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Sensex slumps over 400 pts, Nifty below 6950; ITC down 7%

Epic Update ITCThe Sensex is down 446.01 points or 1.9 percent at 22708.29, and the Nifty down 106.00 points or 1.5 percenr at 6923.75. About 627 shares have advanced, 1555 shares declined, and 136 shares are unchanged.

ITC is down 5 percent as the government will raise excise duty on most tobacco products by 10-15 percent.

Cigarette industry is already facing a crunch in volume in last few quarters due to multiple excise duty hike initiated by the government for four consecutive years. In FY15-16, excise duty was hiked 25 percent in cigarette lengths less than 65mm and 15 percent increased for lengths over 65 mm.

ITC’s key product tobacco-based items mainly cigarette sales volume saw a moderate decline in December quarter to 4.5 percent after four quarters of double digit declines. ITC’s cigarette sales volume has fallen over 20 percent in the last three years due to steep increases in taxation and subsequent price hikes.

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Sensex slumps over 400 pts, Nifty below 6950; ITC down 7%

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