Indices in the Indian stock markets made absolutely no attempt to march towards the break even line during the closing stages and as a consequence, closed significantly lower today. BSE-Sensex edged lower by around 300 points (down 1.8%) while NSE-Nifty declined by about 85 points. BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices didn't suffer as badly and lost in the region of 1% each. Almost all the stocks on the Sensex closed lower today.
All major Asian indices closed lower today with Europe too trading in the negative currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.4 to the dollar at the time of writing.
The flight to safety approach of foreign investors continued today as well, leading to another broad-based sell off. With a great deal of uncertainty gripping global economy, they are choosing to sit out rather than take any position. And India by virtue of being a risky market seems to have borne the maximum brunt of it. Not just this, even the rupee plunged to an all time low against the dollar today. However, long term investors need not panic. The longer the sell off lasts the bigger will be the gap between stock prices and intrinsic value and the greater will be the returns over the long term as we believe the long term story is still intact.
Regulatory tangles just don't seem to leave the Indian telecom sector. The latest firm to come under the scanner is Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecom firm. As per reports, the company is being probed on the allotment of additional airwaves beyond 6.2 MHz in violation of the subscriber linked criteria. The company has however denied any such allegations and is open to cooperation with the investigators. It is worth adding that last November, searches were conducted by the police at the offices of Bharti as well as Vodafone seeking details of airwaves allocated to them in 2001 and 2002. The stock of Bharti closed 1% lower today.
G E Shipping, India's largest private sector shipping company has taken delivery of its 318,000 dwt very large crude carrier (VLCC) called Vasant J Sheth from Hyundai Heavy Industries. The company has also delivered the vessel to its new buyers. It should be noted that this is the last vessel out of the 3 VLCCs that the company had ordered in April 2010 and subsequently contracted to sell in Q1 of FY12. The stock closed flat on the bourses today.