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Sensex Opens Higher; Realty Stocks Lead
Tue, 23 Apr 09:30 am | Rini Mehta, TM Team

Asian stock markets are lower today as Chinese and Hong Kong shares fall. The Shanghai Composite is off 0.6% while the Hang Seng is down 0.2%. The Nikkei 225 is trading down by 0.2%. US stocks ended a low-volume trading session little changed on Monday, with the biggest gains in the energy sector as investors otherwise stayed on the sidelines ahead of quarterly earnings.

Back home, India share markets opened on a firm note. The BSE Sensex is trading up by 178 points while the NSE Nifty is trading up by 22 points. Both, the BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index opened on a flat note.

Except power, energy and IT stocks, all sectoral indices have opened the day in green with telecom stocks and realty stocks leading the gainers.

The rupee is currently trading at 69.67 against the US$.

The Indian rupee opened marginally higher at 69.62 per dollar today versus previous close 69.67.

On Monday the rupee ended 32 paise lower at 69.67 against the US dollar on the back of surge in crude oil prices.

Notably, crude oil prices have quietly creeped up.

Oil prices jumped as much as 3.2% to their highest level since late 2018 on news that the United States is likely to ask all importers of Iranian oil to end their purchases or face US sanctions. The surge in oil prices has been weighing on rupee.

Yesterday, the rupee fell to 69.88 against the US dollar at day's low, its lowest level since March 11 as compared to Thursday's low of 69.36.

During the day, the rupee traded in the range of 69.50 to 69.88 against the US dollar, after opening at 69.76. Rupee, however, later pared some losses and ended lower at 69.67 a dollar.

Bond yields also hardened in the wake of rising oil prices.

Bond yields surged to over three-and-a-half-month high. The 10-year government bond yield ended at 7.475%, a level last seen on 11 January from its earlier close of 7.39%.

Moving on to another news. In its first asset sale since going bust last year, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) on Monday said it has agreed to sell its 874 megawatts (MW) operational wind energy portfolio to state-run gas utility GAIL (India) for Rs 48 billion.

Significantly, GAIL's offer of Rs 48 billion at 100% enterprise valuation implies that the accumulated debt of Rs 37 billion on the wind power special purpose vehicles (SPVs) will be fully repaid. The equity value on these assets will be Rs 11 billion.

The sale is subject to various approvals, including from a foreign equity partner in the assets and company law tribunals.

Another 104 MW of under-construction wind power project, a solar power portfolio of 300MW and renewable energy EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) business will not be part of the deal.

The sale process kicked off in November with an invitation for expressions of interest (EoIs). Although the wind portfolio received 22 EoIs, there were fewer binding bids. At the end of the bidding process, GAIL emerged as the highest bidder for seven operating wind power plants with a total generation capacity of 874MW at an average tariff of Rs 5 per kilowatt hour (kWh).

The proposal was unanimously approved by the committee of creditors of IL&FS Wind Energy Ltd (IWEL), the majority owner of the SPVs.

With debt of over Rs 1 trillion, the government replaced IL&FS' previous management with an Uday Kotak-led board of directors to oversee the company's resolution process.

IL&FS is implementing various asset monetization programmes to recover what it can and repay debt. This includes the sale of its securities business, renewable energy assets, roads portfolio and EPC capabilities.

So far, binding bids have been received for the securities business and the renewable energy arm, the reports noted.

GAIL share price opened the day down by 2.7%.

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

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