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Indian share markets open firm
Thu, 14 Mar 09:30 am

Barring Japan (up 0.4%) and China (up 0.1%), Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in Indonesia (down 1.5%) and South Korea (down 0.9%) leading the losses. However, the Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the realty and healthcare space are leading the gains. However, consumer durables stocks are trading weak.

The Sensex today is up by around 12 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is trading flat. Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices marginally up by around 0.03% and 0.04% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.41 to the US dollar.

Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Tata Motors and TVS Motor Company leading the losses. However, Hero MotoCorp and Tube Investments are trading firm. As per a leading financial daily, the rankings of major automobile companies have undergone a shift on account of rapidly changing buying patterns of consumers. As a consequence, some auto companies are struggling to beat the slowdown. On the other hand, their competitors are racing ahead of them. Tata Motors' domestic business reported steep decline in sales across segments during the financial year 2012-13 (FY13) so far. Some of its new products such as Aria, Venture and Winger witnessed failure. Sales of small car Nano dropped by 18% year-on-year (YoY) to 52,341 units in the fiscal year until February. In fact, in the month of February 2013, sales of Nano plunged by a whopping 84% YoY to 9,217 units. As a result, the company lost its third position to Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M). And later, it lost the fourth position to Toyota Kirloskar. M&M, on the other hand, saw its sales growing by 28% YoY to 282,275 units in the year until February. This was on the back of success of new launches such as Quanto and XUV500. Similarly, Honda Motorcycles & Scooter India (HMSI) has grown rapidly over the last 12 years to race ahead of TVS Motor Company and Bajaj Auto to claim the third position and second position, respectively. It is now challenging the leadership position of its earlier partner Hero MotoCorp which has a 43% market share.

Telecom stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications trading firm. However, Bharti Airtel is trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, telecom companies owe the Indian government a staggering amount of Rs 96.4 bn. This is the outstanding amount for spectrum usage charges and licence fees. Leading private sector mobile operator Bharti Airtel owes the highest amount of Rs 32.8 bn for spectrum usage charges and licence fee. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Reliance Communications owe the second and the third highest amount of Rs 20.9 bn and 16.6 bn, respectively. This is followed by Vodafone (Rs 11.2 bn), Tata Teleservices (Rs 4.6 bn), Idea Cellular (Rs 4.3 bn), among others. In addition, the government has imposed penalties of nearly Rs 22 bn on operators in respect of outstanding usage charges and licence fee. It must be noted that the government earned Rs 68.9 bn from spectrum usage charges for the fiscal year FY13. This comprises Rs 17.1 bn as auction money of 2G spectrum. Moreover, it earned Rs 85.4 bn as licence fee for the first three quarters of the current fiscal year.

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