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Future Enterprises standalone net profit rises 615.37% in the June 2016 quarter

Future Enterprises standalone net profit rises 615.37% in the June 2016 quarter

Sep 14,2016

Net profit of Future Enterprises rose 615.37% to Rs 315.48 crore in the quarter ended June 2016 as against Rs 44.10 crore during the previous quarter ended June 2015. Sales declined 67.64% to Rs 921.19 crore in the quarter ended June 2016 as against Rs 2846.84 crore during the previous quarter ended June 2015.

ParticularsQuarter Ended
n++Jun. 2016Jun. 2015% Var.
Sales921.192846.84-68
OPM %24.969.91-
PBDT295.07184.1360
PBT142.3249.92185
NP315.4844.10615

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Sintex Inds gains as board approves share allotment
Apr 03,2017

The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 31 March 2017.

Meanwhile, the S&P Sensex was up 213.79 points, 0.72% at 29,835.99. The S&P BSE Mid-cap index was up 93.32 points or 0.66% at 14,189.97.

On the BSE, 4.08 lakh shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 12.18 lakh shares in the past two weeks. The stock had hit a high of Rs 107.80 so far during the day, which is also its 52-week high. The stock hit a low of Rs 105.90 so far during the day. The stock had hit a 52-week low of Rs 70 on 12 August 2016.

Sintex Industries said that foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) committee of the board on Friday, 31 March 2017, allotted 1.20 crore equity shares to FCCB holders, on receipt of further notice dated on 31 March 2017 for the exercise of their conversion rights.

The company has issued FCCBs for $110 million due 2022 on 25 May 2016.

Sintex Industries consolidated net profit declined 38.9% to Rs 110.81 crore on 0.1% decrease in net sales to Rs 2075.01 crore in Q3 December 2016 over Q3 December 2015.

Sintex is a diversified group with businesses across 2 principal business segments - plastics (including infrastructure) and textiles.

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Sintex Inds gains as board allots shares to FCCB holders
Apr 03,2017

The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 31 March 2017.

Meanwhile, the S&P Sensex was up 213.79 points, 0.72% at 29,835.99. The S&P BSE Mid-cap index was up 93.32 points or 0.66% at 14,189.97.

On the BSE, 4.08 lakh shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 12.18 lakh shares in the past two weeks. The stock had hit a high of Rs 107.80 so far during the day, which is also its 52-week high. The stock hit a low of Rs 105.90 so far during the day. The stock had hit a 52-week low of Rs 70 on 12 August 2016.

Sintex Industries said that foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) committee of the board on Friday, 31 March 2017, allotted 1.20 crore equity shares to FCCB holders, on receipt of further notice dated on 31 March 2017 for the exercise of their conversion rights.

The company has issued FCCBs for $110 million due 2022 on 25 May 2016.

Sintex Industries consolidated net profit declined 38.9% to Rs 110.81 crore on 0.1% decrease in net sales to Rs 2075.01 crore in Q3 December 2016 over Q3 December 2015.

Sintex is a diversified group with businesses across 2 principal business segments - plastics (including infrastructure) and textiles.

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Moodys assigns definitive Baa3(sf) to notes issued by India Standard Loan Trust - XLIV, Au Financiers-sponsored auto and micro SME loan ABS in India
Apr 03,2017

Moodys Investors Service has assigned a definitive Baa3(sf) rating to India Standard Loan Trust - XLIV, an ABS transaction backed by a static pool of commercial vehicle loans and secured micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) loans originated by Au Financiers (India) Limited (Au Financiers, unrated) in India.

The complete rating action is as follows:

Issuer: India Standard Loan Trust - XLIV

.... INR 297,503,981.66 Series A1 Pass Through Certificates, Baa3(sf) Assigned

.... INR 725,238,447.13 Series A2 Pass Through Certificates, Baa3(sf) Assigned

The rating addresses the expected loss posed to investors by the legal final maturity. The structure allows for timely payment of interest and repayment of principal of the rated notes by the legal maturity date.

Moodys ratings address only the credit risks associated with the transaction. Other non-credit risks have not been addressed, but may have a significant impact on yield to investors.

RATINGS RATIONALE

This transaction is a securitization of a static pool of commercial vehicle (CV) loans and Micro SME loans (MSME loans; typically secured business loans with a value below INR2.5 million extended to MSME, guaranteed by business owners and secured by mortgages over immovable properties) originated by Au Financiers in India.

