Sensex gains 205 points, Nifty closes above 10,300; paper stocks rally

3:30 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks ended higher for third consecutive session as investors await Federal Reserve policy decision and exit poll on Gujarat assembly elections.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 205.49 points at 33,455.79 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 56.60 points at 10,322.30.

About 1,433 shares advanced against 1,289 declining shares on the BSE.

3:24 pm Buzzing: UltraTech Cement share price rallied more than 2 percent after the company announced greenfield expansion at Rajasthan.

"The board of directors, on December 9, has approved the setting up of a 3.5 million tonne per annum integrated cement plant at Pali, Rajasthan, at an investment of around Rs 1,850 crore," the Aditya Birla Group-owned cement maker said in its filing.

Commercial production from the plant is expected to commence by June 2020.

"It will cater to the markets in western Rajasthan where UltraTech Cement does not have a significant presence," the company said.

The board also approved a proposal for an increase in investment limits by foreign investors from existing limit of 30 percent to 40 percent of paid-up equity.

3:16 pm ICRA on Telecom Industry: The telecom industry could pare as much as Rs 90,000 crore debt if stake sale deals of mobile tower assets, currently being discussed, materialise, credit rating firm Icra said today.

It predicted structural and material changes for the telecom tower industry in the medium term.

Icra also anticipated some headwinds in the short term, as consolidation of telecom operators leads to rationalisation of tenancies, but remained confident about the growth prospects in coming years.

This growth would be fuelled by the network expansion of telecom operators, keen to meet the data needs of consumers, it said.

3:08 pm Buzzing: Motherson Sumi Systems shares gained 2.6 percent intraday to hit fresh all-time high of Rs 381.60, after the global brokerage house increased target price on the stock.

HSBC has maintained its buy call on the auto ancillary company and increased target price to Rs 425 (from Rs 376 per share) as it expects innovation & cross-selling to support business growth.

The research house said Motherson is well placed to benefit from increasing role of auto component suppliers.

With the recent fundraising, the company is ready for multiple acquisitions, it added.

However, slowdown in global car market and rupee appreciation are downside risks to its rating, HSBC said.

2:58 pm Management Interview: Wonderla Holidays' non-ticket business is growing fast and expected to contribute as much as 40 percent to its total revenues in the next 4-5 years, said a top company official.

This business includes food and beverage, resort, ride photos and souvenir, the amusement park operator's Managing Director Arun K Chittilappilly told PTI.

Non-ticket revenues of the company, which owns and operates amusement parks in Kochi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, currently contributes 25 per cent of its topline, he said.

The company, Chittilappilly said, has just completed acquisition of 60 acres of land in Chennai, where it plans to begin construction of a park early next financial year.

The Rs 350-crore plus park is slated to be operational in 2019-2020.

2:50 pm Market Outlook: BNP Paribas maintains its overweight stance on Indian markets and sees the S&P BSE Sensex heading towards 37,500, which translates into an upside of nearly 13 percent from current levels.

The global investment bank said that it wants to play the upcoming recovery and benefit from the impact of the previous year's policy measures, and we like the ease of stock selection. India suffered from reform-related economic destruction, but a recovery seems clear underway.

India has seen a concentrated period of economic reforms in the past 18 months, and a gradual recovery from those bold measures is on the cards, said the BNP Paribas report authored by Manishi Raychaudhuri.

Progress on banks' asset quality resolution, the extent of execution of government's infrastructure projects and the prospects for the commencement of private capex over next few quarters are the key variables to watch out for, said the report.

2:45 pm Market Update: The Sensex extended gains in last hour of trading, rising 190.04 points to 33,440.34. The Nifty gained 50.30 points at 10,316.
About 1,432 shares advanced against 1,154 declining shares on the BSE.

2:41 pm Earnings: APL Apollo Tubes' second quarter profit shot up 38.8 percent to Rs 40.7 crore and revenue increased sharply by 45.9 percent to Rs 1,345.4 crore compared with year-ago.

