Market Commentary Friday, February 17, 2012 09:06 Hrs IST

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NTPC may edge higher on favourable court ruling

State-run power generation utility NTPC is reportedly set to place orders worth Rs 22000 crore for supercritical equipment after a ruling by Supreme Court settled a case with a bidder in favour of NTPC. The Supreme Court on Thursday (16 February 2012) ruled that Ansaldo Caldaie Boilers India, a unit of Italian boiler maker Ansaldo Caldaie SpA, had failed to technically qualify for NTPC's bidding process.

The bidding process for supercritical boilers was stalled by Ansaldo Caldaie Boilers India's petition to the Delhi high court in 2011 after it was disqualified by NTPC on technical grounds. The high court had directed NTPC not to open commercial bids until it decided on the matter and finally ruled in Ansaldo's favour. NTPC then appealed the decision in the Supreme Court.

NTPC will now invite price bids from state-run Bhel and the joint ventures of BGR Energy Systems and Hitachi Power Europe GmbH; and Larsen and Toubro and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries who had technically qualified for the (boilers) order, NTPC's chairman and managing director Arup Roy Choudhury told the media after the verdict on Thursday.

Separately, NTPC's chairman and managing director Arup Roy Choudhury told the media that the company's gas-based power stations are operating at 60% of capacity due to fuel shortages. Against its requirement of 19 million standard cubic meters a day (mmscmd) of gas, NTPC is getting just 14.3 mmscmd, he added.

The board of Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) has approved raising Rs 1500 crore through a public issue of tax free secured redeemable non-convertible bonds of face value Rs 1000 each in the financial year ending March 2012, with an option to retain over subscription of up to Rs 3000 crore.

On a consolidated basis, net profit of Thomas Cook (India) surged 232.2% to Rs 5.05 crore on 30.9% increase in net sales to Rs 87.31 crore in Q4 December 2011 over Q4 December 2010.

Aviation stocks may see action after the Ministry of Civil Aviation wrote to the Ministry of Commerce on 15 February 2012 to allow local carriers to directly import jet fuel, following recommendations of the Group of Ministers' (GOM) on Civil Aviation at the meeting held on 7 February 2012. The aviation ministry has also asked the state governments to bring down sales tax on the fuel. However, most of the states have not responded favourably, the ministry said in a statement. "The Indian carriers would have to make their own tie-ups with the suppliers having infrastructure to import ATF directly for their use," the aviation ministry said.

Reliance Industries (RIL) has reportedly shut a sixth well at its gas fields in the D6 block, off the country's east coast, due to water ingress, and any clarity on the likely output from these fields will emerge by August 2012. The sixth well was shut last week, reports suggested. Reliance, the operator of the D6 block, had earlier shut five of 18 producing wells at D1 and D3 gas fields until December 2011.

Steel manufacturer Adhunik Metaliks is reportedly in advanced talks to sell its unlisted forging subsidiary to automobile component maker Amtek Auto for Rs 230 crore.

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