A lot has changed since the markets shut on Friday. The state of Maharshtra along with various other states across India, has been put in lockdown mode with section 144 imposed in a bid to fight the deadly coronavirus. SEBI has announced certain measures on short selling, F&O positions and cash margins, which might have a significant impact as trading opens on Monday. The market regulator has also announced that the stocks markets will function as usual even as brokerages will work from home in keeping with the new norms set by the state government. Volatility in the markets is likely to stay as the world at large continues to struggle with the novel coronavirus that has claimed over 13,000 people globally. Let us look at the stocks that will be in focus as markets open on Monday:
- Hindustan Unilever Ltd: HUL has announced that it will be reducing the prices of Lifebuoy sanitisers, Lifebuoy Liquid Handwash and Domex floor cleaners by 15%. The country's biggest FMCG company has said it is scaling up production to meet the supply-demand arising out of coronavirus outbreak. The company has said it will donate 2cr pieces of Lifebuoy soaps in the next few months to the sections of the society, which need it the most. It will also partner with medical institutions that are providing testing and care facilities to affected people and provide them free supplies of sanitation and hygiene products such as hand sanitisers, bar soaps and floor cleaners.
- ITC Ltd: ITC has slashed the prices of Savlon sanitisers by Rs50. The company has cut the price of a 55ml bottle of hand sanitiser from Rs77 to Rs27. The company said that it has already started manufacturing Savlon sanitisers with the new reduced prices. ITC is said to have doubled production across its food and personal care business to ensure availability.
- Maruti Suzuki Ltd: The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki on Sunday said it will temporarily suspend operations across its production facilities in Manesar and Gurugram in Haryana. The Gurugram district administration had on Saturday directed all production units, barring those involved in essential services, to close till 31st March, 2020.
- Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd: In the wake of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, M&M has decided to suspend manufacturing operations at Nagpur Plant with immediate effect and Chakan (Pune) and Kandivali (Mumbai) from Monday night onwards. None of the plants were working on Sunday as well, M&M said in a statement.
- Hero MotoCorp Ltd: India's largest two wheeler maker, Hero MotoCorp has decided to stop operations in all facilities including in India, Colombia and Bangladesh - and the Global Parts Centre (GPC) at Neemrana with immediate effect until March 31, 2020 in view of the escalating COVID-19 virus situation to safeguard wellbeing of its employees.
IRCTC Ltd: IRCTC has been directed by Indian Railways to stop on-board catering services in Mail/Express trains until further notice. IRCTC has been directed to follow the protocols until further notice. Since the deadly COVID-19 virus infection can easily spread from person to person, hence on-board catering services have been stopped in Mail/Express trains.
Yes Bank: Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday in connection with a money laundering probe against Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor and his family members, media reports suggested. Jet Airways’ loan exposure to the crisis-ridden Yes Bank is about Rs550cr.
Pharma companies: The government has approved a package comprising four schemes with a total outlay of Rs13,760cr to boost the domestic production of bulk drugs and medical devices in the country and exports. The Cabinet also approved a sum of Rs3,000cr for the next five years for the scheme on promotion of bulk drug parks for financing common infrastructure facilities in three bulk drug parks.
Dalmia Bharat Ltd: Cement maker Dalmia Bharat Ltd will buy back shares worth up to Rs500cr. In a statement to the stock exchanges on Saturday, Dalmia Bharat said it intends to buy not more than 71,42,857 lakh shares at a maximum price of Rs 700 per unit. The shares will be bought back from the open market by using the electronic trading facilities of National Stock Exchange of India Limited and BSE Limited.
Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd: The Board of Directors of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd approved up to Rs150cr worth of share buyback. Promoters of the broking firm would not participate in the issue, the company said in a statement to the stock exchanges on Saturday. The company would be purchasing over 23.07 lakh shares, representing 1.56% of the existing paid-up capital at a price not more than Rs 650 per share.
SBI Life Insurance Ltd: Non-executive director Gregory Zeluck resigns from the board of the company with effect from 20th Mar 2020.
SpiceJet Ltd: Budget carrier SpiceJet has relaxed notice period norms for employees who have put in papers and has relieved them with immediate effect. Media reports alluding to an email from the airline, stated that the company has reduced the notice period as passenger traffic has been disrupted due to the pandemic. Reports also suggested that the carrier has taken the step in a bid to reduce costs as domestic operations have suffered due to the novel deadly virus.
Let us look at the developments which took place on the global front
US stocks continued their slide to end the week in red, with the Dow Jones falling over 900 points as panic over the coronavirus refused to abate amid acceleration of the pandemic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 913.21 points, or 4.6%, at 19,173.98, while the S&P 500 index closed at 2,304.92, down 104.47 points or 4.3%. Meanwhile, Nasdaq Composite Index shed 271 points to end at 6,879.52, a decline of 3.8%.
Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., hurried to assemble a second bailout package to help reduce the anticipated economic pain from the pandemic. As of Sunday, US has reported nearly 38,167 cases with 396 deaths.