15 Dec 2014

Smart money in place

In the private sector, Ultratech Cement is negotiating bank finance for the acquisition of Brazilian assets of Holcim, which have to be disposed of to meet regulatory requirements for its merger with Lafarge. Kotak Mahindra Bank has received RBI approval to set up a general insurance subsidiary; the insurance regulator has already assented. ONGC Videsh is to acquire interests in two Russian oilfields: Vankor, with estimated reserves of 500MT and Yurubcheno/Tokhomskoya with more than 990MT of reserves.

The balance of payments looks sound for now, foreign reserves are strong and the RBI seems to be well-positioned to protect India from the effects of external shocks. Meanwhile, market momentum may be slow through year-end as monetary easing, the big trigger for the next upward move in equities looks set for early in the New Year. The smart money may be in place already.

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