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MUMBAI: Bharat Petroleum Corporation was back in the limelight towards the close of the session today with the stock surging close to 2 per cent despite expiry of the August derivative series.

The move in the privatization candidate was spurred by a media report that Apollo Global and I Squared Capital have submitted bids to the government to buy a majority stake in the state-owned refiner.

The government has been on the lookout for buyers for its near 53 per cent stake in one of the country’s largest oil refiners. Further, the report suggested that global oil companies could also be in the race to buy the government’s stake.

The development has breathed new life into the privatization process of the company, which has been in the works for nearly two years. With concrete bidders now emerging, investors who are betting on privatization would be keen to have the process completed this financial year.

Maruti Suzuki slumps

Shares of Maruti Suzuki India had a weak day as concerns rose over the management’s strategy of wait-and-watch on electric vehicles even as their competitors steal a march.

The country’s largest passenger car manufacturer has stated that it will only invest in electric vehicles once there is enough evidence that it will be affordable for the customer and also for the company to not operate in losses.

Maruti Suzuki’s strategy comes off as non-confrontational and lacking ambition at a time when the government of the day itself is pushing for the industry to make large strides in helping its agenda of electrification of the country’s automobile fleet in the coming decades.

Silent gainer

One of the most talked about and owned stock on Dalal Street had a stellar August expiry without even eliciting an ovation from investors. In a market where decent stock moves elicit debates and exaggerated celebrations on social media websites,

‘ near 9 per cent gains have flown under the radar.

The stock has steadily garnered gains in the August derivative series that expired today, aided by renewed optimism for the sale of a minor stake in its oil-to-chemical business to Saudi Aramco and improving outlook for its legacy business.

With economies in the West currently in boom and transportation surging, analysts have been optimistic about further improvement in the energy business’ earnings. Add to that the likely improvement in the retail business that may happen in the September quarter due to re-opening of the economy post second wave of the pandemic and the festive season, and one can fathom the understated optimism for the company among investors.

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