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Indraprastha, Petronet Lead Gas Sellers Lower on Sales Margins

Indraprastha Gas Ltd. and Petronet LNG Ltd. led natural gas sellers in Mumbai trading lower after a newspaper reported the industry regulator may start controlling their sales margins.

Indraprastha Gas, which supplies the fuel in New Delhi, slumped as much as 7.6 percent to 351.60 rupees, headed for its lowest close since Feb. 8, 2010. It was at 353.35 rupees at 12:24 p.m. Petronet LNG, the country’s biggest gas importer, dropped 6 percent to 154.95 rupees, while GAIL India Ltd., the largest distributor, fell 2.8 percent to 374.40 rupees. The benchmark Sensitive Index increased 0.5 percent.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board may set the marketing margins charged on gas sales, the Mint newspaper reported today, citing a letter from the oil ministry to Reliance Industries Ltd., operator of the nation’s biggest gas deposit. The margins are currently decided between the buyer and the seller, said Deepak Pareek, a Mumbai-based analyst at Prabhudas Lilladher Pvt.

“This news is driving the shares down as regulation here may mean lower marketing margins,” Pareek, who recommends buying Petronet shares and accumulate Indraprastha Gas.

Oil Secretary G.C. Chaturvedi couldn’t be reached for comments after two calls to his office telephone.

Reliance charges a marketing margin of 13.5 cents per million British thermal unit of gas it sells, Mint reported. The shares gained 0.3 percent to 739.30 rupees.

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