In the December quarter, metal stocks underwent a change of hands – while foreign institutional investors sold some of their holdings in the sector, domestic institutional investors lapped up a lot of it. The prolonged weakness in demand and uncertainty in sourcing key raw materials had impacted the profitability of metal companies.

FIIs cut their stakes in Tata Steel by 1.66 percentage points to 17.37 per cent in the December quarter while in Jindal Steel and Power their holding came down to 19.93 per cent. FII holdings in Hindalco Industries and National Aluminium fell by 0.60 percentage points and 0.13 percentage points, respectively, during the quarter.

In JSW Steel it was down 0.53 per cent at 19.89 per cent. Similarly, they reduced their stakes in SAIL and Bhushan Steel.

In contrast, domestic institutional investors raised stakes in Tata Steel, Hindalco, JSW Steel, National Aluminium, NMDC, Sesa Sterlite and SAIL by between 0.11 and 4.43 percentage points.

SAIL, in which the government divested 5 per cent stake in December, saw holdings of domestic funds rise to 15.23 per cent from 10.80 per cent. Currently, insurance major LIC holds 11.02 per cent stake in the steel firm.

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