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Asia Pacific Market: Protectionism worry drags on stocks
Mar 20,2017

Asia Pacific share market finished session mostly down on Monday, 20 March 2017, on tracking an uninspiring lead from US markets on Friday and renewed worries over global trade protectionism after financial leaders of the worlds biggest economies dropped a pledge to keep global trade free and open. MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was fractionally lower.

U.S. stocks closed mixed Friday, dragged down by declines in financial and health care stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 0.1% to 20,914.62, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.13% to 2,378.25.The Nasdaq composite closed flat at 5,901.00.

Finance ministers from twenty of the worlds biggest economies held a two-day meeting, and warned against competitive devaluations and disorderly FX markets but failed to agree on keeping global trade free and open.

Financial leaders from the worlds biggest economies reiterated their warnings against competitive devaluations and disorderly foreign exchange markets at the meeting in the German town of Baden-Baden over the weekend.But they failed to agree on a commitment to keep global trade free and open, highlighting a global shift towards protectionism.

Importantly we saw other leaders such as (Japanese Prime Minister) Shinzo Abe and (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel come out publicly supporting free trade, and for now the protectionist stance remains constrained to the US It would be more concerning if this began spreading to other countries.

Markets are focused on a raft of speeches by Federal Reserve officials this week, including Chicagos Charles Evans on Tuesday and Friday, Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday and Dallas Robert Kaplan and Minneapoliss Neel Kashkari on Friday and New Yorks William Dudley on Saturday.

Attention now turns to the French election, with the first Presidential debate set to take place on Monday. Opinion polls show independent centrist Emmanuel Macron would lead far-right leader Marine Le Pen by a hair in first-round voting, before beating her in the run-off.

In commodities, oil prices were steady last Friday after dropping nearly 10% for the week on concerns of a continued global supply overhang. During Asian time, Brent crude was down 0.35% at $51.58 a barrel, while U.S. crude fell 0.59% to $48.50.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Shares slips as financials, energy drag on index

Australian equity market finished session down, due to an uninspired lead from US markets on Friday and worries over global trade protectionism after financial leaders of the worlds biggest economies dropped a pledge to keep global trade free and open. ASX Sectors were mostly down, with financials, real estate, and energy stocks leading the losses. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index surrendered 20.7 points, or 0.36%, to 5,778.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index backtracked 20.3 points, or 0.35%, to 5,820.5. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 631 to 453 and 359 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 5.43% to 10.274.

Financials dragged the index the most with three of the big four banks losing between 0.3% and 0.5% while National Australia Bank gained 0.4%.

Real estate stocks were the second-biggest drag on the index with Scentre Group Ltd closing 2.8% lower and Westfield Corporation sliding 1%.

In materials, Fortescue was steady at A$6.70 and Rio Tinto slid 0.9% to A$62.39, while BHP Billiton bucked the trend to edge up 0.2% to A$24.88. In energy, Santos skidded 1.1% to A$3.69, while Woodside lost 0.5% to A$31.37 as crude prices lost more than half a% in Asian trade.

China Stocks end up as energy offsets fresh property curbs

The Mainland China equity market ended higher after recouping losses late afternoon, as strong gains in energy stocks offset weakness in developers following fresh measures to cool the property market. The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.1%, to 3,449.61 points, while the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.41%, or 13.36 points, to 3,250.81. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, climbed 0.31%, or 6.32 points, to 2,036.05.

Energy firms rallied strongly, with heavyweight China Shenhua leading rally after the countrys largest coal miner announced a spectacular dividend payment proposal. Shares in the coal miner surged by their 10% trade limit to close at a 19-month high, as the company proposed to pay total dividend of 59 billion yuan in cash after recording a 40.7% increase in net profit for 2016.

An index tracking the property sector tumbled after more cities imposed fresh property restrictions over the weekend. The Beijing municipal government announced new steps to rein in its booming housing market after the market close on Friday. Data on Saturday suggested the impact of earlier property cooling steps by many cities may have been short-lived. Chinas home prices picked up speed again in February after slowing in the previous four months, while sales have surged.

Official data on Saturday showed that Chinas property prices rose in February after having slowed in the past four months. New home prices were up 0.3%, compared to Januarys 0.2% increase. Meanwhile, property sales jumped 25.1% in January and February, the strongest annual growth in seven years.

