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Realty weighs on Indian stock markets
Mon, 27 Feb 09:30 am

Asian stock markets have started the week on a mixed note. On one hand, stock markets in China (up 0.7%), Japan (up 0.7%) and Taiwan (up 0.3%) are trading in the green. On the other hand, markets in Korea (down 1.3%), Indonesia (down 0.9%) and Singapore (down 0.3%) are trading in the negative zone. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a negative note. Stocks in the realty and capital goods sectors are witnessing severe losses.

The BSE-Sensex is down by around 101 points (0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 42 points (0.8%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the negative zone as well, with the BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap indices down by about 1.2% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 48.97 to the US dollar.

Energy stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL), Cairn India and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) trading in the green. However, Oil India Ltd. (OIL) and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation are trading in the red. The government is finally looking to auction 5% of its stake in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) within this week. The said sale would raise nearly Rs 120 bn of proceeds. The government currently has a stake of 74.14% in ONGC. The finance ministry had approved a stake sale through the auction route a few days back. The floor price for the auction has not been decided yet. However, it is expected to be set at a marginal discount to the previous day's closing price (previous to the day of the auction)This would be the first divestment by the government where there would be a negligible participation by the retail investors as auction route method is not really meant for them.

Construction stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Unitech Ltd, Sobha Developers and IVRCL Ltd leading the pack of losers . As per a leading daily Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) is trying to get its huge burden of debt refinanced. The company has a huge debt burden of nearly Rs 43.47 bn that it is seeking to refinance. HCC has been hit by a double whammy as the economic slowdown has affected its payment cycle. At the same time, higher interest costs have also hurt the company's profitability. As per the company's management they are looking to refinance the debt to bring down the annual interest burden. For this they are seeking to extend the payment period for the loans. HCC had reported a net loss of Rs 1.3 bn in its recently declared third quarter results for the financial year 2011-2012 (3QFY12). The stock of the company has opened the day in the red.

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