mid-cap index scaled its record high of 11,666.24 on August 10 and a low of 9,983.55 on May 7.

The BSE small-cap index hit its all-time high of 12,203.64 on August 5 and a low of 10,178.98 on August 25.

“This year, the Sensex and Nifty are down by around 7 per cent so far. This comes after a spectacular return of around 30 per cent in 2014. In 2014, market ran ahead of fundamentals expecting a rebound in GDP growth and corporate earnings growth in FY’16,” said V K Vijayakumar, Investment Strategist,
Geojit BNP Paribas.

“This expectation did not materialise and therefore the market corrected. However, mid and small-caps continued to do well. And, the party is still on,” he noted.

Most of the major Sensex and Nifty stocks have huge external exposure through exports and commodity prices. Since exports have been doing poorly and metals and commodities have been bleeding, this segment suffered.

On the other hand, most mid and small-caps have domestic orientation and therefore, they have been benefiting from the nascent domestic cyclical recovery, Vijayakumar said. Market experts said that FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investors) have been continuously selling since August 2015, while Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs) have been buying throughout the year.

Domestic equities suffered their bloodiest carnage on August 24, when the Sensex crashed by 1,624.51 points – its biggest single-day fall — and over Rs 7 lakh crore got wiped out from the investors’ wealth on a sharp global sell-off triggered by a rout in Chinese markets.

“In 2015, movement of equities can be termed as range-bound as markets remained glued to various uncertainties with respect to the outcome of Chinese economy, Fed policy, growth in Japan and European markets.

“On the domestic ground, markets were worried by inflation trend in India despite uninterrupted efforts by the central bank. Further the inability of the government to get pass through key bills kept markets weak as many FIIs felt decrease in confidence in the government to pace up the reforms,” said Hiren Dhakan, Associate Fund Manager, Bonanza Portfolio.

These facts kept the markets range-bound and somewhat weak in the year 2015, he added.

Shares of mid-cap and small-cap indices outperformed the Sensex — indicating that overall breadth of the markets remained positive, which showed the presence of retail participation remained intact, Dhakan said.

Motilal Oswal Securities, VP-Midcaps Research, Ravi Shenoy said: “This has been the year of small and mid-cap stocks with stocks returning more than 100 per cent moving beyond the three digit number.”

“FIIs have turned sellers in the latter part of this year and with major part of their holdings in large-caps, this set of stocks which are largely a part of the Sensex have been under pressure,” Shenoy noted.

Market players say smaller stocks are generally bought by local investors, while overseas investors focus on blue-chips.

The mid-cap index tracks companies with a market value that is on an average one-fifth of blue-chips or large firms. Small-cap firms are almost a tenth of that.

On expectations for the new year, Vijayakumar said: “We expect economic recovery to gather momentum, going forward and Sensex and Nifty will reach record levels. Double digit returns are possible in 2016.

Large-caps will do well along with quality mid-caps.” In terms of valuation, the market valuation of Sensex companies rose by just Rs 46,086 crore to Rs 98,82,086 crore so far this year.

Remit Excess Securities Transaction Tax to Government: BSE to Brokers

Remit Excess Securities Transaction Tax to Government: BSE to Brokers

Mumbai: Stock exchange BSE on Thursday asked its stock brokers to furnish details of excess securities transaction tax (STT) collected by them during 2013-14 and earlier as well as remit the amount to the government.

The move follows a notice issued by joint commissioner of income tax to draw attention towards excess STT collected by some brokers and sub-brokers, which is not being remitted to the government account.

BSE said in a circular that details have to be furnished within 15 days, while the “excess amount so collected needs to be remitted to the government account immediately”.

“As per instructions of the income tax department, a circular is issued to the member brokers, requesting to furnish details of excess STT collected and retained with them for FY 2013-14 and for preceding years as on March 31, 2014 directly to the address (of income tax office),” BSE said.

Business Responsibility Reports Must for Top 500 Listed Firms: Sebi

Business Responsibility Reports Must for Top 500 Listed Firms: SebiNew Delhi: To ensure better compliance with corporate governance norms, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has notified new rules making it mandatory for top 500 listed companies to prepare annual business responsibility reports, covering their activities related to environment and stakeholder relationships.

