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Asian stock markets are higher today as Japanese and Hong Kong shares show gains. The Nikkei 225 is up 0.46% while the Hang Seng is up 0.09%. The Shanghai Composite is trading up by 0.26%. Stock markets in Europe and US closed their previous session on a flat note.
Meanwhile, share markets in India have opened the trading day on a flat note. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 21 points while the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 5 points. The BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index both have opened the day up by 0.3% & 0.4% respectively.
Information technology stocks have opened the day on a positive note with Tech Mahindra and Infosys being the most active stocks in this space. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd's (TCS) board has approved a share buyback plan of up to Rs 160 billion. The proposed shares represent 2.85% of the total paid up equity share capital at Rs 2850 per equity share.
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The announcement comes at a time when some Indian IT companies are caught in controversies. Earlier this month, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, announced that it would do share buybacks worth US$3.4 billion over two years. The announcement came even as Infosys squashed speculations that it was considering a Rs 120 billion share buyback program.
Main reasons behind a clamour for buybacks at the IT companies (Subscription Required) is that these companies have had only single-digit growth recently, leading to low shareholder returns. Shareholders can be rewarded through other means such as a buyback. Cash is idling at Indian IT companies as they are neither making acquisitions nor investing in growth, the reports noted.
TCS share price opened the trading day down by 0.6% on the BSE.
Moving on to the news from power stocks. As per an article in a leading financial daily, NTPC is planning to expand into cement manufacturing with the twin objectives of utilising fly ash from its power stations and create captive demand for electricity.
In this regard, the company is inviting expression of interest (EoI) from cement makers, offering a partnership for developing the proposed cement plants. The plant will be constructed on build, own, operate (BOO) basis.The interested players would have to set up cement plants with capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum or higher.
In addition, it will also help the selected company with land, water and power needs. The selected company will have to sign a long-term agreement for sourcing ash from NTPC and will also be responsible for marketing of products.
Moreover, a cement manufacturing foray for NTPC is necessary to meet Ministry of Environment's norm of utilising 100% ash. The company produces 65 million tonnes of fly ash, part of which is used for making bricks and land-filling.
NTPC has also felt the heat of decline in thermal power demand from power distribution companies (DISCOMs) and oversupply of capacity. Besides the JV for cement manufacturing, it will help NTPC to find consumers for generating capacity, the reports noted.
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