Bharti, EIH, Reliance, Sun Pharmaceutical: India Stocks Preview

The following companies may have unusual price changes in India trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and share prices are as of the last close. The markets were shut yesterday for a holiday.

The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, lost 188.91, or 1 percent, to 19,262.54. The S&P CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange dropped 1 percent to 5,785.70. The BSE 200 Index fell 0.9 percent to 2,380.04. SGX S&P CNX Nifty Index futures for April delivery fell 1 percent to 5,737.5 as of 10:59 a.m. in Singapore.

Oil Refiners: Indian refiners, wrestling with surging input costs as oil trades near a 30-month high, renewed agreements to buy Iranian crude as the countries seek to resolve a payment gridlock that threatens $9.5 billion of annual trade, two people familiar with the agreements said. Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL) fell 3.1 percent to 69.85 rupees, Hindustan Petroleum Corp. (HPCL IN) decreased 2.4 percent to 345.35 rupees and Essar Oil Ltd. (ESOIL) dropped 3 percent to 135.75 rupees.

Alstom Projects India Ltd. (ABBAP) : The French parent of the power plant equipment maker said it will consider acquisitions and partnerships to expand in India and other markets in the region. The Indian unit will seek agreements in wind power equipment and railway cars, Alstom SA Chairman Patrick Kron said in New Delhi. Shares of the company declined 2.6 percent to 592.00 rupees.

Bharti Airtel Ltd. (BHARTI) : The nation’s largest mobile-phone operator was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” by Rajiv Sharma, an analyst at HSBC Holdings Plc. with a price estimate of 425 rupees per share. The shares climbed 0.2 percent to 362.45 rupees.

EIH Ltd. (EIH) : The owner of luxury hotel chains said Chairman Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi has no plans to step down or retire. EIH made the comments in a statement issued at a press conference in New Delhi yesterday. Shares of the company advanced 1.1 percent to 88 rupees.

Essar Oil Ltd. (ESOIL IN): The operator of India’s second- largest non-state crude oil refinery is looking to buy oil and natural gas areas outside India and is evaluating a number of opportunities, Chief Executive Officer Naresh Nayyar said on a conference call April 11.

Separately, the company was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG, which cited the impending completion of a refinery upgrade. The brokerage increased its share-price forecast to 174 rupees from 155 rupees, analysts led by Sanjay Mookim wrote in a report. The shares dropped 3 percent to 135.75 rupees.

Gail India Ltd. (GAIL) : The state-run natural gas supplier is in talks to buy a stake of about 20 percent in two shale gas assets, Eagle Ford shale and Barnett shale, in the U.S., the Business Standard newspaper reported yesterday, citing unidentified company executives. The transaction may be worth more than 10 billion rupees ($225 million), the report said. Shares of the company fell 1.5 percent to 464.20 rupees.

IVRCL Infrastructures & Projects Ltd. (IVRC) : The construction company that counts Norway’s sovereign fund among its investors is targeting 25 percent of its sales from overseas in three years as growth at home slows. The builder of road, water and irrigation networks expects 100 million rupees ($2.3 million), or about 1.4 percent of its sales, from abroad in the year ended March 31, Chairman E. Sudhir Reddy said. The shares plunged 5.4 percent to 86.55 rupees.

Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) : India’s biggest company by market value is producing 50 million cubic meters of natural gas a day from the nation’s largest area, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said. The shares declined 1.8 percent to 1,005.30 rupees.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (SUNP) : India’s largest drugmaker by market value signed a joint venture agreement with Merck & Co., the second-biggest U.S. drugmaker, to manufacture and market generic medicines in the emerging markets, Adam Schechter, vice president of the U.S.-based company, said in Mumbai April 11. The Indian company’s shares rose 2 percent to 450.40 rupees.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rajesh Kumar Singh in Delhi at Rsingh133@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reinie Booysen at rbooysen@bloomberg.net

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