Currently, the business responsibility reports (BRs) are mandatory for top 100-listed entities based on market capitalisation at stock exchanges BSE and NSE.

The decision by market regulator Sebi is part of larger efforts to improve corporate governance practices and more transparency in terms of reporting of various socially responsible activities carried out by the listed entities.

The move comes after Sebi’s board approved the decision last month.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has now made it applicable for top 500 listed companies, based on their market capitalisation at the end of March every year, to submit business responsibility reports, it said in a notification.

The new regulation – Sebi (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) – would come into force from April, 2016.

In August 2012, Sebi made business responsibility reporting compulsory for top 100 listed entities based on market capitalisation in their annual reports.

The key areas required to be reported by the entities include environment, social, governance and stakeholder relationships.

Rupee Set for Fifth Yearly Loss in a Row Amid a Volatile Journey

Rupee Set for Fifth Yearly Loss in a Row Amid a Volatile JourneySet for the fifth straight year of fall in 2015, the rupee remained highly volatile this year and experts see the range of 65-70/dollar as the new normal.

While the government announced a slew of steps and the Reserve Bank also intervened on a few occasions to support the forex market, a highly volatile trend continued to rule the exchange rates due to global headwinds through 2015, during which the Indian currency also hit a two-year low below Rs 67 mark against the US greenback.

It is expected to end the year at Rs 66-67 level, down more than 5 per cent from its 2014-closing level of Rs 63.03 to one US dollar.

The major factors triggering the downward move included a substantial fall in foreign portfolio investments as an uncertainty prevailed for almost entire year over the long-awaited rate high in the US and the slowdown in China, a major driver of global economic growth for last few years.

Rupee’s performance will largely depend on global risk sentiments and the domestic reform push, said Abhishek Goenka, CEO of IFA Global, which deals in forex and risk management. The global risk sentiment would continue to be shaped by the Fed Policy, recovery in Chinese and Eurozone economy, he added.

The forex markets were largely dominated by the actions of central banks, including the US Federal Reserve, this year. While Fed has finally decided to end its protracted period of near zero interest rate policy, the rate hike of 25 basis points came at the fag end of the year and speculation is already abound about its next move.

The Indian rupee, which was being seen as stabilising in the range of 63-65 in the early part of the year, soon hit on a downward path after a devaluation of the Chinese Yuan by around 4 per cent sent the Asian currencies into a tailspin.

On the domestic front, the Reserve Bank initiated several steps to support the Indian currency. The RBI increased FPI investment limit in fixed income markets, allowed importers to raise trade credit in Indian rupee from overseas, allowed companies to raise rupee denominated debt overseas and also showed its intent to intervene in Exchange Traded Currency Derivatives (ETCD) segment.

The government too played its part by relaxing FDI caps in certain sectors.

FPI inflows tapered in 2015 as compared to the previous years, which became one of the biggest factors for the rupee depreciation.

Though India’s trade deficit shrank as compared to the previous year, exports have contracted for 13 straight months. However, FDI flows have been relatively better.

Kalpataru Power Gets Orders Worth Rs 1,395 Crore, Shares Slip

Kalpataru Power Gets Orders Worth Rs 1,395 Crore, Shares SlipKalpataru Power Transmission on Wednesday said that it received orders worth Rs 1,395 crore from various state governments. Kalpataru Power informed the stock exchanges that it received an order from Tamil Nadu Power Corporation for turnkey transmission line worth approximately Rs 770 crore.

The company also received orders from Transmission Corporation of Telangana for turnkey transmission line worth Rs 497 crore and a pipeline project from Reliance Gas Pipeline worth Rs 188 crore.

Commenting on the announcements Kamal Jain, director of finance & CFO of Kalpataru Power Transmission said, “Domestic order inflows of over Rs 2,100 crore till date in the year ending 31 March 2016 (FY 2016) is very strong that is almost double compared to the same period of previous year.”

Shares of Kalpataru Power ended 1.74 per cent lower at Rs 262.10.

