Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Japan (up 0.9%) and Hong Kong (up 0.4%) trading firm. However, markets in South Korea (down 0.2%) and China (down 0.2%) are facing selling pressure. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the energy and realty space are leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 37 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 14 point (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.45 to the US dollar.
Engineering stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Thermax trading in the red. However, Blue Star and Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) are leading the gains. As per a financial daily, India's leading engineering and infrastructure firm Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has been barred by the World Bank from doing any business with it or the projects funded by it for a period of 6 months. The 6-month sanction was laid after the international financial institution found that an employee of the Indian firm had committed fraud to win a supply deal five years ago. It is said that a junior executive of the company in the medical equipment business had falsified some customer testimonials and had submitted the same in support of an offer. The debarment will continue till September 6, 2013. During the period of debarment, neither L&T nor any of the entities controlled directly or indirectly by it can be nominated even subcontractor, manufacturer, supplier, consultant, or service provider to an otherwise eligible firm that has been granted a project financed by the World Bank. L&T has said that the 6-month sanction by the World Bank will not have a major impact on its business.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd (HFCL), AGC Networks and Tata Teleservices leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the government of Tanzania is expected to start talks with India's leading telecom player Bharti Airtel about buying back stake in state-run telecom firm Tanzania Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (TTCL). Through its Tanzanian subsidiary Bharti Airtel Tanzania Ltd, Bharti holds 35% stake in TTCL while the remaining 65% is held by the Tanzanian government. Following the buyback, TTCL would be fully controlled by the government. However, the reasons for the buyback have not been disclosed yet. It is worth noting that Bharti Airtel Tanzania Ltd is the second-largest mobile phone operator in the east African country after Vodacom Tanzania.