Exit Polls Hit PSU Shares Hard

Mumbai, April 27 | Updated: Apr 28 2004, 05:30am hrs
The results of the second exit polls which predicted a severe setback for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) weighed heavily on the stock prices of public sector undertakings (PSUs). The setback for the NDA in the exit polls was seen by the market players as a possible slowdown in the disinvestment process and, as a result, the PSU stocks witnessed heavy selling pressure on the bourses on Tuesday.

The BSE PSU Index was the worst hit as it lost heavily among all the sectoral indices with a loss of 215.51 points in a single trading session to close at 4,115.73, a fall of 4.98 per cent.

The CIO of a mutual fund said: The key from here on is to see how the foreign funds react to the outcome of the exit polls. If they react negatively, then we may expect a further fall in the coming days.

Dealers said that the fall in PSU divestment candidates were on the concerns that the privatisation process will hit a roadblock, if the current government do not regain the power. The market had been betting that NDA would emerge as victorious in the elections and that the new government would step up economic reforms further.

Based on such hopes, 57 PSUs gained by 16.5 per cent in market capitalisation to Rs 3,72,000.17 crore from Rs 3,19,441.07 crore in last one month ended April 23, 2004.

The fall in the BSE PSU Index was mainly due to the selling in disinvestment candidates such as Madras Fertilisers (down 9.33 per cent to Rs 15.65), BPCL (7.65 per cent to Rs 466), Balmer Lawrie Investments (7.53 per cent to Rs 43), ITI (7.35 per cent to Rs 16), RCF (7.10 per cent to Rs 47.75), Shipping Corporation (6.42 per cent to Rs 137), HPCL (7.27 per cent to Rs 481.05), Hindustan Copper (5.51 per cent to 47.15), MTNL (8.95 per cent to Rs 153.20), HMT (5.21 per cent to Rs 20), Nalco (5.07 per cent to Rs 192.05), HOCL (4.17 per cent to Rs 19.55), Engineers India (3.24 per cent to Rs 360) and FACT (1.93 per cent to Rs 28).

Apart from the disinvestment candidates, the other PSU stocks mainly from the oil sector such as Indian Oil (down 3.67 per cent to Rs 544.10), Bongaigaon Refineries (down 6.04 per cent to Rs 82.50), Kochi Refineries (down 5.90 per cent to Rs 200.90), Gail (down 4.90 per cent to Rs 231.80), Indraprastha Gas (down 4.75 per cent to Rs 86.20), ONGC (down 2.41 per cent to Rs 839), Dredging Corporation (down 1.92 per cent to Rs 551.20), SAIL (down 5.76 per cent to Rs 37.65), Bharat Earth Movers (down 4.75 per cent to Rs 181.55), IBP (down 4.53 per cent to Rs 592) and Neyveli Lignite (down 4.27 per cent to Rs 63.95) also lost ground.