Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. While stock markets in Singapore (up 0.4%) and Malaysia (up 0.3%) are trading firm, markets in China (down 0.5%) and Hong Kong (down 0.3%) are facing selling pressure. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the realty and capital goods space are the major gainers. However, stocks in the IT sector are trading weak.
The BSE-Sensex is up by around 95 points (0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 29 points (0.6%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the positive zone as well, with the BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap indices up by about 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 50.26 to the US dollar.
Private Bank stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Federal Bank and Development Credit Bank (DCB) leading the pack of losers. As per a leading financial daily, private sector lender HDFC Bank is planning to organise 500 rural loan fairs called 'Grameen Mega Loan Mahotsava' during the financial year 2012-13. The aim of this initiative is to reach out to rural customers. The bank has a board mandate to aid 10 million families through its viable financing initiatives. As a part of this mandate, the bank disburses loans such as financing for tractors, auto, two-wheelers, commercial vehicles and agriculture in these loan fairs. In the past couple of years, HDFC Bank has already organised 500 such loan fairs. As per Managing Director and Chief Executive Mr Aditya Puri, the bank has so far reached out to about 6.2 million people across 5,000 villages with viable finance products.
Construction stocks have opened the day on a firm note with DLF and Unitech leading the gains. Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), the firm that built Mumbai's Bandra-Worli Sea Link has been admitted to the Corporate Debt Restructuring cell as it is on the verge of defaulting on its loans. A consortium of 27 banks, including State Bank Of India (SBI) and Punjab National Bank (PNB), are pressing the construction firm to pay up at least the interest of Rs 900 m before 31st March, 2012 so that they can restructure Rs 30 bn of loans. If HCC fails to the make this payment, it will lose the "standard" status with these banks. The company's consolidated debt stands at Rs 81 bn. During the quarter ended December 2011, HCC posted a loss of Rs 1,340 m on account of slowing inflow of new orders and stalling of payments from customers. As per the company's Chief Financial Officer, the company is likely to continue to report losses even in the next financial year.