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GDP growth in 2017-18 is projected at 6 n++ to 7 n++ percent Post-demonetisation
Jan 31,2017

The Government says that the adverse impact of demonetisation on GDP growth will be transitional. The Economic Survey 2017 presented in Parliament today by the union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley states that once the cash supply is replenished, which is likely to be achieved by end March 2017, the economy would revert to the normal. Therefore the real GDP growth in 2017-18 is projected to be in the range of 6n++-7n++ percent.

The Economic Survey points out that demonetisation will have both short-term costs and long-term benefits as detailed in the attached table. Briefly, the costs include a contraction in cash money supply and subsequent, albeit temporary, slowdown in GDP growth; and benefits include increased digitalization, greater tax compliance and a reduction in real estate prices, which could increase long-run tax revenue collections and GDP growth.

On the benefits side, early evidence suggests that digitalization has increased since demonetisation. On the cost side, effective cash in circulation fell sharply although by much less than commonly believed - a peak of 35 percent in December, rather than 62 percent in November since many of the old high denomination notes continued to be used for transactions in the weeks after 8th November Additionally, remonetisation will ensure that the cash squeeze is eliminated by April 2017. The cash squeeze in the meantime will have significant implications for GDP, reducing 2016-17 growth by n++ to n++ percentage points compared to the baseline of 7 percent. Recorded GDP will understate impact on informal sector because, for example, informal manufacturing is estimated using formal sector indicators (Index of Industrial Production). These contractionary effects will dissipate by year-end when currency in circulation should once again be in line with estimated demand, which would also allow growth to converge to a trend by FY 2017-18.

The Economic Survey states that the weighted average price of real estate in eight major cities which was already on a declining trend fell further after November 8, 2016 with the announcement of demonetization. It goes on to add that an equilibrium reduction in real estate prices is desirable as it will lead to affordable housing for the middle class and facilitate labour mobility across India currently impeded by high and unaffordable rents.

The Survey suggests a few measures to maximize long-term benefits and minimize short-term costs. One, fast remonetisation and especially, free convertibility of cash to deposits including through early elimination of withdrawal limits. This would reduce the GDP growth deceleration and cash hoarding. Two, continued impetus to digitalization while ensuring that this transition is gradual, inclusive, based on incentives rather than controls and appropriately balancing the costs and benefits of cash versus digitalization. Three, following up demonetisation by bringing land and real estate into the GST. Four, reducing tax rates and stamp duties. And finally, an improved tax system could promote greater income declaration and dispel fears of over-zealous tax administration.

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Fitch: Risks to Indian Homebuilders Rise; Sales to Fall in 2017
Jan 31,2017

Fitch Ratings expects property sales in India to fall by at least 20%-30% in 2017, owing to disruption caused by demonetisation and general caution on the part of buyers. Homebuilders already have high levels of unsold inventory and are likely to cut selling prices as demand weakens. We expect risks to homebuilders to rise further this year, with leverage likely to increase and liquidity to tighten. Homebuilders with access to diversified funding channels are likely to be more insulated from the downturn.

We expect home prices to decline this year because demand for residential property has weakened significantly in 4Q16, following the demonetisation of large denomination notes in November last year. Demonetisation has made it harder for home buyers to use undeclared wealth for property payments. The number of residential property units sold in 4Q16 fell by 44% yoy, dragging down overall units sold in 2016 by 9%, based on data compiled by Knight Frank Research. The volume of new units launched fell by 61% yoy.

We expect the largest cuts to selling prices in the National Capital Region (NCR) followed by Mumbai, where unsold inventory is the highest at 16 and 10 quarters of sales, respectively, based on market estimates. The NCR is also known to have the largest cash-based economy in the country, and therefore demand is likely to suffer more from the currency demonetisation than other regions. We expect demand for homes in Chennai and Pune to be less affected by the downturn, as unsold inventory is the lowest in these cities, at around 6-7 quarters of sales.

