Asian equity markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Taiwan (down 2.3%) and China (down 0.7%) leading the losses. However, the markets in Japan (up 2%) and Hong Kong (up 0.1%) are trading in the green. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the auto and realty space are leading the gains. However, FMCG stocks are trading weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 45 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 11 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 54.29 to the US dollar.
Information Technology stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Mphasis Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) leading the losses. However, Mahindra Satyam and Tech Mahindra are leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, a lucrative new opportunity has opened up for the Indian software industry in the form of maintenance deals. In a bid to cut costs, several top global companies are insisting that enterprise software from companies such as SAP and Oracle should be maintained by third parties. Such an arrangement would lead to savings of up to 50% for them. According to a recent study by sourcing advisory Constellation Research, the size of this new market for offering maintenance support is pegged at about US$ 125 bn (approximately Rs 6.8 trillion). This market appears to be much bigger than the existing US$ 100 bn Indian IT services industry. However, this new opportunity also presents a high level of risk and could hamper their existing business. For companies like SAP, Oracle, IBM and Microsoft the maintenance contracts provide steady revenue streams for 5-10 years. It is worth noting that leading Indian software companies such as Wipro, Infosys and TCS have ongoing business relationships with SAP and Oracle. If the Indian firms aggressively foray into third-party maintenance deals, it could sour their relationships with these partners. As such, risk-averse Indian IT firms are pursuing this new opportunity slowly.
Mining stocks have also opened the day on a mixed note with National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and Hindustan Zinc leading the losses. However, Gujarat NRE Coke and Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC Ltd) are trading firm. As per a leading financial daily, state-run mining giant Coal India Ltd (CIL) has shelved about 36 coal projects in Maharashtra as substantial increase in land prices have made them unviable. These 36 projects had an estimated coal production capacity of 17.7 million tonnes per annum. It is said that the government of Maharashtra notified separate prices for different kinds of lands. Previously, CIL's per acre expenditure on land purchase in Maharashtra was in the range of Rs 40,000 to Rs 100,000. However, this is not the case anymore. CIL would now have to pay Rs 6 lakh per acre for boro land, Rs 8 lakh per acre for non-irrigated land and Rs 10 lakh per acre for irrigated land. As a result of this, the cost for the 36 projects has increased by Rs 26.9 bn. The state-run miner will take up these projects only if coal prices are increased to meet the high production cost from these mines.