The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note with the stock markets in HongKong (up 0.9%) and Singapore(up 0.8%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a firm note as well. Barring auto and metal, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with the stocks in the realty and consumer durables space leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 77 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 20 points (0.3%). The mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.1% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 62.01 to the US dollar.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and Tata Teleservices Ltd leading the gains. However, AGC Networks and ADC India Communications Ltd are witnessing losses. As per a leading financial daily, Bharti Airtel Ltd is planning to acquire Loop Mobile and is likely to announce the deal this week itself. The deal is estimated at around Rs 7 bn and will be the first consolidation move in the domestic telecom industry since 2008. As per the deal, Bharti Airtel will get Loop's 3 million subscribers and other assets through which Loop currently runs its network. Loop's subscribers will continue to get services even as the company's licence expires in the month of September. Post acquisition, the company will have more than 7.1 million users in Mumbai. With this, it is likely to replace Vodafone India (with over 6.9 million users at the end of November) from the top spot.
Indian pharma stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd (DRL) and Dishman Pharma leading the gains. However, Indoco Remedies and Elder Pharma Ltd were witnessing losses. As per a leading financial daily, the Britain based GlaxoSmithKline Plc's voluntary open offer to the shareholders of its Indian subsidiary GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd is scheduled to start on 18th February, 2014. The offer will close on March 5, 2014. GSK Plc is planning to invest around Rs 64 bn to increase its stake in the Indian subsidiary. Through the offer, it plans to acquire up to 2.06 crore shares at Rs 3,100 per share of GSK Pharma. As such, its stake in the company will go upto 75% from 50.67% at present. The offer has come at a time when the GSK Pharma's performance has suffered due to new pharmaceutical pricing policy, increasing competition, higher input costs and rupee depreciation.