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Ongoing trade war between US and China to affect global markets; remain bullish on PSU Banking and pharma space..

Indian market ended the rangeboud week on a positive note with Nifty, Sensex gaining half-a-percent each. While Nifty ended above the crucial level of 10,800, Sensex ended above 35,600. The market traded in a narrow range amid domestic data including inflation data for the month of May while global cues include ECB meet, Fed meet. India's wholesale inflation grew 4.43 percent in May, a 14-month high, driven by some food items and fuel prices.

Domestic bourses ended flat on Friday amid weakness in their Asian peers that wobbled on Friday as investors braced for US tariffs against China. The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 35,622, up 22 points while the broader Nifty50 index settled at 10,818, up 10 points. Among sectoral indices, the Nifty Pharma index ended over 2% higher led by rise in the shares of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Cipla and Piramal Enterprises. The Nifty IT index too settled over 2% led by a rally in Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). TCS hit a new high of Rs 1,849 per share on the BSE during the day, after the IT major said that its board has approved a proposal of buyback upto 76.19 million equity shares at price of Rs 2,100 per share through tender offer. The stock eventually settled 2.75 per cent higher at Rs 1841.45 on the BSE.

Nifty Pharma index was quoting higher for the eight straight trading days on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). During the period, the pharma index rallied 15% as compared to 2% rise in the benchmark Nifty 50 index. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Lupin, Cadila Healthcare, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Aurobindo Pharma and Cipla from the Nifty Pharma index were up in the range of 8% to 14% thus far in the current week. Alembic Pharmaceuticals,


Granules India, Marksans Pharma, Ajanta Pharma and Suven Lifesciences, the non-index pharma gained between 9% and 20% during the week.

Dr Reddy’s Labs was up 4% to Rs 2,365 on Friday (15th June, 2018), after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved the first generic versions of Indivior’s Suboxone sublingual film for the treatment of opioid dependence. The stock rallied 14% so far in current week. Lupin gained 3% at Rs 923, too rallied 14% in past five trading sessions. The company on Thursday it has received approval from the US health regulator to market Drospirenone, Ethinyl Estradiol, Levomefolate Calcium tablets, used to prevent pregnancy, in the American market. While, during the week, Sun Pharma announced the resolution of regulatory compliance issues at Halol plant, Aurobindo Pharma gained on the back of US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval for Omeprazole (used to treat certain stomach and esophagus problems). Both these stocks have gained 8% so far in current week.

Foreign investors were net sellers as they sold equities worth Rs 5,294 crore, while domestic institutions were buyers in the last week as they bought equities worth Rs 4,014.25 crore. India's volatility index (India VIX) was down 5 percent last week. BSE Smallcap index was up 0.4 percent, BSE Midcap was ended flat and largecap index was up 0.4 percent.

Domestically, India's trade deficit widened to four-month high of US$14.62 billion in May as imports surged nearly 15 per cent, the government said Friday. Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said exports in May rose by 28.18 per cent to US$28.86 billion while imports were up 14.85 per cent to $43.48 billion. A rise in receipts of petroleum, engineering and pharmaceutical products boosted May’s export growth figures to a six-month high of 20.18 per cent, up from 5.71 per cent in April. Even then the trade deficit widened to a four-month high of $14.62 billion, compared to the $13.7 billion deficit in April as imports rose by 14.85 per cent during the month, compared to the 4.60 per cent rise in April. This could pressurise the current account deficit in the first quarter of the current financial year after it stood at 1.9 per cent of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2017-18, compared to 2.1 per cent in the third quarter. However, within exports, major labour-intensive sectors, such as gems and jewellery and ready-made garments, continued to see declines. The export growth rate had peaked at over 30 per cent in November last year. Since then, the rate has fallen continuously until March. However, growth in outbound trade strengthened in May, with India exporting goods worth US$28.86 billion.

