Most Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Singapore (up 1.4%) and Japan (up 1.3%) leading the gains. The Indian stock markets have also opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the metal and realty space are leading the gains.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by 152 points (0.9%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 46 points (0.9%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices up by 1.2% and 1.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 48.61 to the US dollar.
Indian pharma stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Piramal Healthcare, Biocon and Fresenius Kabi Oncology leading the gains. Piramal Healthcare has acquired additional 5.5% stake in Vodafone India, the Indian arm of the UK-based global telecom player. Moreover, the company was able to get the additional stake at a cheaper price than its first stake purchase. Compared with US$ 640 m that the Piramal Group paid when it bought its first 5.5% stake in Vodafone India in October 2011, it will now pay 385 m British pounds or US$ 609 m. This addition will take Piramal's stake in Vodafone India to 11%.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a firm note with J K Lakshmi Cement, Madras Cement and Mangalam Cement leading the gains. Madras Cement has announced its results for the quarter ended December 2011 (3QFY12). Net sales increased by 28% year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 7.4 bn during the quarter ended December 2011 (3QFY12). Operating profits rose by 40% YoY as operating margins improved from 25.6% in 3QFY11 to 28% in 3QFY12. At the bottomline level, net profits surged by 77% YoY owing to a lower base effect. Net profit margins improved from 7.5% in 3QFY11 to 10.4% in 3QFY12. During the nine month period ended December 2011 (9MFY12), sales and net profits rose by 21% YoY and 94% YoY respectively.