Concerns over the finalization of the new bailout package for Greece, weighed heavily on the Asian stock markets. With the exception of Indonesia (up 0.4%), most Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stock markets in Taiwan (down 0.5%), China (down 0.4%) and Korea (down 0.3%) are leading the losses in the region. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the capital goods and metal sectors are leading the pack of gainers.
The BSE-Sensex is up by around 107 points (0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 36 points (0.7%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the positive zone as well, with the BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap indices up by about 0.8% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 49.09 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a high note with Ashok Leyland, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) and Tata Motors (Telco) leading the gains. However, the stock of Bajaj Auto is facing selling pressure. Tata Motors has recently announced its plans to launch its low priced Nano in Bangladesh. By early next month, the world's cheapest car would be exported to Bangladesh. Tata Motors has already tied up with a local distributor for the same. The plan is to export around 2,000 units initially at a price of US$ 6,098 per car. However, the price may vary slightly depending on the government's decision on customs duty. The company plans to increase the supply once demand picks up. The local distributor and the company expect demand to reach 10,000 units over the next few years. The Nano was scheduled to be launched in Bangladesh in October last year. However, due to disputes on pricing, the launch was delayed.
Energy stocks have opened the day on mixed note. On one hand Petronet LNG and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) are trading in the green. On the other hand, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) are trading weak. The government of India has decided to regulate the marketing margins for the gas transporters. As a result, it has asked the gas marketers such as Gas Authority Of India Ltd. (GAIL), GSPC and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to submit their costs of procuring natural gas as well as its sales price. With the help of this data, the regulator would aim at fixing the marketing margins for the companies. The oil ministry has stated that it would determine the marketing margins for all natural gas based on the costs. As per the industry, the marketing costs include costs of supply chain management, contract negotiations, market tie-ups and surveys, dispute resolution, customer facilities, etc. It also includes expenses in the form of bad debts, inventory carrying costs as well as maintaining the administrative infrastructure. Though GAIL has accepted the order to regulate marketing margins, it has stated that the government should not look at doing the same for regassified LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) as this would discourage its imports.