Asian markets, with the exception of Japan (down 0.2%), have maintained their gaining streak today. Currently, Hong Kong (up 1.8%) and China (up 0.3%) are leading the gainers' pack. The US markets closed with a small gain yesterday. As for the Indian markets, these have opened marginally in the positive. The buying is currently being led by stocks from the IT and metal sectors.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 55 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up about 8 points (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks are almost flat, with the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices trading at yesterday's levels. The rupee is trading at 45.56 to the US dollar.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a mixed note. While gains are seen in MTNL and Bharti Airtel, selling pressure marks trading in Reliance Comm. The stock of Bharti Airtel was amongst the leading gainers yesterday as well. This was despite the company reporting a poor performance for the quarter ended December 2010. For the quarter, while sales were up around 4% QoQ, net profits declined by 22% QoQ. In its post results conference call, the management reiterated its positive view about the company's future, especially with respect to its 3G foray in India and the African business. The company is spending on brand-building in Africa and the one-time cost incurred towards it was one of the key reasons for the fall in 3QFY11 profits. Another factor that suppresses profit during the quarter was the forex loss on account of adverse currency movements. The good thing is that the company is gradually reducing its debt, a large part of which was taken to fund the 3G licenses, as also to pay for Zain's acquisition last year. Bharti's debt to equity ratio currently stands at around 1.2 times currently, down from 1.4 times around six months back.
Stocks of finance companies have opened also opened mixed today. REC and PFC are witnessing some buying interest. On the other hand, Shriram Transport and IFCI are trading weak. IDFC, India's largest infrastructure financing company, announced its 3QFY11 and 9mFY11 results yesterday. Its consolidated income from operations grew by 20% YoY during the nine-month period. This was on the back of 51% YoY growth in advances. Disbursements grew by a robust 183% YoY. The company's net interest margin (NIM) improved marginally to 3.8% (from 3.5% in 9mFY10). This was on the back of lower cost of funds. Further, its other income declined by around 30% YoY. Subsequently, IDFC's bet profits grew by 19% YoY during the nine-month period. The company's capital adequacy ratio currently stands at 24.9%, as compared to 22.6% at the end of the corresponding period of the last year.