Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with South Korea (down 1.2%) and Hong Kong (down 0.2%) trading weak. However, markets in Japan (up 2.9%) and Singapore (up 0.1%) are trading firm. The Indian share markets indices have also opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the consumer durables and auto space are leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 51 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 12 point (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.3% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.15 to the US dollar.
PSU Bank stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Central Bank and United Bank of India leading the gains. Public sector lender Union Bank of India has announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 2013. The bank's net profits during the quarter rose marginally by 2.1% year-on-year (YoY) from Rs 7.7 bn in 4QFY12 to Rs 7.9 bn in 4QFY13. Net interest income was higher by 8.7% YoY to Rs 19.8 bn. Net interest margin (on earning assets) stood at 2.89% in 4QFY13 as against 3.16% in 4QFY12. Non-interest income rose by 7.9% YoY to Rs 8.8 bn. The return on average assets during the quarter stood at 1.08% as against 1.31% in 4QFY12. Cost to income ratio was higher at nearly 41% as against 39.3% in 4QFY12.
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Essar Oil and Petronet LNG leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is likely to face disappointment in its global asset acquisition bids. The upstream energy player had been trying to close two deals worth about US$ 10 bn to acquire lucrative energy assets in Mozambique and Kazakhstan. However, another bidder has topped ONGC's bid of reportedly more than US$ 5 bn for the Mozambique gas block. It must be noted that ONGC and Oil India had made a joint bid for 20% stake in the Mozambique gas block. On the other hand, ONGC is also likely to lose out on Kazakhstan oil assets. It is said that that the government of Kazakhstan is likely to exercise its pre-emptive rights to buy ConocoPhillips's 8.4% stake in Kashagan, the country's largest oilfield, for US$ 5 bn before selling it to a Chinese company.