Share of Tata Steel plunged on the bourses on Thursday after the company reported disappointing results for the March quarter. The stock fell almost 5 percent on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and closed at ₹344.40.The country’s biggest steel maker reported net loss of ₹5,674 crore for the quarter ended March 2015 as against net profit of ₹1,036 crore for the quarter ended March 2014. The total income dropped 20.6 percent to ₹33,666 crore from ₹42,428 crore for the quarter ended March 2014. The company said that a steep fall in steel prices in the past few months due to a surge in cheap imports, particularly from China, Japan and Korea, led to a fall in revenues.An analyst said the trend of falling prices will persist in the near future, making things more difficult for Tata Steel.”We see further challenges ahead, as the company is yet to use 1.5 mt high cost iron ore and domestic prices fell further by ₹1000- 1500/ tonne. We have further reduced our estimates on standalone business factoring in drop in steel prices and higher iron ore costs,” Brokerage firm Emkay told Firstpost.The company’s earned a profit of ₹814 crore in March quarter from Indian market, down 59 percent from ₹1978.6 crore on year-on-year basis.”Our performance this year in India was impacted by surging imports, declining commodity prices, muted demand and regulatory uncertainties in our captive mining operations,” said Koushik Chatterjee, group executive director, Tata Steel.The results have forced many analysts to downgrade their outlook for the stock.Credit Suisse maintains a ‘underperfom’ rating for the stock with a target price of ₹210 per share, and notes that a “precipitous drop in Indian profitability is alarming”.Deutsche Bank has kept its ‘buy’ rating unchanged, but cut the target price to ₹400 per share.The bank expects improvement in profitability and volume trajectory in India operations in the second half of 2015-16, moneycontrol.com reported.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has distanced herself from the land deals involving Skylight Hospitality that are under the scanner of various law-enforcement agencies. She has also claimed that this was a political conspiracy to malign her. Priyanka — daughter of Congress president Sonia Gandhi — has been accused by some quarters of profiting from the land deals that her husband struck.Skylight Hospitality belongs to Priyanka’s husband Robert Vadra, and is currently under investigation after charges of land-grabbing cropped up against it. More recently, the Justice SN Dhingra Commission — set up by the BJP government in Haryana in 2015 to probe Vadra’s land deals there — has said Vadra had made profits of Rs 50.5 crore from the deals, one of which involves a property bought and sold by Priyanka. The report has been published in a business daily.Priyanka has said in a statement issued through her office: “Six years prior to the purported ‘land deal involving Skylight Hospitality’ on April 28, 2006, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra purchased 40 Kanal 00 Marla (5 acres) of agricultural land in village Amipur, tehsil Faridabad, district Faridabad in Haryana.”She added: “The land was purchased for a total purchase price of Rs 15 lakh, which was paid for entirely by cheque, which was the equivalent of Rs 3 lakh per acre. The source of funds for the aforesaid purchase was rental income of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from property inherited from her grandmother Indira Gandhi.”She then went on to distance herself and her dealings with the business ventures of her husband. She said: “The source of funds for this or any other property acquired by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has no relationship whatsoever with Robert Vadra’s finances and/or Skylight Hospitality, and no relationship whatsoever with DLF.”Priyanka also said that any allegation put out by the aforementioned daily that “besmirches” her reputation “will appear to be based upon certain questionable documents and represent a deliberate, politically motivated and malicious campaign to besmirch and destroy her reputation.”