As India struggles for oxygen, the corporate sector is helping to ease the supply shortfall. Large Indian corporates are chipping in a big way. JSW Steel ramped up its liquid medical oxygen or LMO supply to 900 TPD. It is targeting to supply up to 20,000 tonnes of LMO in April from its plants in Maharashtra, Karnataka and TN. Most steel plants produce oxygen of a slightly lower purity compared to LMO, but production can be tweaked quickly. The Adani Group, Reliance, ITC and Tata Steel have also joined the fray to contribute.
Petroleum Ministry asked ONGC to raise resources by selling stakes in producing oil fields like the Ratna R-Series to private sector. The ministry suggested getting foreign partners in Krishna Godavari or KG basin gas fields. ONGC has also been asked to monetise existing infrastructure like hiving off drilling and other allied services. The idea is to help ONGC raise oil & gas output and also become financially independent. In the past, ONGC had opposed such moves. ONGC produced lower oil & gas in FY21 compared to FY20.
Foreign Portfolio Investors withdrew Rs.7,622 net from Indian markets in April 2021 MTD. This included selling of Rs.8,074 crore in equities and buying of Rs.1,052 crore in debt. The heavy equity selling was driven by the surge in COVID-19 cases and consequent restrictions imposed. FPIs had infused Rs.55,616 crore between January and March 2021. FPIs have been net sellers in equities for five consecutive weeks now. FPIs have been selling banks and buying into IT, metals and pharma; which have global linkages.
ICICI Bank reported 260% surge in standalone net profits at Rs.4,403 crore for the Mar-21 quarter. The huge surge was attributed to lower loan loss provisioning in the current quarter. Net interest income or NII was up 17% at Rs 10,431 crore in Mar-21 quarter. The capital adequacy was at a comfortable 19.12% with Tier-1 capital adequacy at 18.06%. Net interest margins or NIM was up from 3.67% last year to 3.84% in the Mar-21 quarter. Gross NPAs at 4.96% were lower but still fairly high on absolute peer comparison.
HDFC Bank is reportedly in the fray for the Indian consumer assets of Citibank India along with ICICI Bank, IDFC Bank and SBI Cards, among others. Citibank is reported to have quality customers, low provisioning and low NPA levels. For a multi-faceted bank like HDFC Bank, it gives them the opportunity to cross sell other products to these customers. Citibank had, on 16 April, announced its decision to exit the consumer operations in 13 markets across Asia and Europe, including India. Citibank has 3 million customers in India.
HCL Tech is shifting some workload from India to other geographies as part of its business continuity plan as India grapples with a resurgence of COVID-19. Currently, the company is in touch with its clients to work out modalities and prioritize tasks. Since 30% of its workforce is based outside India, HCL Tech has the leeway to adopt a more flexible approach since some countries are ahead in the vaccine curve. HCL Tech has a total headcount of 168,977 at the end of the March 2021 quarter with attrition at around 9.9%.
Indian mutual funds added over 81 lakh investor folios in FY21. This takes the tally of investor folios to 9.78 crore. This is nearly 12% more folios in FY21 as compared to FY20. Experts believe that it is a sign of investors increasingly relying on mutual funds for long term financial goals. However, this is lower than the accretion of 1.13 crore folios in 2018-19 and 1.60 crore folios in 2017-18. Digitization has been one of the trends driving retail investors towards mutual funds. Equity folios stood at a whopping 6.68 crore.
In a week when the Nifty lost 1.96%, it was hardly surprising that 9 out of the 10 most valuable companies on the NSE saw combined value depletion of Rs.133,434 crore. The big loser was HUL giving up Rs.34,915 crore during the week even as TCS lost Rs.30,887 crore. Other major value losers for the week ended 23 April included RIL losing Rs.18,765 crore, HDFC Rs.13,755 crore, Bharti Rs.10,270 crore, Infosys Rs.7,967 crore and HDFC Bank Rs.7,801 crore. ICICI Bank was the only gainer adding Rs.2,412 crore in market value.
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