Jewellery stocks down since gold duty hike

Apr 05 2012, 18:52 IST
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SummaryShares of jewellery firms have fallen by up to 14 per cent after Budget was tabled in Parl.

Jewellery stocks have been on the backfoot ever since the Budget 2012-13 announced measures to discourage gold imports that have added significantly to the country's current account deficit.

Shares of jewellery firms have fallen by up to 14 per cent after the Budget was tabled in Parliament on March 16, according to information available with the stock exchanges.

Analysts said the hike in excise duty on precious metals and the ongoing agitation by jewellers since March 17 against the government move will erode bottomlines of these companies.

The stocks which felt the pressure were Gitanjali Gems (down 14.29 per cent), Shree Ganesh Jewellery (13.97 pc), White Diamonds (13.02 pc), Goldiam International (6.29 pc), Su-Raj Diamonds (5.92 pc) and Zodiac JRD-MKJ (3.36 pc), Vaibhav Gems (2.42 pc), Suashish Diamonds (1.41 pc), Thangamayil (1.71 pc). However, Shrenuj & Co is the lone gainer in the league and rose 1.54 per cent.

"Doubling of import duty and the proposal to impose excise duty on unbranded jewellery have affected the investor sentiment. Besides, these proposals agitated the jewellers, which in turn would affect the bottom line of the companies," CNI Research CMD kishor Ostwal said.

"In addition, some jewellers fears that budget proposals may lower consumption of these precious items resulting in lower profitability for jewellery companies," he added.

Bombay Bullion Association President Prithviraj Kothari said, "The doubling of customs duty will give way for illegal channel to operate and reduce gold demand significantly by 30-40 per cent."

The Budget proposed an excise duty of one per cent on non-branded jewellery of precious metals (other than silver) and doubled import duty on gold to 4 per cent. To prevent round-tripping, it proposed to impose basic customs duty of 2 per cent on cut and polished, coloured gem stones at par with diamonds.

These steps have triggered widespread protests by jewellers in various parts of the country and they have been on strike since March 17.

To sort out the issue, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has called a meeting with jewellers' associations tomorrow.

Gold and precious metal import has grown 50 per cent during the first three quarters of 2011-12 fiscal, driving up the current account deficit.

During the April-December period, CAD rose by 70 basis points to USD 53.7 billion or 4 per cent of GDP from USD 39.6 billion or 3.3 per cent of GDP, in the same period last fiscal, largely reflecting higher trade deficit on account of imports of oil and bullion,

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