The government is keeping all options open, including floating an Exchange Traded Fund, for selling stakes in companies like L&T and ITC held through SUUTI, Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram said today.
Realty major DLF, engineering behemoth Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) giant ITC are among the eight ‘conviction ideas’ of Goldman Sachs according to a September 2014 report.
Tobacco-to-FMCG conglomerate ITC has replaced Tata group's IT giant TCS as the country's most admired company on a Fortune magazine list, which has got as many as 19 new entrants including Cognizant, Birla group firm Idea Cellular and discom BSES Rajdhani
With two key events - the general elections and the Union Budget behind them, the focus seems to have shifted to the defensive or safe haven stocks from the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), information technology (IT) and pharmaceutical sectors.
FMCG giant ITC is India's most admired company, followed by engineering major L&T and Hindustan Unilever Ltd, according to a list compiled by Fortune India with global management consultancy Hay Group.
ITC has increased the prices of some of its cigarette brands by up to 23%. While the new stocks with revised prices are yet to hit the market, smokers are already being asked to pay more than the maximum retail price printed on cigarette packs.
Meeting Street expectations, tobacco-to-hospitality major ITC has reported net profit of Rs 2,186.4 crore in the June quarter - a growth of 15.6 per cent compared to Rs 1,891.3 crore in the year-ago period.
Fearing a disruptive tax regime for cigarettes, the market has re-rated shares of ITC, expecting a decline in cigarette volumes and earnings. While the stock has fallen 12% over the last month and a half, its multiples have compressed over the last year.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan's recent request to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley - for an increase in tax on cigarettes from 45 per cent to 60 per cent in the coming Budget - seems to have had a serious impact on cigarette smokers' pockets.