The CV loans and secured MSME loans contribute 78.52% and 21.48% of the initial pool principal, respectively. At closing, Au Financiers assigned a pool of these asset-backed loans, together with its security interest over the underlying vehicles and properties, to the issuer. All the MSME loans in the underlying pool are secured by mortgages over residential or commercial properties.

Au Financiers started disbursing MSME loans in April 2010. However, a large proportion of the MSME loans were originated 2013 onwards, reflected by the fact that the MSME loan portfolio grew to INR 23.16 billion as of June-2016 from about INR 5.98 billion as of June-2013. The resultant limited historical performance information may not be sufficient to fully reflect the future performance of the portfolio.

In addition, there is limited performance data available for this asset class at an industry level, and the typical tenure of such loans of 4-7 years means that the performance data does not reflect a full cycle. Whereas, for the early vintages, like 2010, for which the loans have seen full cycle, the disbursements were insignificant and cant be relied up on fully to reflect the performance of recent vintage loans.

As a result, Moodys has used a mean loss rate assumption of 6.50% for the MSME loans, compared to a mean loss rate assumption of 4.50% for the CV loans, although the performance of the MSME loans has thus far shown significantly lower losses than CV loans. Moodys recovery assumption is 0% for both loan types.

All the underlying loans carry a fixed interest rate, with fixed installments and servicing on both the principal and interest on a monthly basis. The weighted average seasoning of the CV loans and the MSME loans is 7.0 months and 10.7 months, respectively.

The rating on the notes will exhibit some linkage to the credit quality of Au Financiers. This is because the issuer, India Standard Loan Trust - XLIV, relies heavily on Au Financiers to continue servicing the securitized pool to meet its timely interest payments and scheduled principal amortization payments to noteholders.

Au Financiers servicing involves the collection in person of loan payments from the borrowers who are located across India -- where Au Financiers operates. For CV loans, repayment is predominantly in cash, while the proportion of cash collection for MSME loans is significantly lower.

Accordingly, any disruption to Au Financiers operations would significantly disrupt the collection of loan payments and, in turn, would negatively impact the trusts own payments to noteholders.

Even though the issuer may appoint a successor servicer -- following certain servicer replacement events or default events -- this process of replacement is expected to prove lengthy and costly, with potential disputes with borrowers over loan payments.

When assigning the rating, Moodys analysis focused, among other factors, on the:

(1) Characteristics of the securitized pool;

(2) Historical performance of similar types of loans originated by the originator;

(3) Credit quality of the originator;

(4) Probability of operational disruption upon originator default;

(5) Size of credit enhancement to support timely payments on the notes against the risks of defaults and arrears in the securitized pool and/or the originator;

(6) Readiness of the trustee to carry out remedial actions to minimize commingling risk and potential set-off risk following a servicer replacement or default event;

(7) Macroeconomic environment; and

(8) Legal and structural integrity of the transaction.

Moodys considered, among other things, the following key strengths of the transaction:

(1) The experience of the originator in underwriting and servicing the underlying loans in India;

(2) The granularity of the pool with about 2,304 loans, although we note that the top 20 loans represent 8.9% of the original balance;

(3) The favorable terms of the loans: equal monthly instalments with a 75.9% weighted average overall loan-to-value (LTV) ratio at loan origination, split between weighted average LTV ratios of 85.3% and 41.5% for the vehicle loans and secured MSME loans respectively;

(4) The transaction has a static pool of loans. As a result, it is only exposed to the default risk of the loans in the cut-off pool (which have a weighted average remaining tenor of about 39.8 months and a weighted average life of 22.1 months) and to the operational risk of the servicer during the life of the portfolio. The weighted average life for the MSME loans (29.2 months) is higher than that for the CV loans (20.20 months);

(5) The transaction benefits from two main sources of credit enhancement: (a) credit facilities equivalent to 9.35% of the original pool balance, composed of the 3.50% first-loss credit facility and the 5.85% second-loss credit facility at closing; and (b) excess interest collections from the pool -- after payment of the interest on the notes in each period -- can be used to top up previously drawn credit facilities to their original target amount;

(6) The originator has a strong alignment of interest with noteholders. According to minimum retention requirements from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the originator has to retain 10% exposure in the deal.