Pipavav Defence Shares Surge 20% to Hit 52-Week High

Representational ImageShares of shipbuilding firm Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering surged 20 per cent to a 52-week high of Rs 100.25 on reports it is likely to sign a Rs 66,000 crore deal with Russia.

The Bombay Stock Exchange has sought a clarification from Pipavav Defence on the report.

Billionaire Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Infra has acquired a majority control in Pipavav Defence – which will be later renamed Reliance Defence – after the recently concluded open offer. Pipavav Defence shares are up over 50 per cent since the start of the Rs 1,263 crore open offer on December 2. In March, the Anil Ambani group firm had announced plans to acquire a controlling stake in Pipavav Defence for up to Rs. 2,082 crore.

Reports citing sources said that four Talwar class frigates will be built at a cost of around Rs 30,000 crore at Pipavav Defence. This will be the first time a major warship will be built at an Indian private sector shipyard.

Reports also said that Reliance Defence and Russian United Shipbuilding Company are also likely to sign an agreement for modernisation of all Indian Navy ships of Russian origin at the Pipavav shipyard. The combined value of these two orders is estimated at Rs 66,000 crore, reports said.

Earlier this month, Reliance Defence had got approval for 12 industrial licences for manufacturing of defence-related equipment such as aircraft, helicopters, all terrain combat vehicles, night vision devices, sensors, navigation and surveillance equipment, propulsion systems and simulators. It has applied for 14 more licences.

In another development, Reuters, citing sources, said that the Indian government expects to seal a contract with Westinghouse Electric to build six nuclear reactors in the first half of next year.

Stocks of manufacturers those who make parts for nuclear plants also gained today. L&T edged higher by 0.40 per cent while Walchandnagar Industries surged 7 per cent.

Shares of Pipavav Defence ended locked in 20 per cent upper circuit at Rs 100.25, as compared to a flat broader market.

Egg Trade Group CEO Resigns After Vegan Mayo Scramble

Cracking the Egg
NEW YORK — The CEO of the American Egg Board has stepped down earlier than planned, following the release of emails indicating she tried to stop the sale of a vegan mayonnaise at Whole Foods Market (WFM).

Joanne Ivy retired at the end of September. Before the release of the emails, the egg board said Ivy would retire Dec. 31.

Ivy and representatives of the egg board, which promotes the industry and is responsible for the “Incredible, Edible Egg” slogan, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the board, confirmed Ivy’s retirement but declined to comment on the reason.

The early departure comes as the USDA investigates the egg board regarding its actions related to Hampton Creek, a San Francisco startup that makes the eggless mayonnaise alternative Just Mayo. On Sept. 2, The Associated Press reported on emails in which Ivy told a consultant that she would “like to accept your offer to make that phone call to keep Just Mayo off Whole Foods shelves.”

The request, made in 2013, wasn’t successful, as Just Mayo is still sold at Whole Foods.

‘Checkoff’ Programs

The communication nevertheless raised regulatory questions because the egg board is one of about 20 “checkoff” programs overseen by the USDA, making them quasi-governmental bodies. The programs, which include the National Pork Board and the Mushroom Council, are funded by producers and supposed to be promotional.

In a statement regarding its investigation, the USDA said it is “committed to establishing a level playing field that protects and promotes all appropriate agricultural endeavors.” It said it did not “condone any efforts to limit competing products in commerce” and that its administrative review would take “some time” to complete.

Other emails by egg board executives illustrated the alarm over the media attention being showered on Hampton Creek, which makes plant-based alternatives to eggs it says are better for the environment. Publicly, egg board executives have sought to play down the company and avoided referring to it by name. Internally, however, the board was getting advice from public relations agency Edelman on how to respond to Hampton Creek.

In one exchange, an Edelman employee alerted the board that Hampton Creek had just challenged it to a bakeoff on Twitter. The employee advised the board not to respond.

Insufficient Oversight

It’s not the first time checkoff programs have come under scrutiny. In 2012, the USDA’s inspector general issued a report saying departmental oversight should be improved.

