The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in China (up 0.3%) and Singapore (up 0.2%) leading the gains. Japanese markets are however, trading lower by 1.1%. The Indian share market indices are currently hovering around the neutral zone. Stocks from the auto andcapital good spaces are leading the pack of gainers, while those form the oil & gas and metal spaces are amongst the top underperformers.
The Sensex today is trading up by about 15 points (up 0.1%), while NSE-Nifty is trading higher by about 3 points. Stocks from the midcap and small spaces are trading lower with the BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap indices down by 0.1% each. The rupee is trading at 53.56 to the US dollar.
Stocks of telecom companies have opened the day on a mixed note with Idea Cellular and MTNL trading firm while Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices trading lower. As per a leading business daily, telecom major Bharti Airtel has split its businesses into eight segments. This move is with the aim of building a more connected organisation. These segments will operate from three regional hubs. As reported, different telecom circles will be combined to from such hubs. The company has reorganized the roles of a handful of its senior management as well - with the most prominent being the appointment of Mr. Manoj Kohli as the Managing Director. Bharti's founder Mr. Sunil Mittal would be assuming the role of Executive Chairman. It may be noted that the above-mentioned changes come at a time when the company is looking to improve its performance significantly. In the quarter ended December 2012, the company reported a revenues growth of 9% YoY, while its profits declined by about 72% YoY. Revenues of the Indian operations increased by 7.5% YoY during the quarter ended December 2012, while those of its African business grew by 15% YoY.
Banking stocks have opened the day on a mixed note. On one hand, Oriental Bank and Union Bank are trading in the green. On the other hand Corporation Bank and Indian Bank are facing selling pressure. The country's largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to change the way it processes rural loans. The banks will now shift power of processing these loans to the local managers. With this the bank aims at shifting power to the managers who know the customers better. This decision would be applicable to the small ticket loans of less than Rs 3 lakhs. The bank also plans to close down around 326 of its rural loan processing centres by March. These moves are aimed at both reducing the delivery time as well as to reduce the incidence of bad loans. SBI has seen its gross NPAs shoot up to 5.15% at the end of September 2012. This figure had stood at 4.19% during the same period in the year before