Moodys has also considered the following key weaknesses of the transaction:

(1) A back-up servicing arrangement was not set up at closing. Servicing of the transaction may be subject to disruption if the originator/servicer fails to perform when needed. A servicing disruption would negatively impact collections because the transaction has about 2,304 loan contracts from various parts of India, and there are a limited number of viable replacement servicers in the country capable of covering such a geographic spread and conducting the collection of loan payments from borrowers in person and predominantly in cash, should the originator default.

(2) Limited liquidity buffer: The trust can draw money from two credit facilities up to a total of 9.35% of the initial portfolio amount - when there is a shortage of funds to pay interest payments and scheduled principal amortization payments to noteholders. In a scenario where the servicer is not performing, and the trust is not able to receive any loan payments from the borrowers or the servicer for a prolonged period, this amount of initial liquidity coverage appears weak, as the full amount of the credit facilities may be used up rapidly to cover both interest and principal payments.

(3) Commingling risk with servicers fund: The servicer will designate staff for the colle

MOIL drops after announcing reduction in prices
Apr 03,2017

The announcement was made on Saturday, 1 April 2017.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 205.33 points or 0.69% at 29,825.83

On the BSE, 37,000 shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 87,562 shares in the past one quarter. The stock had hit a high of Rs 312 and a low of Rs 300 so far during the day.

The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs 429 on 12 January 2017 and a 52-week low of Rs 212.50 on 25 May 2016. The stock had underperformed the market over the past 30 days till 31 March 2017, falling 4.89% compared with the Sensexs 2.71% rise. The scrip had also underperformed the market over the past one quarter, sliding 12.59% as against the Sensexs 11.24% rise.

The mid-cap company has equity capital of Rs 133.19 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.

MOIL announced that the prices have been decreased by 15% on the existing prices prevailing since 1 March 2017 for the Ferro Grades having Mn Content 44% and above. The prices have been decreased by 10% on the existing prices prevailing since 1 March 2017 for the Ferro Grade having Mn Content 32% and above but less than 44%. The prices have been decreased by 10% on all grades of SMGR (Mn 30%) and SMGR Low (Mn 25%) on the prevailing prices since 1 March 2017.

The prices have been decreased by 10% of all chemical grades ore on the prevailing prices since 1 March 2017. The prices remains unchanged on all grades of Fines and Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide (EMD) on the prevailing prices since 1 March 2017. MOIL announced that the latest price reduction is inline with the companys business practice of fixing/revising prices of manganese ore.

MOILs net profit surged 670.67% to Rs 101.42 crore on 299.35% rise in net sales to Rs 355.30 crore in Q3 December 2016 over Q3 December 2015.

MOIL produces and sells different grades of manganese ore. Government of India currently holds 75.58% stake in MOIL (as per the shareholding pattern as on 31 December 2016).

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Indian Bank announces change in directorate
Apr 03,2017

Indian Bank announced that Mahesh Kumar Jain has demitted his office as MD & CEO of Indian Bank on 04 April 2017 to take charge as MD & CEO of IDBI Bank Limited.

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Balaji Telefilms provides update on ALTBalaji
Apr 03,2017

ALTBalaji, a digital platform of Balaji Telefilms has announced a partnership for carrier billing with a mobile payments company Fortumo. ALTBalaji users, from India and other parts of the world, will now be able to subscribe to the streaming service by conveniently deducting the charge from their prepaid SIM Card or charging it to their monthly phone bill.

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Minda Corporation climbs up after inaugurating new plant
Apr 03,2017

The announcement was made during market hours today, 3 April 2017.

Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was up 206.89 points, or 0.68%, to 29,822.78. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 178.33 points or 1.24% to 14,612.19.

On the BSE, 33,940 shares were traded in the counter so far as against average daily volume of 58,283 shares over the past one quarter. The stock had hit a high of Rs 96.75 and low of Rs 94.15 so far during the day. The stock had hit a record high of Rs 143.60 on 12 July 2016. The stock had hit a 52-week low of Rs 85.50 on 22 November 2016.

The stock had underperformed the market over the past one month till 31 March 2017, falling 2.03% compared with 3.05% rise in the Sensex. The scrip had also underperformed the market in past one quarter, gaining 6.45% as against Sensexs 11.24% gains.

The small-cap company has equity capital of Rs 41.86 crore. Face value per share is Rs 2.

