The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Indonesia (down 0.4%) and Japan (up 0.9%) leading the gains. However, the stock markets in Korea (down 1.4%) and Hong Kong (down 0.4%) were out of favour. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. All sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the banking and realty space leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 163 points (0.8%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 50 points (0.8%). Mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.8% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.74 to the US dollar.
Telecom stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with MTNL and ITI Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the Department of Telecom (DoT) is expected to place before inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission six different scenarios based on likely revenue impact for the exchequer that are linked to spectrum usage charge (SUC). The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended implementing a uniform SUC of 3 % from April 1, 2014 and keeping the upper limit of SUC at 5%.The DoT committee has stated that after deliberating on the matter of uniform SUC in totality, a revenue neutral SUC rate may be determined. SUC is a charge levied every year by the government as a percentage of revenue earned by mobile operators from telecom services. It generally varies from 3-8 per cent. The uniform SUC if implemented as per TRAI recommendations will provide relief for mobile operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular. However, it will increase rates for broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum holders including Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL). As per the sources, all the scenarios drawn up by the DoT can have legal implications which are being examined. While GSM players like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Uninor have been demanding implementation of uniform SUC, RJIL has opposed any such move.
Steel stocks have opened mainly in the green with Tayo Rolls Ltd and Adhunik Metaliks Ltd being the biggest gainers. As per a leading financial daily, in order to counter the rising input costs and freight charges, steel manufacturers are set to hike prices by Rs 1,000-1,500 per tonne from this month. The hike in prices may act as a deterrent to growth in an already slow market. As per the industry sources, almost all steel makers are likely to follow JSW Steel that announced a hike in steel prices by around Rs 1000 per tonne. Post the hike, the price of hot rolled coil, the benchmark steel product is likely to shoot up to Rs 39,500 a tonne from Rs 37,500 per tonne earlier. It is important to note here that it generally takes 1.6 tonnes of iron ore to produce a tonne of steel. Barring Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), domestic steel makers mainly source their iron ore requirements from National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd (NMDC). Earlier, the steel makers had hiked the price in September by up to Rs 2,500 per tonne. However, due to subdued demand, they had deferred another hike even as NMDC raised iron ore price by Rs 100 a tonne and the railways imposed a peak session charge from October. However, a further hike of Rs 200 a tonne in December by the NMDC has impacted them and hence the prices may be hiked.