Indian stock markets, after opening on a strong note, pared gains in the last two trading hours but continued to trade well above the dotted line. Majority of the sectoral indices are trading positive. Auto, FMCG and banking stocks are the biggest gainers. Oil and gas, capital goods and power stocks are among the handful of losers.
Majority of the aviation stocks are trading negative with Spice Jet and Jet Airways being the biggest losers. The stock of Kingfisher Airlines is up by 0.72%. The beleaguered aviation sector got some respite with respect to its floundering financial position by the Union Budget 2012-13. As per the budget proposals, aviation companies can borrow upto US$ 1 bn through External commercial Borrowings (ECB) for one year to fund their working capital requirements. However, the much awaited FDI in the sector is under active consideration.
Energy stocks are trading mixed with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) the biggest gainer and Cairn India the biggest loser. As per a leading financial daily, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) has declared the second interim dividend of 30% (Rs 1.5 per equity share of Rs 5 each) for the financial year FY11-12. The Government has asked profit making public sector firms to pay additional dividend to bring down the fiscal deficit. The second interim dividend payment will let the Government mobilize Rs 8.9 bn. Recently, the Government had mopped over Rs 126 bn from a 5% stake sale in ONGC. In a separate development, ONGC has decided to relax the provisions in bid evaluation criteria for its tender for procurement of an LPG cold box for its Hazira plant. This has been done to consider bids from UK based Chart Energy and Chemicals Inc. and France-based Fives Cryogenic. The contract value is estimated at Rs 119 m. ONGC stock is down 5.5%.