Top-tier homebuilders like Indiabulls Real Estate Limited (IBREL, B+/Stable) and Lodha Developers Private Limited (Lodha, B/Negative) - whose sales benefit from their brand strength - have yet to start cutting home prices substantially. However, we understand that smaller and second-tier homebuilders across the country have started offering discounts of around 25%-30% to attract buyers.

The worst of the downturn in home sales is likely to occur in 1H17. Demand is likely to recover moderately in 2H17 as the festive season approaches, and because banks have cut interest rates on home loans by 50bp-60bp over the last 12 months to multi-year lows.

Fitch continues to expect homebuilders that have a large pipeline of pre-sold projects, such as IBREL and Lodha, to be better off than those that do not. However, even these homebuilders credit profiles may weaken if demand does not recover for an extended period. Although property construction was hampered for a few weeks after the demonetisation announcement, we understand that most homebuilders have been able to work around practical issues related to making payments to suppliers and contractors, and that construction has since resumed.

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Rane (Madras) revises payment date for interim dividend
Jan 31,2017

Rane (Madras) has revised the payment date for interim dividend to 10 February 2017. There is no change in record date i.e. 03 February 2017.

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Bharti Infratel leads losers in A group
Jan 31,2017

Bharti Infratel slumped 11.33% to Rs 291.50 at 12:25 IST after telecom giant Vodafone acknowledged that it was in talks with third largest telecom operator for a possible merger. The merger deal if materializes, could dent Bharti Infratels revenue, whose towers are used by both Idea Cellular and Vodafone, report said. The stock topped the losers in the BSEs A group. On the BSE, 6.15 lakh shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 1.68 lakh shares in the past two weeks.

Adani Enterprises tumbled 5.86% to Rs 86.75. The stock was second biggest loser in A group. On the BSE, 10.5 lakh shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 8.33 lakh shares in the past two weeks.

HCL Technologies fell 5% at Rs 797.70. The stock was the third biggest loser in A group. On the BSE, 61,000 shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 59,000 shares in the past two weeks.

TCS shed 4.81% to Rs 2,221.95. The stock was fourth biggest loser in A group. On the BSE, 86,000 shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 72,000 shares in the past two weeks.

IT stocks declined after US President Donald Trumps administration has drafted an executive order aimed at overhauling the work-visa programmes tech companies depend on to hire employees.

Grasim Industries dropped 4.56% at Rs 926. The stock was the fifth biggest loser in A group. On the BSE, 54,000 shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 61,000 shares in the past two weeks.

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Alicon Castalloy declines after uninspiring Q3 numbers
Jan 31,2017

The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 30 January 2017.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 187.54 points or 0.67% at 27,662.02.

On the BSE, 5,278 shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 1,695 shares in the past one quarter. The stock had hit a high of Rs 397 and a low of Rs 373 so far during the day.

The stock had hit a record high of Rs 491 on 10 November 2016 and a 52-week low of Rs 242.20 on 15 February 2016. The stock had outperformed the market over the past one month till 30 January 2017, advancing 9.55% compared with the Sensexs 4.59% rise. The scrip had, however, underperformed the market over the past one quarter, sliding 16.74% as against the Sensexs 0.29% fall.

The small-cap company has equity capital of Rs 6.13 crore. Face value per share is Rs 5.

Alicon Castalloy is a part of the Alicon group and is into business of castings.

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Walchandnagar Industries drops after reverse turnaround in Q3
Jan 31,2017

The result was announced before market hours today, 31 January 2017.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 150.40 points, or 0.54%, to 27,699.16.

On the BSE, 32,000 shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 40,697 shares in the past one quarter. The stock had hit a high of Rs 158.05 and a low of Rs 153.50 so far during the day.

The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs 177 on 18 October 2016 and a 52-week low of Rs 115.80 on 12 February 2016. The stock had outperformed the market over the past one month till 30 January 2017, advancing 10.55% compared with the Sensexs 4.59% rise. The scrip had, however, underperformed the market over the past one quarter declining 1.42% as against the Sensexs 0.29% fall.

The small-cap company has equity capital of Rs 7.61 crore. Face value per share is Rs 2.

