Barring South Korea (down 0.3%) and Taiwan (down 0.1%), all major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Japan (up 3.1%) and Malaysia (up 0.8%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets indices have also opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the realty and banking space are leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 118 points (0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 31 points (0.5%). 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% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.15 to the US dollar.
Food stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Ruchi Soya Industries and Tata Coffee leading the gains. However, Sterling Biotech and Nestle are facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare has inked a brands-swap deal with its associate company GSK Pharmaceuticals. As part of this cross-functional collaboration deal, the two companies will swap select brands and independently market, sell and distribute them. This is part of the company's strategy to surpass revenue target of Rs 80 bn by 2016, more than double from current revenues of Rs 32.6 bn. As a starting point, GSK Pharma's over-the-counter calcium and vitamin supplement Ostocalcium will now be marketed and sold by GSK Consumer. On the other hand, GSK Pharma will market and distribute products under the consumer division's specialised arm Glaxo Nutrition including Actibase and Actigrow nutrition supplements. As per GSK Consumer Healthcare's Managing Director Zubair Ahmed, more such brands-swaps could happen between the two associate companies so as to maximise their potential. It is worth noting that the deals will involve a cost that both the listed entities will pay each other.
PSU Bank stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Union Bank, UCO Bank and Canara Bank leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, India's largest public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) has stated that it will consider merger of five associate banks around July-August, that is, in the second quarter of the financial years 2013-14 (2QFY14). It must be noted that SBI did the first ever amalgamation of its associate State Bank of Saurashtra in 2008. This was later followed by State Bank of Indore in August 2010. The country's largest lender has five associate banks- State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad. Of these, the State Banks of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore are listed companies. SBI's Chairman Pratip Chaudhari emphasised that the economic logic for a merger remained strong.