Barring Malaysia (down 0.9%) and China (down 0.05%), most major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Japan (up 3%) and Hong Kong (up 0.6%) leading the gains. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the consumer durables and realty space are leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 49 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 15 points (0.3%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.02 to the US dollar.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Reliance Communications, Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, India's leading telecom services provider, Bharti Airtel, is set to terminate its joint venture with Alcatel-Lucent for managing its fibre optic cable, fixedline and broadband business. It must be noted that the two partners had set up a 26:74 joint venture in 2009 with the French company holding the majority stake. Bharti plans to invite rival telecom operators to form a consolidated entity that will combine and manage the landline and cable businesses of the competitors. This would be similar to Indus Towers, the world's largest tower company. In 2008, Bharti, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular had combined their towers and physical infrastructure in 16 regions to create a three-way joint venture called Indus Towers. It is noteworthy that outsourcing has been the keystone of Bharti's business strategy. The joint venture with Alcatel-Lucent is first such tie-up that the company is terminating.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Maruti Suzuki, Maharashtra Scooters, TVS Motor and Bajaj Auto leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Motors is developing a new premium small car to take on the successful models of competitors such as Maruti Suzuki and Ford Motors. It is said that the new car is likely to be built on the revamped Indica platform codenamed 'X0'. The final data judgments (FDJ), which means the exact product specification in terms of design, cost and time is likely to be frozen on March 31, 2013. After this is done, vendors will be asked to work on the project. Scheduled to be launched in 2015, this is expected to be one of the company's biggest launches. The company intends to deliver a modern, contemporary vehicle that appeals to the young generation.