Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. Markets in Hong Kong (up 0.1%), Singapore (up 0.1%) and Korea (up 0.1%) are trading in the positive territory. However, markets in China (down 0.7%) are weighed down by subdued manufacturing growth numbers. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the capital goods and power sectors are leading the losses.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 67 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 17 points (0.3%). Midcap and small cap stocks are trading in the positive as well, with the BSE Midcap and the BSE Small cap indices up by about 0.3% each. The rupee is trading at 45.13 to the US dollar.
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Bharat Petroleum Company Ltd (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Company Ltd (HPCL) and Indian Oil Corp (IOC) leading the losses. However, Cairn India and ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation) are trading in the green. GAIL has announced its results for the quarter and full year ended March 2011. While the company's standalone topline grew by 35.6% YoY during 4QFY11, the same rose by 29.6% YoY during FY11. However, high gas procurement costs dented operating margins by 6.3% YoY during the quarter and by 2% YoY during the financial year. The company's net profits declined by 14% YoY during the quarter with margins contracting by 5.1% YoY. For the full year, the decline in margin was arrested at 1.6% YoY. The company's Board of Directors has recommended a final dividend of Rs.5.5 per share on the paid-up equity share capital of the company for the financial year ended March 2011. The company had paid an interim dividend of Rs 2 per share earlier during FY11.
Banking stocks have opened the day on a good note with Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Yes Bank leading the gains. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed the holding company structure for financial groups that allows the groups to list both the holding company as well as the subsidiaries. By this structure banking and financial groups can list the parent company as well as each of its subsidiaries which may follow different financial businesses like investment banking, asset management, banking, etc. If this norm were to actually come in place, then financial conglomerates like ICICI Bank, HDFC and State Bank of India (SBI), would find it easier to raise funds for new financial activities from the primary markets. Such a holding company structure is currently found in the western countries where holding companies like Citigroup, etc are listed and serve as a vehicle to raise capital.