Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stock markets in Malaysia (down 0.8%), Japan (down 0.7%) and Indonesia (down 0.4%) are in the red. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note as well. Stocks in the banking and consumer durables space are leading the losses.
The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 98 points (0.6%) and the NSE-Nifty is down by around 33 points (0.6%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the red, with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices down by 0.6% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 50.64 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki India in the red. As reported by a leading daily, Hero MotoCorp is expected to announce plans for yet another plant in Gujarat. It also stated that the company is already planning to set up one more plant in Karnataka to cater to the South Indian market. These additional plants will allow the companies to supply to the domestic demand as well as explore opportunities in the export market. The company has a target of US$ 1 bn of exports by 2020. For the Gujarat plant, the investment will be nearly Rs 12 bn and will produce two million units a year. This plant will be located on a 300 acre plot which is quite near to the General Motors' car plant in Halol.
Banking stocks have opened the day on a subdued note with HDFC Bank and Axis Bank leading the losses. In a bid to increase its reach in the rural markets, HDFC Bank recently announced the launch of 'Bharosa Gold Loan'. The product is been designed keeping in mind the specific needs of rural customers. It will offer a loan amount of up to 140% of the gold valuation. In order to ensure transparency in the process, the bank will issue a valuation certificate to the customer with the itemized description of gold, its weight and the amount lent. While for rural areas, the minimum loan amount would be Rs 10,000, for other regions it would be Rs 25,000. The interest rate for the gold loan will vary from 11-12% to 14.5-15%. For women planning to avail the gold loan, the bank will offer differential rates. 'Bharosa Gold Loan' will be put on offer through 1,300 HDFC Bank branches in more than 950 locations across India.