Operating profit was also strong, growing 27.4 percent year-on-year to Rs 101.2 crore but margin contracted 110 basis points to 7.5 percent in Q2.

2:31 pm Road Project Win: Sadbhav Infrastructure Projects has been declared lowest bidder for 4-laning of highway in Rajasthan.

The bid cost for NHAI project is at Rs 1,161 crore and project cost at Rs 1,076.2 crore.

2:21 pm Market check: Equity benchmarks remained positive in afternoon, with the Sensex rising more than 100 points, backed by ITC, PSU banks, auto and HDFC Group stocks. However, the upside was capped by Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and Infosys.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 147.05 points at 33,397.35 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 39.40 points to 10,305.10.

About 1,420 shares advanced against 1,144 declining shares on the BSE.

Among smallcaps, Repro India and UCAL Fuel rallied 20 percent each, followed by Prabhat Dairy (up 17.37 percent), Sharda Motor (11.68 percent) and Themis Medicare (11.52 percent).

2:15 pm Management Interview: Infra major NCC expects to start development and operation of Talaipalli coal block from 2019-20 onwards and contribute about Rs 190 crore to topline during the first year of its commercial operation.

The company is also betting big on infrastructure and housing projects from Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh which is under development stage.

The Talaipalli coal block is located in Chhattisgarh.

"The work (on the project) will start in FY18. Commercial production may start from 2019-20. In the first year of commercial operations, we are aiming at 4 million tonnes of coal extraction and supply," Y D Murthy, Executive President (Finance), NCC Ltd, told PTI.

"We are looking at a topline of Rs 380 crore (from the block), in which our share will be Rs 190 crore," he said.

2:03 pm Investment: International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank Group, and its asset management arm plan to invest USD 45 million in Lighthouse, a private equity firm focused on growth investments in India's consumer sector.

IFC is planning to invest USD 20 million in the third private equity fund of Lighthouse, while the asset management arm of IFC is also considering a parallel investment of USD 25 million in the fund.

"Lighthouse has received a commitment of USD 20 million for its third private equity fund, Lighthouse India Fund III.

Additionally, IFC's AMC is also considering a parallel investment of USD 25 million in the fund, which will bring the total investment by the IFC group to USD 45 million," the PE firm said in a release.

1:55 pm Buzzing: Repro India rose as much as 19.4 percent on the BSE after the management talked about their future plans of 'books on demand' market for the next 5-10 years.

''The books industry in India is USD 5-6 billion and is growing at a rate of 20 percent on a YoY basis. Going forward, distribution of books is moving online which is asset light,'' Pramod Khera, ED, Repro India told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.

He further added that the online market is hardly 3-5 percent of the total book sales. In the US, online sales are more than 50 percent. ''We are also bound to move in that direction. Today, Repro is a pioneer in this game and is aggressively aggregating more content which should help us to increase market share,'' said Khera.

The management further added that we are growing on a QoQ basis. We are selling Rs 3 crore worth of books per month and before that, it was Rs 1-1.5 crore.

Reacting to the positive outlook, the stock rose as much as 19.4 percent to hit its fresh 52-week high of Rs 860 on the BSE.

1:41 pm LNG Import: GAIL India will import about 5 million tonnes (MT) of LNG from the US next fiscal, replacing the volumes the state-owned utility buys from the spot market, a senior company official said.

GAIL has contracted 5.8 MT per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US, some of which it has swapped - either by exchanging the gas with someone having it nearer to India or by time-swapping it.

"We expect to receive about 5 million tonnes of LNG from US next fiscal (2018-19)," the official said.

This will be used for replacing the LNG that GAIL currently buys from the spot or current market as well as on short term contracts.

1:31 pm Partnership: Parag Milk Foods today announced it has tied up with TajSATS Air Catering for supply of cow milk-based products on international flights.

"We have entered into an MoU for the first time with TajSATS to supply our products on international flights," Parag Milk Foods Chairman Devendra Shah said in a BSE filing.

This is just the beginning of the relationship and the company is looking to strengthen this partnership in the months to come, he said.

