The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Indonesia (down 0.6%) and Malaysia (down 0.2%) leading the losses. However, the stock markets in Hong Kong (up 1.1%) and Japan (up 0.6%) have opened in the green. The Indian share markets indices have also opened the day on a firm note. Barring technology, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the oil and gas and auto space are leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 140 points (0.7%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 44 points (0.8%). The mid and small cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.6% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.25 to the US dollar.
Bank stocks have opened the day mainly in green with ICICI Bank and City Union Bank leading the gains. Axis Bank has announced its results for the fourth quarter of financial year 2012-13. The bank has reported a 22% year on year growth in post tax profit for the quarter. The boost in the net income was on account of growth in both core and non-interest income. The net interest income for the quarter grew by 24.2% YoY while the other income was up 26.4% YoY. The trading income for the quarter grew by 62.8% YoY. The bank's asset book grew in line with industry average at 16% YoY. This was supported by a 44 % YoY growth in retail component. The net interest margin for the quarter widened to 3.7% due to the capital raising done by the bank. The management expects it to go down to 3.25 % to 3.50 % levels. The provisions for the quarter were up three fold on a year on year basis on account of funds being put into a special contingency fund. Going forward, the management does not see any issues on credit quality front for FY14 and has said that gross non-performing assets ratio will broadly be in line with the 1.06 % observed in the quarter.
Oil & gas stocks have also opened the day mainly in green with Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) leading the gains. However, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) have opened in the red. As per a leading financial daily, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd's (ONGC) overseas arm ONGC Videsh Ltd has signed an agreement with Petro Amazonas Ecuador to take up exploration activities in the Latin American region. It is important to note here that OVL has been witnessing a decline in oil and gas production for last three years. The decline has mainly been on account of geo-political conflicts in Sudan and Syria. As such, OVL is now focusing on expanding its presence in Latin America region. The management aims to achieve 20 million tonnes production by 2017-18.