Know About the Latest Stock Market, 19th February 2024

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India has initiated anti-dumping probe into imports of solar glass from China and Vietnam. The probe is being conducted by Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), an arm of Ministry of Commerce. The probe is into Textured Tempered Coated and Uncoated Glass from China and Vietnam; which finds uses in solar photovoltaic cells. Borosil Renewables, the major player in India, has initiated this probe, on behalf of the sector. The DGTR will recommend anti-dumping duties on imports, based on the merits of the case.

Despite the ongoing Red Sea crisis and the disruption of trade routes, India reported lowest merchandise trade deficit in the last 9 months, during January 2024 at $17.49 billion. While exports were lower over December 2023, the fall in imports was much sharper. But the real major takeaway was that the services trade surplus at $16.75 billion almost offset the merchandise trade deficit. That left overall trade deficit for January at just about $0.74 billion. This is seen as a positive signal for the current account deficit (CAD).

Domestic crude oil production in India for the April-January period was 0.4% lower at 24.5 MMT. Output also fell short of the target of 25.1 MMT for the said period. ONGC only managed to produce 15.1 MMT in the first 10 months, against its target of 16.1 MMT, while Oil India achieved its target of 2.80 MMT for the 10-month period. The lower production from ONGC was on account of shutdown in Panna-Mukta offshore platforms for commissioning of new crude oil pipelines and normal decline from its mature fields.

In a rather surprising move, the Houthi rebels in Yemen launched a direct attack on a Russian vessel, that was carrying crude oil from the Russian port of Novorossiysk to delivery. This not on raises problems for India’s oil purchases from Russia, but also gives a new dimension as Houthi rebels are supposedly backed by Iran, which happens to be an ally of Russia. While the target of Houthi rebels has been Israeli, US and UK ships, even Indian ships have come under attack of late. India has requested for a diplomatic solution.

The combined market cap of 6 out of the 10 most valuable companies in India eroded by Rs71,414 crore in the previous week, with LIC the biggest laggard. In terms of market cap depletion, LIC gave up Rs26,717 crore, TCS Rs18,763 crore, ITC Ltd Rs13,540 crore, Hindustan Unilever Rs11,548 crore and Bharti Airtel Rs704 crore. Among gainers, SBI gained Rs27,220 crore, Infosys Rs13,593 crore, HDFC Bank Rs12,685 crore and ICICI Bank Rs8,542 crore. For the week, Nifty closed with gains of 1.2% on Auto and oil sector boost.

According to NASSCOM, revenues of the domestic technology industry, including hardware, is estimated to increase to $254 billion in FY24, a lower yoy growth of 3.8%, compared to 8.4% in FY23. This fall is on the back of pressure on tech spending by global corporates and pressure on pricing. The falling headcount has been attributed to the reversal of the post COVID recruitment binge. IT sub-sectors like GCC (global capability centres) and ER&D (Engineering, Research and Development) are new poster boys of Indian IT.

Reddy Labs may pick up the total stake of Novartis AG in Novartis India. Currently, Novartis AG holds 70.68% stake in Novartis India. It may be recollected that in February 2022, Novartis transferred sales and distribution rights of established formulations to Reddy Labs. The exclusive sales and distribution deal includes the Voveran, calcium and Methergine range. However, this will exclude Novartis Healthcare India, that conducts clinical trials at more than 300 sites across India. The company is currently profitable.

According to MEITY, 2 full-fledged semiconductor fabrication plants are coming up with multi-billion dollar investments. While one is the $8 billion project by Israel based Tower Semiconductors, the other proposal is from Tata group. This will be the first big attempt to make semiconductors in India; a business that has long been dominated by Taiwan and China. The Indian government has received 4 proposals to set up semiconductor manufacturing plants and 13 for chip assembly, testing, monitoring, & packaging (ATMP).

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