Market Movers: A PSU wants to disrupt a private company’s stronghold

MUMBAI: In India, it is generally the case that a private sector entity enters the fiefdom of a state-owned company, disrupts it and makes runaway gains. MSTC is looking to reverse the role.

The state-owned company has today launched a newspaper advertisement declaring its ambitions to become a platform for buying and selling of spot power. The company’s aggressive marketing pitch is a threat to the private sector giant in the space


No wonder then that MSTC’s stock closed over 5 per cent higher, while IEX’s slipped more than 1 per cent in trade.

An aggressive Kotak

While the banking sector has generally been an underperformer when compared to other sectors in this bull market even when the pack has performed, Kotak Mahindra Bank hasn’t had much to contribute.

At the break of the pandemic last year, the private sector lender went cautious on lending standards in order to cushion its balance sheet from any pandemic-related stress. The lender is now shedding that inhibition after announcing one of the lowest home loan rates in the industry earlier this week and on Thursday disclosing its acquisition of a vehicle finance company.

Add to that the market’s hope that the company could takeover Citibank’s retail business in India, and you have a cocktail of optimism typified by the near 6 per cent jump today in a weak market.

Metals crumble

The Nifty Metal index had a day to forget as it tanked over 2 per cent. The sector is losing much of its early-year enthusiasm as concerns over valuations and demand have not been easy to let go off. On top of that, the market was abuzz with rumours of a possible hike in GST rate for the sector, while a looming crisis in China is also threatening to take the sheen off what has been a strong year so far.

A unicorn is born

Easy Trip Planners, operator of travel portal Ease My Trip, added its name to the unicorn list in India as the company’s market capitalization briefly crossed the $1 billion mark. The stock of the company ended over 2 per cent higher after rising as much as 10 per cent.

It took the travel portal 13 years to get to that status when it takes other startups months, but the company will argue that it did so on its own money, instead of selling its soul to the VC world. Ease My Trip has bootstrapped its way to being a unicorn all the while generating cash profits and improving its cash pile. Now with Indians itching to travel, the portal is banking on strong sales to further enhance its status in the league of startups.

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