Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Hong Kong (down 1.1%) and China (down 0.8%) leading the losses. However, markets in Japan (up 1.1%) and Singapore (up 0.9%) are trading firm. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a weak note. Barring telecom and IT, all sectoral indices have opened in the red with stocks in the realty and banking space leading the losses.
The Sensex today is down by around 166 points (0.7%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 50 points (0.7%). The mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the red with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices down by around 0.4% and 0.1% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 60.25 to the US dollar.
Software stocks have opened the day mainly on a weak note with HCL Infosystems, Tech Mahindra and HCL Technologies leading the losses. India's second largest software services exporter Infosys has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of the financial year 2013-14 (4QFY14). During the quarter, the company's consolidated revenues stood at Rs 128.75 bn, lower by 1.2% on a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) basis. However, gross profit increased by 1.1% QoQ as the gross profit margin improved from 36.1% in 3QFY14 to 37% in 4QFY14. Operating profit increased by 0.7% QoQ to Rs 32.81 bn. At the bottomline level, net profit increases by 4.1% QoQ to Rs 29.92 bn. Net profit margin improves from 22.1% in 3QFY14 to 23.2 in 4QFY14. For the full financial year FY14, revenues and net profit stood at Rs 501.33 bn (up 24.2% YoY) and Rs 106.48 bn (up 13% YoY) respectively. The company's board of directors has recommended a final dividend of Rs 43 per share for FY14.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Corporation Bank, Punjab and Sind bank and Vijaya Bank leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, India's top two telecom operators, Airtel and Vodafone, have increased tariffs on some plans. On some of its plans, Airtel has increased tariffs from 45 paise to 50 paise per call. The validity of its 28-day mobile internet pack has now been lowered to just 21 days. This means that, effectively, customers would have to pay higher internet charges. On similar lines, Vodafone too has tweaked some of its plans to hike tariffs. It is worth noting that Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India together control about 52% of the Indian telecom market. The recent moves by these two leading players could trigger a tariff hike by other telecom players as well. Both Vodafone and Airtel have maintained that there have been no changes in the base tariffs. There have only been reductons in discounts and promotions.