"Although we already export our products to several countries, this is another step to introduce our products to international customers," Shah added.

The company is supplying products to TajSATS since August 2017, the company said.

1:20 pm Market check: The benchmark indices are holding the gains in the afternoon trade. The Sensex was up 106.49 points at 33356.79, and the Nifty was up 27.60 points at 10293.30. About 1381 shares have advanced, 1124 shares declined, and 130 shares are unchanged.

Lupin, M&M, ITC, Coal India, Sun Pharma, Aurobindo Pharma, Coal India are top gainers on the Indices, while top losers include ONGC, HUL, NTPC, Asian Paints, ICICI Bank, Bharti Infratel and Tata Power.

1:05 pm Appeal of Unitech against NCLT order: The Supreme Court today agreed to hear tomorrow the appeal of Unitech challenging the recent order of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) directing the central government to take over the management of the embattled real estate firm.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission of the real estate firm that its bank accounts have been frozen and the company and its jailed promoters are finding it difficult to deposit Rs 750 crore as asked by the apex court.

The NCLT has recently invoked the provisions of the Companies Act and allowed the central government to take over the Unitech Limited and appoint its nominee directors in the Board of the firm.

12:48 pm Interim Dividend: Colgate Palmolive has declared its second interim dividend of Rs 4 per share today for the financial year 2017-18.

12:45 pm Fundraising: Indian companies raised close to Rs 51,000 crore through private placement of corporate bonds in November, a surge of 32 per cent from the year-ago level, for business expansion and propping up working capital needs.

With the latest mobilisation, the total fund-raising through private placement of debt securities reached Rs 4.2 lakh crore in the April-November period of 2017-18 fiscal, as per the latest data by markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

In the entire 2016-17 fiscal, the capital raked in through the route stood at Rs 6.4 lakh crore.

12:40 pm USFDA Inspection: Pharma firm Granules India today said its US subsidiary has received an observation from the USFDA on completion of inspection.

"Granules Pharmaceuticals Inc, a wholly-owned foreign subsidiary of the company located in Chantilly, Virginia, US completed its first audit from December 4-8, 2017 by the USFDA (US Food and Drug Administration) with one observation," the company said in a BSE filing.

The company however did not elaborate on the nature of the observation.

"Granules Pharmaceuticals Inc will respond to this observation within the stipulated time period," it added.

12:28 pm Buyback: Gandhi Special Tubes informed exchanges that a meeting of the board of directors is scheduled to be held on December 18, 2017 to consider buy back of the fully paid up equity shares of the company including matters related/incidental thereto.

The board will also consider obtaining of approval of the shareholders for appointment and payment of remuneration to the Managing Director and Joint Managing Director duly approved by the board at their meeting held on November 08, 2017.

12:18 pm Buzzing: Arvind share price jumped nearly 5 percent intraday after global research house raised target price on the stock by 22 percent from its previous target.

CLSA has maintained its buy rating on the stock and increased target price to Rs 538 (from Rs 440 per share), implying 24.7 percent potential upside from Friday's closing price.

The research house sees business getting stronger both in textiles & Brand & Retail segments, which accounts for 55 percent and 39 percent of total revenue in Q2FY18, respectively.

It values company's B&R business at a 22x EV/EBITDA.

12:08 pm USFDA Approval: Drug firm Alembic Pharmaceuticals today said the US health regulator has granted fast track designation to its associate company Rhizen Pharmaceuticals SA's RP6530 (tenalisib), used in treatment of cancer.

"The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has granted Fast Track Designation for RP6530 (tenalisib)...for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory peripheral T- cell lymphoma (PTCL)," Alembic Pharmaceuticals said in a BSE filing.

Fast track designation is awarded to drugs that treat a serious condition and fill an unmet medical need, it added.

12:01 pm Car Price Hike: Tata Motors today said it will increase prices of its passenger vehicles by up to Rs 25,000 from January to offset the impact of rising input costs.