Walchandnagar Industries net sales fell 22.3% to Rs 99.77 crore in Q3 December 2016 over Q3 December 2015.

Walchandnagar Industries is engaged in engineering, fabrication and manufacturing of machinery.

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Natco Pharma gains after marketing partner wins patent case in US
Jan 31,2017

The announcement was made during market hours today, 31 January 2017.

Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was down 139.79 points, or 0.5%, to 27,709.77.

More than usual volumes were traded on the counter. On the BSE, 55,463 shares were traded in the counter so far, compared with average daily volume of 36,989 shares in the past one quarter. The stock had hit high of Rs 700 and low of Rs 671.30 so far during the day. The stock had hit a record high of Rs 703.95 on 25 August 2016. The stock hit a 52-week low of Rs 390 on 29 March 2016.

The large-cap company has equity capital of Rs 34.86 crore. Face value per share is Rs 2.

Natco Pharma announced that the United States District Court for the District of Delaware issued a decision finding all asserted claims of four Orange Book-listed patents relating to Copaxone 40 mg/mL invalid based on obviousness.

The invalidated patents are United States Patent Numbers 8,232,250; 8,399,413; 8,969,302; and 9,155,776, which are owned by Yeda Research & Development Co., Ltd. and licensed to Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, Ltd.

On 2 December 2016, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Offices U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reaffirmed a prior decision that three of these patents (250, 413 and 302) are unpatentable in its inter partes review (IPR) proceedings initiated by NATCOs marketing partner Mylan. Mylan also challenged the 776 patent in an IPR proceeding. The PTAB is expected to issue its institution ruling on the 776 patent IPR by 16 May 2017.

Copaxone 40 mg/mL had US annual sales of approximately $3.3 billion for the 12 months ending 30 November 2016, according to IMS Health.

Natco Pharmas consolidated net profit rose 127.2% to Rs 66.55 crore on 75.6% rise in net sales to Rs 415.21 crore in Q2 September 2016 over Q2 September 2015.

Natco Pharma manufactures generic dosage forms, bulk actives and intermediates for the Indian and international markets.

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Board of Sunshield Chemicals to consider Q3 and 9M results
Jan 31,2017

Sunshield Chemicals announced that the meeting of the Board of Directors will be held on 10 February 2017, to consider and take on record the Unaudited Financial Results for the quarter and nine months ended 31 December 2016.

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Fitch: Less Global Negative-Yielding Debt No Easier on Investors
Jan 31,2017

Global negative-yielding sovereign debt declined slightly to $9.1 trillion outstanding as of 29 December 2016, from $9.3 trillion as of 28 November 2016, according to Fitch Ratings. The decline came from the strengthening of the US dollar and little net change in European and Japanese sovereign long-term bond yields.

In December 2016, unchanged long-term yields were accompanied by a decline in short-term eurozone bond yields. Since short-term eurozone yields were already less than zero, this trend had little effect on the total amount of negative-yielding debt outstanding. However, it exacerbated the challenges bond investors face.

Investors with short-term liquidity needs, such as short-term money market funds (ST MMFs), were confronted with yields less than negative 1% on many short-dated eurozone bonds at year-end 2016. As seen in the chart below, the weighted average yield on eurozone debt with less than one year in remaining maturity declined to negative 77 bps from negative 38 bps at the end of June 2016. Short-term yields have risen slightly since year-end 2016, but generally remain below levels seen in June.

European ST MMFs are incentivized to hold short-term government securities as part of their eligible overnight liquidity bucket. Funds will be forced to assume additional incremental risks in their portfolios in order to maintain returns if short-term government bond yields decline further. On average, as of December 2016, Fitch-rated European prime ST MMFs held 6% of assets in short-term government securities.

Institutions such as insurance companies have significant allocations to longer-term sovereign debt. Yields on these institutions portfolios remain low and are crimping profits. Despite the slight decline in negative yielding debt, we expect these institutions to continue to assume incremental risk to compensate for negative yields.

