Oil prices fell on Thursday amidst diverse trends. Even as the situation in Ukraine worsened, there were attempts to resurrect a nuclear deal with Iran. However, there is little improvement on the Russia Ukraine border situation. Brent did move lower to $93.55/bbl, down 1.3%. Iran is now trying its best to salvage the Iran deal amidst Russian aggression. Meanwhile, large buyers of crude like South Korea have already initiated talks with Iran for oil supplies. The US has countered Russian claims of a pullback from Ukraine.
Indian government launched the first green hydrogen policy as part of its energy transition plan. The idea is to reduce fossil fuel usage and enhance penetration of green fuels. The new policy has several incentives for manufacturers and users of green hydrogen and green ammonia. Dedicated green hydrogen zones will be set up, open access to renewable energy given, bunkers set up for ammonia storage, mega tenders for aggregated green hydrogen demand etc. Inter-state transmission charges to be waived for 25 years.
Ambuja Cements reported a 55.5% lower net profits at Rs.431 crore for Dec-21 quarter. Revenues from operations were higher by 2.31% at Rs.7,625 crore in Q4. This also includes the quarterly performance of Ambuja’s step down subsidiary, ACC Ltd. Sales volumes of Ambuja Cements in the quarter were flat at 7 MTPA. Ambuja reported full year profits of Rs.3,711 crore; higher by 19% yoy. Cost pressures from power, fuel and transport costs continued to weigh. Ambuja follows the calendar year cycle for financial accounts.
Economists are starting to push back estimates of when India will raise interest rates in the light of the RBI governor lowering inflation and growth forecasts for FY23. That gives confidence to the markets that the RBI can still continue to focus on economic growth above all else. HSBC has underlined that a robust rabi crop could keep India immune from the food price cycle. RBI also hinted that reverse repo rate would not be hiked unless the stance changed. RBI had pegged CPI inflation for FY23 at a surprisingly low 4.5%.
Shares of FSN e-Commerce Ventures (Nykaa) came for another round of shelling as it dropped 9% to hit a new low of Rs.1,371 on Thursday. Trading volumes on the counter nearly doubled with a total of 2.8 million equity shares changing hands. In the last one month, the stock has fallen 34% and is now nearly 48% below its post listing peak of Rs.2,574. For the nine months ended Dec-21, Nykaa reported 23% lower PAT at Rs.33.70 crore. EBITDA margin fell 213 bps to 4.55. Revenues were 65% higher at Rs.2,801 crore.
Nestle affirmed that it was trying its level best to mitigate the effects of high inflation on food and other commodities, even as it explores price action. Nestle CEO, Suresh Narayanan, also confirmed that the commodity inflation was here to stay for some time. For the Dec-21 quarter, Nestle reported 20% fall in net profits at Rs.387 crore, while revenues increased 8.93% to Rs.3,739 crore. Domestic volumes were up 8% yoy. Nestle has been running efficiency programmes and cost-saving initiatives under project Shark.
IOCL returned to the onshore bond market after a long time to raise Rs.1,500 crore debt via a bond issue. Interestingly, the coupon rate was lower than the yields expected on government bonds. IOCL had priced its 5-year rupee bonds at a coupon rate of 6.14% while similar maturity government paper was trading at a YTM of 6.29%. Overall IOCL saw bids worth Rs.5,407 crore for yields between 5% and 6.7%. Meanwhile IOCL is making a big shift to Iraq crude and also looking to buy Paradip Refinery from beleaguered IL&FS.
BSE Ebix Insurance Broking signed an Insurance Broker Agreement for distribution of LIC products on its platform. BSE EBIX will now offer life and health products offered by LIC on its omnichannel distribution platform. This fits into the objective of BSE-EBIX to provide insurance solutions to every Indian. BSE has a captive customer database of over 10 crore and that becomes au automatically savvy customer base for insurance products. BSE EBIX offers a platform largely to rethink the distribution of insurance in India.
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