Minda Corporation announced that the new facility Minda KTSN Plastic Solutions Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. is a part of Minda KTSN Plastic Solutions, Germany (Minda KTSN) which was established in 2007 to oversee the European operations. The company has made an Investment of approximately $10 million for the plant in the first phase

The green-field plant at Mexico specializes in manufacturing of Interior automotive components such as glove box, I panel parts etc for its esteemed customer Volkswagen Group.

The new facility at Queretaro which is Minda KTSNs 5th unit has a total area of 8,500 square meters with manpower strength of around 130 employees. The plant has an additional 5000 square meters space in the similar premises for further growth and is targeting annual sales of 450 million Pesos (US$24 million) from 2017-18 onwards.

Minda KTSN Plastic Solutions, Germany is a wholly owned subsidiary of Minda Corporation, a flagship company of Spark Minda, Ashok Minda Group, India. Minda KTSN in Europe has state of the art of Injection moulding, automated assemblies, and internal tool manufacturing facilities.

On a consolidated basis, Minda Corporations net profit fell 36.3% to Rs 20.10 crore on 9.7% rise in net sales to Rs 712.93 crore in Q3 December 2016 over Q3 December 2015.

Minda Corporation is a diversified company with a product portfolio encompassing from mechanical and electronic security system, electronic controllers for electric vehicles and for auto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) across the globe. It also manufactures die casting parts for auto and consumer durable industry.

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Adani Transmission to hold board meeting
Apr 03,2017

Adani Transmission will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 4 April 2017 to consider and approve the appointment of Mr. Laxmi Narayana Mishra as a Whole-time Director of the Company.

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Wockhardt provides update on its super drug antibiotic WCK 5222
Apr 03,2017

Wockhardt announced that in a recent meeting between Wockhardt Research team and USFDA New Drug Antibiotic Regulatory team, USFDA agreed to abridge clinical trial for Phase III for Wockhardts super drug antibiotic WCK 5222. This was based on the clinical evalutation by USFDA of its preclinical and clinical data of Phase I establishing safety and clinical scope of efficacy for the drug. WCK 5222 contains Zidebactam coming out of Wockhardts Drug Discovery team of 140 strong scientists working for antibiotics research since last 20 years.

WCK 522 is a combination of Zidebactam and Cefepime. This superdrug introduces an entire new class of antibiotic treatment. It is expected to be a life-saving destination therapy for serious hospital acquired infections such as pneumonia, ventilator associated pneumonia, blood stream infections.

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Minda Corporation inaugurates new manufacturing plant
Apr 03,2017

Minda Corporation has inaugurated its new manufacturing plant located at Queretaro Industrial Park, Mexico. The new facility Minda KTSN Plastic Solution Mexico, S. de RL de C.V. is a part of the Minda KTSN Plastic Solution Germany which was established in 2007 to oversee the European Operations.

The greenfield plant at Mexico specializes in manufacturing of interior automotive components such as Glove Box, I panel parts for its customer Volkswagen Group.

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M&M forges ahead after strong tractor sales in March
Apr 03,2017

The announcement was made on Sunday, 2 April 2017.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 145.88 points or 0.49% at 29,766.38.

On the BSE, 17,480 shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 1 lakh shares in the past one quarter. The stock had hit a high of Rs 1,303.90 and a low of Rs 1,287 so far during the day. The stock had hit a record high of Rs 1,508.80 on 9 August 2016 and a 52-week low of Rs 1,141.80 on 2 December 2016.

The stock had underperformed the market over the past one month till 31 March 2017, falling 1.7% compared with 3.05% rise in the Sensex. The scrip had also underperformed the market in past one quarter, gaining 8.46% as against Sensexs 11.24% gains.

The large-cap company has equity capital of Rs 310.55 crore. Face value per share is Rs 5.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M)s domestic tractor sales rose 29% to 17,973 units in March 2017 over March 2016. Exports jumped 82% to 1,364 units in March 2017 over March 2016.

Meanwhile, M&Ms auto sales in the domestic market rose 9% to 53,322 units in March 2017 over March 2016. Exports fell 28% to 2,709 units in March 2017 over March 2016.

Meanwhile, public sector oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) on Friday, 31 March 2017, announced reduction in selling price of petrol and diesel with effect from midnight of 31 March 2017. Petrol price was decreased by Rs 3.77 per litre and diesel price was reduced by Rs 2.91 a litre at Delhi (excluding state levies). The demand for vehicles rises if fuel prices are reduced.