The emails by egg board executives were obtained through a public records request by Ryan Noah Shapiro, a Freedom of Information Act expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his attorney, Jeffrey Light, who specializes in FOIA matters. Shapiro knows Hampton Creek co-founder Josh Balk and provided the documents to the company, which provided them to the AP.

In the meantime, Hampton Creek is dealing with a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration saying its name violates the federal standard of identity for mayonnaise. The agency said that “mayo” is often understood to be mayonnaise, which is defined as having eggs.

A representative for the FDA said Friday there was no update on the matter.

Hampton Creek CEO Josh Tetrick said the company is scheduled to speak with FDA on the matter in coming weeks, and that he hopes to “find some common ground” with the agency.

The company has retained The Glover Park Group, which describes itself as a strategic communications and government affairs firm. Glover Park says on its website that it helps clients “develop and execute legislative and regulatory strategies to advance their goals in Washington.”

10 Keys to Eating Out Less and Cooking More

Young girl helping father cook on stove

Eating out can be bad for your waistline and put a dent in your bank account. There’s no doubt that heading to the nearest restaurant is more convenient and can be less stressful than getting a home-cooked meal on the table, but it should be saved as a treat, not a daily occurrence. Here are a few suggestions that can help you fight the urge to dine out. 

Plan ahead. This seems like it should go without saying, but the No. 1 way to avoid a last-minute trip to the drive-thru is to plan ahead. Devise menus, go grocery shopping and do the necessary prep work well before dinner time. These tasks can be accomplished a couple of weeks or even months ahead, or as last-minute as the day before. Try putting a dry-erase board or chalkboard in the kitchen to write out the week’s menu for the whole family to see.

Use a slow cooker. Set it and forget it. There are an endless number of slow-cooker recipes that require little preparation and can be ready to eat the minute you walk in the door. It’s one of the simplest ways to cook and removes the guesswork from the inevitable question, “What’s for dinner?” Pulled chicken, for example, is as effortless as putting chicken breasts and broth in a slow cooker until the meat is moist and falling apart. With a little barbecue sauce and a few buns, you’ve prepared quick, easy and tasty pulled chicken sandwiches that will help eliminate thoughts of eating out.

Keep it easy. Choose meals to make at home that have the fewest ingredients as possible. This will not only make grocery shopping simpler and less expensive, but will expedite cooking and make it harder to abandon plans to dine at home. Start with BLTs, omelets, or spaghetti and meatballs.

Make double. Every time you cook, make twice as much. Put some in the refrigerator to have for lunch throughout the week or freeze the extra to have for dinner weeks or even months down the road. When freezing soup or a casserole, consider freezing the meal in individual servings. This makes it easy to pull out as many servings as needed at one time for a quick meal option.

Eat before leaving. When headed out to meet friends, grab a bite at home first. You’ll still partake in the social aspect of going out with friends, but ordering just a small appetizer or cup of soup avoids the hefty bill and calorie count in an entire restaurant meal.

Carry snacks. Out doing errands all day and starving? There will be an endless number of fast food and carry-out restaurants along the way. But keeping a few snacks in the glove compartment, purse, briefcase or backpack can buy time until you get home to eat.

Splurge a little. Sometimes convenience is worth paying for. Specialty ingredients, individual servings and the like all cost a little more at the grocery store, but the cost is almost always less than dining out at a restaurant.

Set a cash budget. Each week, designate a certain amount of money, in cash, for eating out. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. This money should include paying for that iced cappuccino on the way to work; the baked good grabbed after lunch; and the milkshake after dinner. While these extras seem small at the time, they add up quickly when indulged frequently.

Replicate faves at home. When craving the lo mein from your favorite Chinese restaurant, try making it at home. The Internet is a never-ending source of recipes and restaurant “hacks” that can get a home cook close to the real thing. Sure, this may be more labor intensive, but will no doubt be healthier and ultimately cheaper.

Cut out some of the work. If part of what is unappealing about home-cooked meals is all the work, find short cuts wherever possible. Try using disposable utensils and plates as a start — if the whole dinner table can be swept into the recycling bin afterward, it may be less stressful to eat in. While this may seem costly (in resources and money), it’s cheaper than restaurant food and may produce less waste than a fast food meal.