Cement stocks fall 3% as NCLAT upholds CCI’s penalty

By: | Updated: July 26, 2018 4:38 PM

Stocks of cement companies fell up to 3% on Wednesday after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLAT) upheld Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) Rs 6,300-crore penalty on 11 cement companies.

stocks, bseThe share prices of cement companies fell anywhere between 1% and 3% on Wednesday.

Stocks of cement companies fell up to 3% on Wednesday after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLAT) upheld Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) Rs 6,300-crore penalty on 11 cement companies.

The share prices of cement companies fell anywhere between 1% and 3% on Wednesday. The share price of Ultratech Cement fell by 2.11% to end the session at Rs 4,049.45. The penalty imposed on UltraTech Cement stands at Rs 1,175.5 crore, out of which the company has deposited Rs 117.55 crore, roughly 10% of the penalty imposed by the CCI as per the directions of a Compat order on August 31, 2016.

Ambuja Cement’s stock fell by 1.50% and ended the session at Rs 209.50. ACC and India Cements stocks fell by 0.28% and 3.29%, respectively. The CCI order was on allegations of running a pricing cartel between the cement companies. The appellate tribunal said that it had found no merit in pleas of cement firms. In August 2016, CCI had imposed penalties of more than Rs 6,300 crore against 11 cement companies, and Cement Manufacturers’ Association (CMA), for indulging in cartelisation.

The order was challenged in Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat). Pending final disposal of the appeal, the Compathad stayed the penalty with a condition to deposit 10% of the penalty amount, and levy of interest of 12% per annum in case the appeal is decided against the appellants.
As Compat had ceased to exist effective May 26, 2017, NCLAT, which now is an appellate authority over the Competition Commission of India (CCI) was hearing the case.

“All the big cement players were touching 52 week or all-time highs earlier this month before this order came. That shouldn’t have been the case when the broader markets are not doing well when interest costs are moving up, and fresh construction is less. The rural demand is buoyant, but that cannot be the only reason for the revenue growth, cement prices are holding up mainly because of cartelization,” said Siddhartha Rastogi, director, Ambit Asset Management.

When asked about his outlook for cement stocks Rastogi said the correction will be even further once the actual numbers and the date of payout comes. However, the outlook on cement remains positive there can be a sharp recovery post two quarters because of buoyant rural demand.

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