M&Ms net profit rose 33.3% to Rs 1112.27 crore on 0.3% decline in net sales to Rs 10860.05 crore in Q3 December 2016 over Q3 December 2015.

M&M enjoys a leadership position in tractors and utility vehicles in India.

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Union Textiles Minister launches PowerTex India
Apr 03,2017

The Government has launched PowerTex India, a comprehensive scheme for powerloom sector development, simultaneously at over 45 locations in the country. Launching the scheme in Bhiwandi, Thane district, Maharashtra, the Union Textiles Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani said that Bhiwandi will be known for resurgence in Powerloom sector. Recalling that the powerloom sector alone employs over 44 lakh people, the Minister said that the scheme will especially benefit small powerloom weavers.

The comprehensive scheme has the following components:

n++In-situ Upgradation of Plain Powerlooms

n++Group Workshed Scheme (GWS)

n++Yarn Bank Scheme

n++Common Facility Centre (CFC)

n++Pradhan Mantri Credit Scheme for Powerloom Weavers

n++Solar Energy Scheme for Powerlooms

n++Facilitation, IT, Awareness, Market Development and Publicity for Powerloom Schemes

n++Tex Venture Capital Fund

n++Grant-in-Aid and Modernisation & Upgradation of Powerloom Service Centres (PSCs)

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Bajaj Auto slips as March sales decline
Apr 03,2017

The announcement was made during market hours today, 3 April 2017.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 148.84 points or 0.5% at 29,769.34

On the BSE, 13,000 shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 20,275 shares in the past one quarter. The stock had hit a high of Rs 2,832.05 and a low of Rs 2,780 so far during the day.

The stock had hit a record high of Rs 3,122 on 9 September 2016 and a 52-week low of Rs 2,350.15 on 8 April 2016. The stock had underperformed the market over the past 30 days till 31 March 2017, falling 0.86% compared with the Sensexs 2.71% rise. The scrip had also underperformed the market over the past one quarter, rising 6.59% as against the Sensexs 11.24% rise.

The large-cap company has equity capital of Rs 289.37 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.

Bajaj Autos domestic sales fell 17% to 1.69 lakh units in March 2017 over March 2016. Exports rose 1% to 1.02 lakh units in March 2017 over March 2016.

On a consolidated basis, Bajaj Autos net profit fell 5.3% to Rs 976.82 crore on 8.6% decline in net sales to Rs 4975.56 crore in Q3 December 2016 over Q3 December 2015.

Bajaj Auto is one of the leading two-and three-wheeler manufacturers in India.

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Tata Motors gains momentum after good March sales
Apr 03,2017

The announcement was made on Saturday, 1 April 2017.

Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was up 140.18 points, or 0.47%, to 29,760.68.

On the BSE, 1.52 lakh shares were traded in the counter so far, compared with average daily volumes of 5.52 lakh shares in the past one quarter. The stock had hit a high of Rs 472.25 and a low of Rs 468.35 so far during the day. The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs 598.60 on 7 September 2016. The stock had hit a 52-week low of Rs 368.40 on 5 April 2016.

The stock had underperformed the market over the past one month till 31 March 2017, gaining 2.15% compared with 3.05% rise in the Sensex. The scrip had also underperformed the market in past one quarter, falling 1.15% as against Sensexs 11.24% gains.

The large-cap company has equity capital of Rs 577.47 crore. Face value per share is Rs 2.

Tata Motors said its domestic sales of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles rose 10% at 51,309 units in March 2017 over March 2016. Tata Motors passenger vehicles sales jumped 84% at 15,433 units in the domestic market in March 2017 over March 2016, due to continued strong demand for the Tata Tiago. The company has also received an encouraging response for its recently launched lifestyle utility vehicle, Tata Hexa and its latest styleback, the Tata Tigor.

The overall commercial vehicles sales in the domestic market fell 6% at 35,876 units in March 2017 over March 2016. The wholesale figures of Tata Motors commercial vehicles were affected by the Supreme Court judgement announced on 29 March 2017, leading to confusion and the consequent focus at the dealer level to increase retail and to reduce the levels of unsold stock.

