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Sensex tanks over 300 pts, Nifty breaks 8450; HDFC plunges


The News International Team

12:35am Crude Update: Crude prices have spiked a bit in the past few days after Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes in Yemen. Brent crude climbed 2.66 percent to USD 57.98 a barrel and US crude jumped 3.6 percent to USD 51 a barrel.

However, David Lennox, Analyst at Fat Prophets, said he does not expect geopolitical concerns to majorly impact crude prices.

“Two factors are impacting oil at the moment: Energy Information Administration (EIA) numbers [on inventory] and rig count in the US,” he said. “One is negative and the other positive.”

12:15am Pipavav Defence in News: The much-delayed corporate debt restructuring for the debt-laden Pipavav Defence may finally go through today.

Most of the bankers have already approved the CDR package. Today’s meeting is crucial for Pipavav not just because of its mounting debt, but because it is an important part of the Reliance Infrastructure deal. It is a key condition that only if this CDR goes through then the Reliance Infra deal will conclude.

Sources say, Pipavav Defence’s debt stands at Rs 7,500 crore, but including the non-secured funding this debt may go up to Rs 12,000 crore.

As per rules, for the CDR package to go through, the promoters have to put 2 percent of the debt on the table, which is around Rs 150 crore.

Also, come March 31, the regulatory forbearance window will close for banks, so once the loan is recast it will be considered as an NPA. So if this package does not go through, lenders will have to take a big hit on their provisioning.

12:00pm Market Check

The market extended losses in noon trade with the Sensex falling more than 350 points, dragged by banking & financials and technology stocks. However, the broader markets saw less fall compared to benchmarks. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices declined 0.3-0.6 percent.

The Sensex plunged 365.63 points or 1.30 percent to 27746.20 and the Nifty tanked 92.10 points or 1.08 percent to 8438.70. More than two shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Housing finance company HDFC crashed 5 percent followed by Coal India with 3 percent loss and Infosys with 2.6 percent decline. ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Sun Pharma, Tata Motors, HUL, ONGC, Wipro, Dr Reddy’s Labs and Sesa Sterlite fell 1-2 percent.

However, capital goods and telecom stocks bucked the trend. Bharti Airtel, L&T and BHEL gained 1-2 percent.

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