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McLeod Russel sign MoU to dispose of some Assam tea gardens

The company decided to dispose of certain tea estates in Assam, namely Beesakopie, Raidang, Daimukhia, Samdang, Baghjan, Bordubi, Koomsong and Phillobari.

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McLeod Russel

Kolkata, June 5 (IANS) World’s largest tea producer McLeod Russel India on Tuesday signed an MoU with city-based M.K Shah Exports Ltd to dispose of eight tea gardens in Assam for a consideration of Rs 331 crore.

The company decided to dispose of certain tea estates in Assam, namely Beesakopie, Raidang, Daimukhia, Samdang, Baghjan, Bordubi, Koomsong and Phillobari.

“…the company has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with M. K. Shah Exports Limited, having registered at Kolkata on June 5, 2018,” the tea producer said in a regulatory filing.

These gardens contributed Rs 192.76 crore to its turnover in the last fiscal, which was over 12 per cent of its last year’s revenue.

“The company proposes to utilise the sale proceeds in repayment of certain high interest bearing debts, for buying back company’s own shares from the shareholders of the company to the tune of Rs.100 crore…and making investment for diversification into packet tea business,” the company had said earlier.

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Fed interest-rate, global trade to dictate equity indices, rupee’s trend

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2000 rupees note

Mumbai, Dec 16 : Global cues such as caution ahead of a US interest-rate decision as well as developments surrounding international trade tensions are expected to determine the trajectory of major domestic equity indices.

“It is expected that the market would continue to track each development related to the trade war, FOMC (the US Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee) interest rate meeting and actions of newly appointed RBI governor,” said SMC Investments and Advisors’ Chairman and Managing Director D.K. Aggarwal.

Consequently, investors will remain cautious over the possibility of any impending hike in the US interest rates which can potentially drive away Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) from emerging markets such as India

Last week’s provisional data from exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) became net sellers, as they off-loaded a total of Rs 2,067.19 crore worth of shares.

“Indices are likely to face renewed pressure after last week’s rally. US Fed’s interest rate decision is likely to be the key event driving the markets,” said Sahil Kapoor, Chief Market Strategist, Edelweiss Investment Research.

“Domestic markets are now factoring in a looser monetary policy with the appointment of new RBI governor.”

The FOMC will meet on Wednesday. Its decision, along with trade data released after the market hours on Friday (December 14) and volatility in crude oil prices are expected to impact the Indian rupee and in turn the broader market sentiment.

“This (trade deficit) number was a bit subdued against expectations… Crude prices are expected to harden a bit which may lead to some mild depreciation in the rupee… Broad range for next week is seen from 71.60 to 72.30,” said Edelweiss Securities’ Head of Forex and Rates Sajal Gupta.

On a weekly basis, the Indian rupee strengthened by 1.1 to 71.90 against the US dollar from its previous week’s close of 70.80 to a greenback.

Apart from the currency movements, developments surrounding the winter session of parliament will have a bearing on the market.

“Developments during the month-long winter session of parliament and any announcements by the government will impact the markets in the near term,” said Viral Berawala, CIO, Essel Mutual Fund.

On technical charts, further upside in the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty50 is likely after the index crosses the immediate resistance level of 10,941 points.

“Technically, with the Nifty rallying higher for the fourth consecutive session, the bulls remain in control,” HDFC Securities’ Retail Research Head Deepak Jasani told IANS.

“Further upsides are likely in the coming week once the immediate resistances of 10,941 points are taken out. Crucial supports to watch for any weakness are at 10,588 points.”

The key equity indices had ended last week on a firm note as expectation of lower interest rates and further liquidity infusion by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under its new chief, along with healthy macro-economic data points had buoyed investor sentiments.

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Wall Street collapses, S&P 500 ends at lowest since April

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Wall Street

New York, Dec 15: US stocks fell sharply on Friday as investors grew concerns over a possible slowdown of the global economy and a slew of corporate news.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 496.87 points, or 2.02 percent, to 24,100.51. The S&P 500 decreased 50.59 points, or 1.91 percent, to 2,599.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 159.67 points, or 2.26 percent, to 6,910.66, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Dow slumped more than 550 points at its low during the session and dived to its lowest close since May.

The S&P 500 dipped to its lowest closing level since April. All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors closed lower, with health and technology down 3.37 percent and 2.48 percent, respectively, leading the laggards.

After Friday’s steep sell-off, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is now just up 0.11 percent for the year.

The Cboe Volatility index, widely considered the best fear gauge in the stock market, rose 4.75 percent to 21.63 on Friday.

Global markets were in risk-off mode with investors simply trying to limit performance damage rather than reach for outperformance, according to some analysts.

“Traders are again selling shares of profitable trades before the closing of the year. There isn’t a great deal of volume in stock trading today, so that means there is less resistance against the pressure from sellers today,” John Monaco, a trader at Wellington Shields & Co. LLC, told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, a strong U.S. dollar also complicated the situation. The U.S. dollar rose in late trading on Friday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, rose 0.39 percent to 97.4441 at 3:00 p.m. (2000 GMT).

“Today’s lower market index seems to be derived from another day of strong U.S. currency. The U.S. dollar’s strength must be monitored closely as too much strength in the dollar hurts global corporate profits,” said John.

Wall Street also digested a slew of corporate news.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson, a Dow member, plunged more than 10 percent on Friday after Reuters reported the company knew about asbestos in its baby powder for decades.

Apple stock slid 3.2 percent after top analysts from TF International Securities cut iPhone shipment estimates by 20 percent.

On the economic front, U.S. retail sales increased 0.2 percent last month, led by online stores, the Commerce Department said on Friday. The reading beat market expectations.

Meanwhile, U.S. industrial production rose 0.6 percent in November, topping market forecasts as gains in mining and utilities offset declines in manufacturing, according to the Federal Reserve.

IANS

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94 MLAs with criminal cases, 187 multi-millionaires in new MP Assembly

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Bhopal, Dec 14 : As many as 94 MLAs have declared criminal cases while a whopping 187 of the 230 MLAs are multi-millionaires in the newly-elected Madhya Pradesh Assembly, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) revealed on Friday.

The Congress, which won the Assembly polls, leads the list with 56 MLAs having criminal antecedents, followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 34 while the Bahujan Samaj Party has two such lawmakers.

Of the 94 MLAs with criminal cases, 47 face serious charges with six of them facing charges of attempt to murder, three facing charges of crime against women and one for murder.

On the financial front, 187 of the lawmakers are multi-millionaires with the BJP leading the pack with 109 such MLAs followed by the Congress with 90.

BJP’s Sanjay Satyendra Pathak from Vijayragahvgarh constituency in Katni district is the richest MLA with assets in excess of Rs 226 crore. Fellow party lawmaker Chetanya Kasyap from Ratlam City is next with properties in excess of Rs 204 crore.

The average assets of the MLAs in the current Assembly is above Rs 10 crore which is just double that of the 2013 Assembly.

As many as 86 of the MLAs were re-elected and their average assets in the last five years have grown by nearly Rs 7 crore — a rise of 80 per cent.

There are only 21 female members in the new Assembly.

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