Spiralling Crude Prices Bring Down Oil Stocks By 12 Per Cent

New Delhi, Aug 16 | Updated: Aug 17 2004, 05:36am hrs
Over Rs 9,600 crore of investor wealth in oil and gas stocks has been eroded in the first fortnight of August, with oil prices spiralling to a record high of $47 per barrel in US on Friday.

Indian oil and gas stocks have lost up to 12 per cent in value since July 30. The oil and gas heavy public sector unit index was down 3.4 per cent, even as the benchmark BSE Sensex shed a much lower 1.31 per cent during the period.

MRPL, the top loser in the oil pack, was down 12.2 per cent, at Rs 41.75 on Monday, from its close on July 30. GAIL, Bongaigaon Refineries and Bharat Petroleum, each plummeted 8-9 per cent. Chennai Petroleum dropped 7 per cent, while Indian Oil, HPCL, ONGC and Gujarat Gas lost 3-4 per cent during the above period.

ONGCs market capitalisation saw an erosion of Rs 3,700 crore during the fortnight, making it the top loser on this count.

IOC, GAIL and Mangalore Refineries were next in line -- losing Rs 1,900 crore, Rs 1,500 crore and Rs 1,000 crore in market capitalisation, respectively.

Reacting to the value erosion in oil stocks, Abhay Aima, country head equities and private banking, HDFC Bank, said, I am worried about the international macro-economic scenario. India is relatively insulated as our oil bill is miniscule compared to economies like the US. A lower GDP growth there may dampen the feel good factor, that translates into investible money and allocations to emerging economies.

He added that if the domestic demand remained high, despite high inflation, there was no need for worry.

Kenneth Andrade, fund manager of Kotak Mutual Fund, was equally concerned about the global impact of rising oil prices. In the Indian context, he averred,The government has talked about the duty reduction on oil. I think it has adequate room to do it.