Hong Kong Stocks end at fresh 19-month high

The Hong Kong stock market closed session at fresh 19-month high, building on last weeks rally after the Federal Reserve flagged a slower pace of interest rate rises this year and as Chinese investors pumped in more funds into the local market on optimism over earnings and dividend payouts. The gains were led by energy and tech shares, but an index tracking mainland properties tumbled, after China stepped up real estate curbs in a number of cities, and vowed to restrict lending to the sector. The Hang Seng index rose 0.8%, to 24,501.99, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.7%, to 10,583.98 points. Turnover decreased slightly to HK$97.8 billion from HK$121.3 billion on Friday.

China Shenhua (01088) jumped 16% to HK$19.14 after the company declared special dividend of RMB2.51 per share. Citi Research upgraded its rating for China Shenhua to buy. China Coal (01898) also climbed 4% to HK$4.18.

China Mobile (00941) added 3.7% to HK$90.35 on hopes of a special dividend. Tencent (00700) is scheduled to report its earnings on 22 March. It closed up 2.8% to all-time high of HK$228.2. The stocks contributed 60- and 71-point gains to the benchmark index.

Mainland developers were pressured on fresh measures to cool the property market. Over the weekend, six Chinese cities tightened property policies, including Beijing and Guangzhou. CR Land (01109) and China Vanke (02202) fell 2% and 4% to HK$22 and HK$22.35. China Overseas Land & Investment (00688) slipped 2% to HK$24.5. Its subsidiary China Overseas Property (02669) plunged 5% to HK$1.47 despite of a 93% growth of its 2016 net profit.

Indian Market snaps two-day winning streak

Key benchmark indices drifted lower on first trading day of the week today, weighed by selling in index heavyweights, Infosys, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, lost 130.25 points or 0.44% to settle at 29,518.74. The Nifty 50 index fell 33.20 points or 0.36% to settle at 9,126.85. Weakness in world stocks dampened sentiment on the domestic bourses.

Frontline IT stocks declined as the rupee continued its recent appreciation against the dollar. TCS (down 1.82%), Infosys (down 1.87%), HCL Technologies (down 0.23%), Tech Mahindra (down 0.63%), Wipro (down 1.59%) fell. Oracle Financial Services Software (up 0.38%), MindTree (up 0.03%), Hexaware Technologies (up 0.45%) and MphasiS (up 0.03%) rose.

The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 65.345 versus Fridays close of 65.475. A firm rupee adversely affects operating profit margins of IT firms as the sector derives a lions share of revenue from exports.

Dena Bank rose 4.18% after the bank announced after market hours on Friday, 17 March 2017, that it received a communication from Government of India informing capital allocation of Rs 600 crore as part of turnaround linked infusion plan. The board approval for raising of capital of the bank through issue of equity shares to Government of India, LIC of India and GIC of India on preferential basis, is being obtained.

Idea Cellular fell 9.55% to Rs 97.60 on BSE after the company said its board approved merger with Vodafone India. The announcement was made before trading hours today, 20 March 2017.

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EPFO takes various steps for speedy settlement of claims
Mar 20,2017

The Employees Provident Funds Organization (EPFO) has taken various steps for speedy settlement of claims which inter alia include:

n++ Composite Claim Form (Aadhaar) and Composite Claim Form (Non-Aadhaar) has been introduced by replacing the erstwhile Claim Forms No. 19, 10C and 31, with a view to simplify the submission of claims by the subscribers. The Composite Claim Form has been further simplified to include self-certification by EPF subscribers. The Composite Claim Form (Aadhaar) can be submitted to the EPFO without attestation of their employers.

n++ EPFO has mandated to settle claims within 20 days.

n++ Online Transfer Claim Portal (OTCP) has been introduced to facilitate seamless transfer of claims.

n++ An online payment facility has been developed for employers for payment of dues. The internet banking (INB) facility enhances efficiency and payment and ensures anytime, anywhere online access while usage of existing internet bank account to make payments online.

n++ National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) has been introduced for payments.

The Employees Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions (EPF & MP) Act, 1952 is applicable to every establishment employing 20 or more persons which is either a factory engaged in any industry specified in Schedule-I of the Act or an establishment to which the Act has been made applicable by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette.

There was a total of 17.14 crore Employees Provident Fund (EPF) accounts as on 31 March 2016. 12.21 lakh accounts were pending for updation. As per consolidated Annual Accounts of EPFO for the year 2015-16, the closing balance in Interest Account as on 31st March, 2016 is Rs. 45,135.25 crore.