"The changing market conditions, rising input costs and various external economic factors have compelled us to consider the price increase," Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicle Business, Tata Motors said in a statement.

The introductory prices of the recently launched compact SUV Nexon will be ending by December 31 and this entire range will also witness a price hike from January 2018 by up to Rs 25,000, the company said.

11:54 am Maruti at New High: Maruti Suzuki India share price continued its run up on first day of the week, adding another 1.4 percent gains to hit a fresh record high of Rs 9,167.70 after the global brokerage house raised target price sharply.

Morgan Stanley has retained its overweight call and raised target price to Rs 10,563 (from Rs 9,102 per share), implying 16.8 percent potential upside from Friday's closing price.

The research house said Maruti is one of the most profitable car original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) globally. End-market opportunity and superior return on capital employed justified the current valuation, it added.

"Maruti is a key beneficiary of coming turn in demand. Suzuki-Toyota alliance will help set Maruti up for electric vehicles," it said.

11:45 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks continued to trade higher despite profit booking at higher levels as investors await second phase of Gujarat elections (on December 14) followed by exit polls on same day and actual results (December 18).

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 106.93 points at 33,357.23 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 29.50 points to 10,295.20.

The gap between advances and declines narrowed. About 1,383 shares advanced against 1,017 declining shares on the BSE, against 5:1 in early trade.

11:33 am Infosys severance pay plea: Former Infosys Chief Financial Officer V Balakrishnan today said it was not a matter of whistleblower's emotions, but of legality for Sebi to decide on denying company's consent plea in connection with ex-CFO Rajiv Bansal's severance payment case.

"The whistleblower has said whatever he wants to say as per his viewpoint.. These are legal issues decided based on merits and not individual's emotions.. What Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as a regulator thinks and decides is all that matters," Balakrishnan told PTI.

Earlier this year, a whistleblower had written to the market regulator over alleged lapses in the Panaya deal and Bansal's severance pay.

The letter had stated that the package was decided by the then CEO Vishal Sikka and then general counsel David Kennedy.

The whistle-blower had asked why Infosys was reluctant in disclosing answers surrounding the "hush money." While it is a norm for companies to settle cases via the backdoor, it should not be allowed this time and Sebi should prosecute both the board and management, he said in the letter.

11:19 am Auto Sales: Domestic passenger vehicle sales rose 14.29 percent to 2,75,417 units in November from 2,40,983 units in the same month last year.

Domestic car sales were up 4.49 percent to 1,81,395 units as against 1,73,607 units in November last year, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Motorcycle sales last month rose 23.25 percent to 9,59,122 units as against 7,78,173 units a year earlier.

Total two-wheeler sales in November rose 23.49 percent to 15,35,277 units compared to 12,43,246 units in the year-ago month. Sales of commercial vehicles were up 50.43 percent to 68,846 units in November, SIAM said.

11:09 am Buzzing: Shares of Unitech surged as much as 20 percent in morning trade today after the NCLT authorised the government to appoint its 10 nominees on the board of the realty firm.

On December 8, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) suspended all the eight directors of Unitech over allegations of mismanagement and siphoning of funds, while authorising the government to appoint its 10 nominees on the board.

Today's rally is the fourth consecutive one for the stock. On December 8, the Unitech scrip had jumped 20 percent.

11:03 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks came off early highs on some profit booking, with the Nifty hovering around 10,300 level. Reliance Industries, Infosys, ICICI Bank and metals stocks are under pressure.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 99.18 points at 33,349.48 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 27.50 points to 10,293.20.

About 1,385 shares advanced against 931 declining shares on the BSE.

10:50 am Drug Patent: Suven Life Sciences announced today that the grant of one product patent from India and  one product patent from USA corresponding to the new chemical entities (NCEs) for the treatment of
disorders associated with Neurodegenerative diseases.

These patents are valid through 2029 and 2033 respectively.

10:40 am Oil Price Update: Oil prices fell as last week's rise in the US rig count pointed to a further increase in American production that could undermine OPEC-led efforts to tighten markets.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 57.13 a barrel, down 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 0.43 percent, at USD 63.13 a barrel.