The downward move in short- and medium-term yields was particularly strong in Italy and Spain during December 2016. Many of these bond issues returned to negative territory in these countries near year-end 2016. Combined, Italy and Spain added approximately $300 billion to the negative-yielding total between Nov. 28, 2016 and Dec. 29, 2016.

There was $5.5 trillion in Japanese government bonds yielding less than 0%, down about $2.4 trillion since the end of June 2016. Slight increases in Japanese yields and a weaker yen contributed to the ongoing decline in the amount of negative-yielding debt outstanding in Japan.

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IT stocks slide as Trump administration drafts executive order on H1B visas
Jan 31,2017

TCS (down 2.71%), HCL Technologies (down 2.29%), Wipro (down 1.6%), Infosys (down 1.4%), Persistent Systems (down 1.31%) and Oracle Financial Services Software (down 0.75%) edged lower.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE IT index was down 1.79%. It underperformed the Sensex which was down 147.46 points or 0.53% at 27,702.10.

The BSE IT index had underperformed the market over the past one month till 30 January 2017, sliding 2.92% compared with the Sensexs 4.59% rise. The index had also underperformed the market over the past one quarter, declining 1.53% as against the Sensexs 0.29% fall.

According to reports, Donald Trumps administration has drafted an executive order to restrict work visas, H1B and L1 issued to professionals working in the US for a short period of time, as part of a larger immigration reform. The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ skilled foreign workers and are mostly used by Indian IT professionals. The latest move comes after Trump issued a sweeping executive order banning foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

US is the biggest outsourcing market for Indian IT firms.

Tech Mahindra lost 1.21%. The companys consolidated net profit rose 32.77% to Rs 856 crore on 5.4% growth in revenue to Rs 7558 crore in Q3 December 2016 over Q2 September 2016. The result was announced at the fag end of the trading session yesterday, 30 January 2017. The stock had risen 0.27% to settle at Rs 466.75 yesterday, 30 January 2017.

Tech Mahindras consolidated profit after tax rose 30.8% to $126.3 million on 4.1% growth in revenue at $1116.1 million in Q3 December 2016 over Q2 September 2016. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 9.2% to $175 million in Q3 December 2016 over Q2 September 2016. Cash and cash equivalent stood at Rs 4951 crore as of 31 December 2016.

Vineet Nayyar, Vice Chairman, Tech Mahindra said that the strong deal wins and business momentum during the quarter reaffirm that the company is on the right track to capitalize on the opportunities from the global digital transformation, and see measurable benefits from that.

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Board of Pil Italica Lifestyle to consider Q3 results and conversion of warrants
Jan 31,2017

Pil Italica Lifestyle announced that the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company is scheduled to be held on 14 February 2017, inter alia, to transact the following businesses;

1. To consider and approve the Unaudited Financial Results of the Company for the Third Quarter and Nine Months ended 31 December 2016.

2. To issue and allot equity shares on conversion of share warrants to Promoter and Non Promoters.

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Board of Kuantum Papers to consider Q3 and 9M results
Jan 31,2017

Kuantum Papers announced that the meeting of Board of Directors and Audit Committee of the Company will be held on 11 February 2017, inter alia, to review and approve the Unaudited Financial Results for the quarter and nine months period ended 31 December 2016.

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Board of Andrew Yule & Company to consider Q3 and 9M results
Jan 31,2017

Andrew Yule & Company announced that the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company will be held on 09 February 2017, inter alia, to consider and take on record the Unaudited Financial Results of the Company for the quarter and nine months ended 31 December 2016.

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NTPC to consider Q3 results
Jan 31,2017

NTPC announced that a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company is scheduled to be held on 08 February 2017, inter alia, to approve and take on record the unaudited Financial Results for the quarter and nine months period ended on 31 December 2016 (Q3) as reviewed by the Audit Committee and also to consider declaration of interim dividend for the financial year 2016-17.

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Surana Industries to consider Q3 results
Jan 31,2017

Surana Industries announced that a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company is scheduled to be held on 10 February 2017, inter alia, to consider and approve the Unaudited financial results for the 3rd Quarter and Nine Months ended 31 December 2016.

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