The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in South Korea (up 0.6%) and Indonesia(up 2.3%) leading the gains. However, the stock markets in Hong Kong (down 0.1%) and Singapore (down 0.1%) have opened in the red. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Barring consumer durables, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with the stocks in the oil and gas and software space leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 241 points (1.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 67 points (1.1%). Mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.7% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.63 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (GSPL) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, with the Petroleum Ministry opposing disinvestment of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) in the market,Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) may buy 10% stake of the Government in IOC. The oil secretary Mr. Vivek Rai has stated that the oil ministry is concerned about the current trading rates for selling IOC's share which it feels is way below the intrinsic value. This week, an Empowered Group of Ministers, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram will meet to look at other options to meet the disinvestment target. The Finance Ministry has no particular objection to the proposal of ONGC and OIL buying its stake. It wants to receive Rs 46 bn either by way of disinvestment, cross-holding or special dividend. It is important to note here that the Government in the past also has been open to the cross holding route to boost its revenues.
Mining stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Ashapura Minechem and MMTC Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Coal India (CIL) has received approval from the Ministry of Environment and Forests for 23 projects after intervention by the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI). The Coal Ministry in a note has stated that as on December 30, 2013, 16 proposals have been granted environment clearance out of the 20 projects pending with Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). Out of the remaining four, three belong to Western Coalfields Ltd and one to South Eastern Coalfields Ltd, units of Coal India. Besides, two of five projects have been granted stage-II MoEF (FC), and five of 15 proposals have been given stage-I FC.