10:20 am Order Win: Shares of IL&FS Engineering and Construction has locked at 5 percent upper circuit as it has received order for pipeline laying works from GAIL.

The company has received Fax of Acceptance (FOA) from Gas Authority of India (GAIL India) for 157.8 km long 30' diameter pipeline laying works for Dobhi-Durgapur-Haldia Pipeline Section (Part B) along with 13.28 km long 12' diameter spurline under Jagdishpur Haldia/Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas pipeline (JHBDPL) project in Jharkhand/West Bengal states, as per company release.

The total value of the contract is Rs 215.79 crore (excluding GST) and is to be mechanically completed in 15 months from date of FOA and additional 2 month for pre-commissioning and commissioning.

10:14 am Buzzing: Jet Airways share price rallied more than 4 percent in morning after Edelweiss upgraded its rating as well as raised target price on the stock.

Edelweiss has upgraded the stock to buy from hold and raised target price to Rs 822 from Rs 548 per share as it feels measures initiated by new CEO would turnaround company's stressed financials.

The company is focussing on sustaining growth via cost rationalisation. The strategy is to focus on cost efficiencies & debt reduction, it said.

Edelweiss raised FY18 EBITDAR margin to 16.8 percent from 15.5 percent.

10:01 am Rating Upgrade: Shares of Redington India gained 5.6 percent in the early trade on the back of rating upgrade by CRISIL.

The rating agency CRISIL, an S&P Global Company, has upgraded its long-term ratings on the bank facilities of the company to CRISIL AA /Stable from CRISIL AA- / Positive.

Also the short term rating and commercial paper have been reaffirmed at CRISIL A1+, which is the highest rating in this category.

9:50 am Market Update: Equity benchmarks rallied further in morning as the Sensex was up 172.61 points at 33,422.91 and the Nifty rose 51.10 points to 1,0316.80.

About 1,437 shares advanced against 572 declining shares on the BSE.

9:39 am Buzzing: While maintaining buy call on Bharti Airtel with a target price of Rs 575 per share, HSBC said it believes its operations in Africa have further upside. The stock gained nearly 2 percent.

The company may be keen to unlock value in its African operations sooner rather than later, according to the research house.

HSBC estimates FY17-20 revenue CAGR at 1.4 percent and EBITDA CAGR at 11.1 percent for Africa operations.

Catalysts for Africa are improvement in revenue growth, particularly from data, it said. "The downside risk to our outlook for African operations is lower capex spend."

India remains the priority for Bharti Airtel. Company may lower Africa capex if India recovery is delayed beyond FY19, HSBC feels.

9:29 am Rupee Trade: The rupee was up 6 paise at 64.39 against the dollar, helped by stronger domestic equities.

Apart from selling of the American currency by exporters, forex dealers said the dollar's weakness against other currencies overseas kept the rupee higher.

On Friday, the rupee had gained 12 paise to end at 64.45 on fresh selling of the American currency amid unwinding of long dollar bets ahead of release of key US macro data.

9:20 am Buzzing: Max India fell 4 percent after the Delhi government on Friday cancelled the licence of Max Hospital at Shalimar Bagh.

The decision came nearly a week after one of the premature twins born on November 30 and declared dead was found alive by the parents while being taken for last rites.

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks extended previous day's rally on Monday morning as all sectoral indices traded in green. Positive global cues after strong US jobs report also supported the market.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 141.65 points at 33,391.95 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 43 points to 10,308.70.

About five shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

SBI, Axis Bank, UltraTech Cement, Bharti Airtel, Maruti Suzuki, HDFC and Eicher Motors were early gainers while Infosys and HUL were losers.

The Nifty Midcap index was up 0.4 percent. Ucal Fuel surged 20 percent while Arvind, Jet Airways, Motherson Sumi, Redington India, Sharda Motor, Kaveri Seed, Thyrocare and Shriram EPC rallied 1-13 percent.