The Supreme Court observed on 29 March 2017 and ordered a freeze on the registration and sale of BS-III fuel compliant vehicles by n++any manufacturer or dealern++ on and from 1 April ,2017, when the next level and environmentally friendly BS-IV fuel emission standards are scheduled to kick in.

Overall sales of Tata Motors medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCV) fell 5% at 17,648 units in March 2017 over March 2016. Tata Motors bus sales continued to grow by 26% in March 2017, driven primarily by State Transport Undertaking (STU) orders. Sales of Tata Motors small & light commercial vehicles shed 8% at 18,228 units in March 2017 over March 2016.

The companys sales from exports fell 8% at 5,836 units in March 2017 over March 2016.

Meanwhile, public sector oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) on Friday, 31 March 2017, announced reduction in selling price of petrol and diesel with effect from midnight of 31 March 2017. Petrol price was decreased by Rs 3.77 per litre and diesel price was reduced by Rs 2.91 a litre at Delhi (excluding state levies). The demand for vehicles rises if fuel prices are reduced.

Tata Motors consolidated net profit fell 96.2% to Rs 111.57 crore on 2.2% decline in net sales to Rs 66855.18 crore in Q3 December 2016 over Q3 December 2015.

Tata Motors is a market leader in commercial vehicles in India. The companys British luxury unit Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) sells premium luxury cars.

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Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI rises to 5-month high in March 2017
Apr 03,2017

The health of Indias manufacturing sector improved for the third straight month in March, and to the greatest extent since October 2016. Incoming new orders expanded at a stronger pace, thereby leading to quicker increases in production and input purchasing. Moreover, firms hired additional employees to cope with greater workloads. Although both input costs and output charges rose further, inflation rates softened from those seen in February.

Rising to a five-month high of 52.5 in March, from 50.7 in February, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers IndexTM (PMITM) - a composite indicator designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of the performance of the manufacturing economy - indicated that operating conditions in the sector improved to a greater extent. As for the January-to-March quarter, the PMI average (51.2) was the lowest seen since Q1 FY 2016/17 (51.0).

Amid evidence of strengthening demand conditions, the level of new orders received by manufacturers rose solidly in March and at the quickest pace in five months. Likewise, production expanded at the strongest rate since last October as firms sought to fulfil new and existing projects. The increase in total new work was supported by higher new export orders, which grew at a solid and accelerated pace. New work and output increased across the three monitored sub-sectors, with the upturn led by intermediate goods producers in both cases.

Indian manufacturers purchased greater quantities of inputs for use in the production process during March, with the latest upturn in buying levels the strongest in the current three-month sequence of expansion.

This resulted in an overall increase in stocks of purchases. Having fallen in each of the previous three months, pre-production inventories rose modestly in March. Conversely, holdings of finished items dipped sharply due to production volumes failing to match requirements for existing projects.

Business confidence among manufacturers improved in March, with almost one-fifth of panellists expecting output levels at their units to be higher in 12 months time. Forecasts of a pick-up in demand and the launch of new product lines were the main factors underpinning optimism.

Reversing the decline noted in February, manufacturing jobs rose in March as some firms took on extra staff in line with efforts to expand capacity. Despite accelerating to the fastest in almost four years, the rate of job creation was only slight. Concurrently, outstanding business increased to the weakest extent in 2017 so far.

Largely reflecting higher commodity prices, average input costs increased again. That said, the rate of inflation slowed to the weakest in four months and was below the long-run survey average. Similarly, the rate of charge inflation moderated during March as 96% of manufacturers reportedly kept selling prices unchanged in tandem with attempts to stimulate demand.

Commenting on the Indian Manufacturing PMI survey data, Pollyanna De Lima, Economist at IHS Markit and author of the report, said PMI data for March reveal positive developments in the Indian manufacturing sector. Rates of expansion in factory orders and production accelerated again, encouraging some companies to scale up their input buying and take on additional workers. The favourable demand environment was supported by relatively muted inflationary pressures. Given that input costs rose at a softer pace, a whopping 96% of goods producers kept their selling prices unchanged over the month. Looking ahead, production volumes are likely to rise further as businesses will seek to replenish their stocks. Indeed, we saw a marked drop in inventories of finished items, alongside a stronger degree of confidence towards the year-ahead outlook for output. Out of the three broad areas of manufacturing, intermediate goods was Marchs shining star, as growth of new work, production and input buying in this category surpassed those seen at consumer and capital goods firms.

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