•  The Rs 50-crore project of Coal India Ltd has put in place over 5,000 security cameras across 300 mines of its subsidiaries which will provide live feed from the mines to the coal major’s headquarters in Kolkata and other regional offices, to prevent pilferage and other corrupt practices, especially during despatch by rail.
  • The project will also increase the overall efficiency of the mines with real-time response to crisis situations.

• The profitability of the cement sector is expected to get better on the increase in cement prices in all regions (largely in the southern region) and due to cost savings on account of lower petcoke and diesel prices. South-based companies may see earning upgrades as they announced price hikes of Rs 20-35/bag across the country in April.
• All-India cement prices have increased. An average increase of 2.2% y/y (1.9% q/q) has been seen in all regions, chiefly in the southern region. This resulted in an improving demand-supply scenario. It is expected that higher prices in most regions would persist.
• Being the construction season, expected a pick-up in government infrastructure projects and low-cost housing along with a rise in cement prices. Softening costs, however, might slightly push up profitability.

  • Projects and Development India Ltd (PDIL) has emerged as the successful bidder to provide engineering services for the setting up of a coal-based methanol plant in West Bengal by Coal India Ltd (CIL) and CIL will issue a letter of intent (LoI) to it soon.
  • CIL has been looking to set up a coal-based methanol plant with a cost of ₹4,500 crore at the Dankuni Coal Complex (DCC) of its subsidiary South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), to boost clean energy initiatives. It aims to produce 6.76 lakh tonnes of methanol per annum.
  • The production and increasing use of Methanol in energy consumption will help CIL and Indian Economy in many ways:
    • converting the high calorific value, low ash thermal coal into chemicals;
    • less carbon footprint; and
    • partial substitution of petroleum.
  • Cement companies are expected to report strong earnings growth in the last quarter of FY19 on account of price hike and robust demand.
  • It is expected that the volume growth for major cement companies such as UltraTech Cement, Shree Cement, Ramco Cements and JK Lakshmi Cement will be in the range of 9-12 percent each and companies such as ACC, Ambuja Cement and Sanghi Industries to report volume growth of 5%, 4% and 14.3% YoY, respectively.
  • Cement demand will continue to remain strong, driven by government infrastructure projects and low-cost housing.
  • South-based companies may see earning upgrades as they announced price hikes of Rs 20-35/bag across the country in April.
  • ACC’s EBITDA growth is expected to be at 22.1% and Shree Cement’s at 46.5%. India Cements and JK Cement are expected to report EBITDA growth of 40% YoY, each.
  •  The profitability of the cement sector is expected to get better on the increase in cement prices in all regions (largely in the southern region) and due to cost savings on account of lower petcoke and diesel prices.
  • All-India cement prices have increased. An average increase of 2.2% y/y (1.9% q/q) has been seen in all regions, chiefly in the southern region. This resulted in an improving demand-supply scenario. It is expected that higher prices in most regions would persist.
  • Being the construction season, expected a pick-up in government infrastructure activity along with a rise in cement prices. Softening costs, however, might slightly push up profitability.
  • The Indian rupee on Thursday gained 19 paise to close at 68.92 against the US dollar, also marking a third straight sustained foreign fund inflows. Besides, weakness in the dollar against major global currencies and easing crude prices session of gains, driven by aided the rupee uptrend.