Indian equity markets shed some early morning gains but continued to trade in the positive during the previous two hours of trade. Sectoral indices traded mixed with auto and PSU stocks leading the list of gainers while capital goods and FMCG were at the losing end.
Engineering stocks are trading mixed with Suzlon Energy and Opto Circuits leading the gains while Punj Lloyd and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) are among the top losers. According to a leading daily, Larsen and Toubro's (L&T) strategic business unit (SBU) Larsen & Toubro Integrated Engineering Services (L&T IES) has signed an agreement with AVEVA. AVEVA is a leader in engineering design and information management solutions for the plant, power and marine industries. With this, L&T would benefit in their information management solutions and associated asset data cleansing services. Both the companies will work together on a few joint opportunities and enable clients to benefit by mitigating risks, maintaining schedules and cost reduction.
Oil and gas stocks continued to trade firm with Chennai Petroleum and Oil India Ltd leading the gains. According to a leading financial daily, the country's largest explorer, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, has decided to cap the age of its vessels chartered for offshore exploration. The upper age limit for such vessels has been fixed at 27 years for 2012-13. While it is a good move, many experts feel that it is still not up to the mark with international norms, where global vessels beyond the age of 15 are not allowed to participate in oil exploration activities. ONGC on its part has assured that it would gradually bring down the age limit. The whole issue came to the fore when offshore companies led by Shipping Corporation of India and Greatship India noticed that some smaller Indian companies bought old vessels for cheap and offered lower charter rates, compromising on safety and encouraging unfair competition. ONGC often receives bids for ships from smaller shipping companies that buy vessels older than 25 years. While a new vessel costs at least US$ 20 m, a 20-30 years old vessel can be bought for US$ 2-3 m. Accordingly, companies having old vessels quote US$ 7,000 to US$ 9,000 for chartering, while those with younger fleet quote between US$ 12,000 to US$ 18,000.