Tuesday, 22nd February 2022

Vedanta made an oil discovery in Barmer, Rajasthan as notified in its filing to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH). This block was awarded to Vedanta under Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP). Vedanta holds 100% participating interest in the block and this is the 3rd hydrocarbon discovery notified by Vedanta under OALP portfolio. Currently, the company is carrying on evaluation to assess potential commerciality of the discovery. This is part of the oil blocks of Cairn India, which had sold out to Vedanta.

LIC is planning not to sell out its entire stake in IDBI Bank and would instead explore the possibility of using the bank’s massive network of branches to market its insurance products and solutions. LIC is planning to float 5% of its equity as an offer for sale to raise over Rs.65,000 crore before the end of FY22. This intent was revealed by the LIC Chairman, M R Kumar. Between the government of India and LIC, they jointly hold over 90% stake in IDBI Bank, which has a network of over 1,800 branches in India and assets of $39 billion.

As India approaches the end of FY22 and braces for the LIC IPO, there are more IPOs that got SEBI approval. PharmEasy, Wellness Forever and CMR Green Technologies are among the companies to have got SEBI approval for their IPOs. These companies had filed their DRHP with SEBI between Sep-21 and Nov-21 last year. While PharmEasy plans to raise a sum of Rs.6,250 crore, Wellness Forever will raise close to Rs.1,600 crore. CMR Green Technologies IPO will comprise of Rs.300 crore fresh issue plus 3.34 crore share via OFS. 

NTPC, India’s largest thermal power company, paid an interim dividend of Rs.3,879 crore for FY22. The dividend was nearly 40% of the share capital of NTPC. This was the 29th successive year NTPC has paid dividends. For the Dec-21 quarter, NTPC had reported 19.34% higher net profits at Rs.4,626 crore on total sales revenues of Rs.33,784 crore for the quarter. Its total power production for FY22 till date stood at 315 billion units (BU) surpassing the power generation of FY21. NTPC has installed capacity of 67,832 MW.

The same clinical laboratory stocks that virtually ruled the roost  during the COVID period, are looking for new sources of growth to fuel investor interest. The stock have seen their COVID-fuelled stock rallies falter in recent months. As outbreaks ease and countries look to reopen, these gains have started to fade for the clinical labs. Major players like Metropolis Healthcare and Dr Lal PathLabs missed analyst estimates. It is feared that many of these companies may face stress from expensive M&A at the peak of the cycle.

Government may propose a detailed formula to bring aviation turbine fuel (ATF) under GST. The GST Council is likely to allow 18% GST in addition  to state level VAT. This will be subject to approval of various states. VAT varies from state to state. There are global precedents for such a formula. There has been a strident demand by airlines, airline bodies and even the Ministry of Civil Aviation to put ATF under GST to provide relief to the already beleaguered airlines. Sharp fall in PLF has been the bane of airline companies.

Hyderabad-based Biological E Ltd has readied India’s third vaccine, Corbevax, for children aged 12 to 18. Currently, only children above 15 are being vaccinated and more than 7.6 crore children in this age group have been vaccinated. National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) ruled Corbevax as safe and offering good immunogenicity and higher antibody levels compared to other vector vaccines. Corbevax is a protein subunit vaccine. This had worked even on heterologous groups during clinical trials. 

Air passenger numbers are expected to cross pre-pandemic levels by April 2022 according to Civil Aviation Minister. Prior to the pandemic, domestic airlines carried 4 lakh passengers daily. While numbers began climbing after second wave, the Omicron variant again dampened sentiments. It is only since 18-Oct 2022 that airlines were allowed to operate at full capacity. Between Dec-21 and Jan-22, the average daily passenger flow fell 60% from 3.9 lakhs to 1.6 lakhs. Airlines reported net losses of Rs.19,000 crore in FY21.

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