Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. Markets in Taiwan (down 0.7%), Japan (down 0.4%) and Hong Kong (down 0.3%) trading in the red. On the other hand, markets in China (up 0.6%) and Indonesia (up 0.1%) are witnessing buying interest. The Indian stock markets have opened the day in the red. Stocks in the banking and capital goods sectors are the major losers.
The BSE-Sensex is down by around 27 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 11 points (0.2%). However, mid and small cap stocks are trading in the positive territory, with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices up by around 0.3% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 52.12 to the US dollar.
Power stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Power Trading Corporation of India and Torrent Power trading in the green while Tata Power and Gujarat Industrial Power Ltd and Jaiprakash Power are trading in the red. As per a leading financial daily, bidders for the forthcoming ultra mega power plants (UMPP) in Odisha and Chattisgarh will have to pay a reserve price to the respective state governments for coal mines that are allotted along with the project. This will bring an end to a long established policy rule in which the mines were allocated free. As per the coal secretary, the coal ministry is in the process of finalising norms for determining the reserve price for the mines, bidding norms and a model agreement. The guidelines are expected to be finalised by September 2012. These new norms are set to transform the economics of UMPPs. So far, these projects were awarded based on electricity tariff. But now that the mines wouldn't come free, that additional cost will also have to be factored.
Stocks of major banks have opened the day on a negative note with Axis Bank, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank leading the pack of losers. A leading business daily has reported that banks like ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank have taken the cues from the Reserve Bank of India's recent cut in interest rates and gone ahead and cut their deposit and lending rates by 25 basis points. It may be noted that day of the announcement of the monetary policy; many bankers were unwilling to commit to the rate cuts. However, because of reasons like pressure due to competition and also pressure from the government, banks have forced to cut rates. It is reported that ICICI's base rate currently stands at 9.75%, while that of Punjab National Bank's stands at a higher 10.5%. The base rate is a rate below which banks cannot lend.