After major refining units remained shut for over two months, India finally managed to take advantage of rising global crude oil prices in May when petroleum exports rose by over 104 per cent to $5.23 billion. It had declined by 4.48 per cent in April. The same rising oil prices led to a much higher import bill of US$43.48 billion in May 2018. A major part of this was due to the US$11.5 billion crude oil import bill, which jumped nearly 50 per cent, up from the 41 per cent rise in April.

US President Donald Trump has decided to impose "pretty significant" tariffs and will announced a list targeting US$50 billion of Chinese goods on Friday, and a second wave of products worth US$100 billion has been cued up. China retaliated against planned US tariffs on Chinese goods by targeting high-value American exports — including farm products, cars, and crude oil — bringing the world's two biggest economies closer to an all-out trade war. Shortly after the Trump administration unveiled plans Friday to impose tariffs of 25% on US$50 billion in Chinese products, China's State Council announced it would levy penalties of the same rate on the US goods of the same value. In striking back at the US action, China expanded the list of US products that would be subject to tariffs to 659 types of goods, from some 106 types it originally disclosed in April. Most of the added goods on China's retaliatory list are agricultural, seafood and energy products. President Donald Trump said earlier Friday that the US would respond with more tariffs if China retaliated.

India also has submitted a revised list of 30 items -- including motorcycle, certain iron and steel goods, boric acid and lentils -- to the WTO on which it proposes to raise customs duty by up to 50 per cent. As duties hiked by the US on certain steel and aluminium products would have implications of about $241 million on India, the raise in tariffs proposed by New Delhi too would have an equal implication on America.  Earlier in May, India proposed to raise duties by up to 100 per cent on 20 products such as almonds, apple and specific motorcycles imported from the US. The additional duty proposed to be hiked on these items ranges from 10 per cent to 100 per cent.

Global Markets

The US Federal Reserve, on Thursday, had raised interest rates and took a more hawkish tone in forecasting a slightly faster pace of tightening for the rest of the year.

Globally, the Asia Pacific MSCI index ex-Japan edged down 0.3 per cent and was set for a weekly loss of more than 1 per cent. 

European shares were set for their best week in more than three months as investors pushed back expectations for an interest rate increase after Thursday's European Central Bank meeting. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.2 percent, up 2.2 percent on the week, as recovering euro weighed. The euro was headed for its worst weekly loss in 19 months after the ECB signalled interest rates would be left at record lows into at least mid-2019. The common currency shed 1.9 percent to the dollar, its biggest daily decline since Britain voted to quit the EU in 2016. The drop in the euro gave a lift to the dollar, which hit its highest against a basket of currencies since November 2017. While the Federal Reserve and the ECB provided much of the week's central bank fireworks, the Bank of Japan produced no surprises at the end of a two-day policy meeting on Friday and looked set to continue its asset purchases for some time.

Chinese stocks led the losses, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite index plumbing a 20-month low, as investors worried about the economic damage from the trade tensions with the US. Japan's Nikkei average closed up 0.5 per cent.

Oil prices were little changed as investors eyed a key OPEC meeting in Vienna. Saudi Arabia and Russia, architects of a producer deal to cut output, have indicated they want production to rise.

Ajcon’s view

At Ajcon Global, we believe most of the quality names are available in large cap space. Midcaps have been witnessing consistent hammering post Union Budget 2018-19 and SEBI re-allocation dictum for Mutual Fund industry. No doubt, midcaps and smallcaps have delivered excellent set of returns before this downfall. However, investors need to be careful while selecting stocks in midcap space as any unfavourable result in state elections would result in a drastic fall in midcaps and smallcaps space.

At present, we believe stocks from PSU Banking space and defensive space like Pharma can do well as we feel this sector has bottomed out.  One can accumulate companies in pharma for 2-3 years horizon as it will get rerarted when earnings become visible. Shares of pharmaceutical companies were on a roll last week with the Nifty Pharma index posted its biggest weekly gain in 15 years following the positive news flow from the corporate levels with regard to US regulatory issues.

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Your friendly advisor since 1986,
Ashoka Ajmera
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