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Hong Kong Stocks end at fresh 19-month high
Mar 20,2017

The Hong Kong stock market closed session at fresh 19-month high on Monday, 20 March 2017, building on last weeks rally after the Federal Reserve flagged a slower pace of interest rate rises this year and as Chinese investors pumped in more funds into the local market on optimism over earnings and dividend payouts. The gains were led by energy and tech shares, but an index tracking mainland properties tumbled, after China stepped up real estate curbs in a number of cities, and vowed to restrict lending to the sector. The Hang Seng index rose 0.8 per cent, to 24,501.99, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.7 per cent, to 10,583.98 points. Turnover decreased slightly to HK$97.8 billion from HK$121.3 billion on Friday.

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China Stocks end up as energy offsets fresh property curbs
Mar 20,2017

The Mainland China equity market ended higher after recouping losses late afternoon on Monday, 20 March 2017, as strong gains in energy stocks offset weakness in developers following fresh measures to cool the property market. The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.1 percent, to 3,449.61 points, while the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.41 per cent, or 13.36 points, to 3,250.81. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, climbed 0.31 per cent, or 6.32 points, to 2,036.05.

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Japan Market close for Vernal Equinox Day holiday
Mar 20,2017

Japan Markets, banks, businesses and government offices closed on Monday, 17 March 2017, for Vernal Equinox Day holiday.

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Australia Shares slips as financials, energy drag on index
Mar 20,2017

Australian equity market finished session down on Monday, 20 March 2017, due to an uninspired lead from US markets on Friday and worries over global trade protectionism after financial leaders of the worlds biggest economies dropped a pledge to keep global trade free and open. ASX Sectors were mostly down, with financials, real estate, and energy stocks leading the losses. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index surrendered 20.7 points, or 0.36%, to 5,778.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index backtracked 20.3 points, or 0.35%, to 5,820.5. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 631 to 453 and 359 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 5.43% to 10.274.

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Andhra Bank to receive capital infusion of Rs 1100 crore
Mar 20,2017

Andhra Bank announced that the Bank has received a communication from Government of India vide its letter dated 16 March 2017 informing, that Andhra Bank has been identified for capital allocation for the Financial Year 2017 as a part of turnaround linked infusion plan. The indicative allocation of capital is Rs.1100 crore to the Bank. The matter will be put up to Andhra Banks Board of Directors for consideration.

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Dhampur Sugar Mills gets revision in credit ratings
Mar 20,2017

Dhampur Sugar Mills announced that CARE has upgraded and revised the Credit Rating from Care BBB; Positive (Triple B;) with Positive outlook to Care BBB+ (Triple B Plus) with Stable Outlook for Long Term/Short Term Credit Facilities from banks and Fixed Deposits accepted by the Company respectively.

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Viaan Industries launches its first Direct Selling Venture - Best Naturals
Mar 20,2017

Viaan Industries has launched its Direct Selling Venture - Best Naturals. Best Naturals, has tried and tested 6 SKUs and many more are in the pipeline. They are in the process of testing various products under the wellness and beauty segment with a USP of Make in India.

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Kothari Products announces cessation of subsidiary
Mar 20,2017

Kothari Products announced the cessation of its subsidiary, Riverview Land Developers.

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Four Sectoral Computer Emergency Response Teams to mitigate Cyber Security Threats in Power Systems
Mar 20,2017

Government of India, in line with National Cyber Security Policy 2013, has created sectoral Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to mitigate cyber security threats in power systems.

Government of India through Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology(MeitY) and National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) has taken several steps to make power utilities and key stakeholders aware to take precautions against cyber threats.

For cyber security in power systems, four Sectoral CERTs, CERT (Transmission), CERT (Thermal), CERT (Hydro) and CERT (Distribution) have also been formed to coordinate with power utilities. The relevant stakeholders of Smart Grid have been advised to identify critical infrastructure and use end to end encryption for data security.

All utilities have been asked to identify a nodal senior executive as its Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) to lead the process of strengthening organizational systems with respect to cyber security and implement an Information Security Management System as recommended by rules framed under the Information Technology (IT) Act 2008.

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White Organic Agro to hold board meeting
Mar 20,2017

White Organic Agro will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 23 March 2017, to consider, review and discuss the future progress of the business and expansion plans of the Company.

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Gallantt Ispat to hold board meeting
Mar 20,2017

Gallantt Ispat will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 23 March 2017 Scheme of Arrangement for Amalgamation

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HDFC Bank to hold board meeting
Mar 20,2017

HDFC Bank will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 21 April 2017, to inter-alia consider the audited financial results for the quarter and year ending 31st March, 2017 along with the consolidated accounts for the year ending 31st March, 2017 and recommendation of dividend, if any.

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Neelkanth Rockminerals to hold board meeting
Mar 20,2017

Neelkanth Rockminerals will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 27 March 2017.

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