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Sensex Opens Marginally Higher; Eyes on Monetary Policy Today
Wed, 7 Jun 09:30 am

Asian equity markets are higher today as Chinese and Hong Kong shares show gains. The Shanghai Composite is up 0.71%, while the Hang Seng is up 0.05%. The Nikkei 225 is trading down by 0.32%. US markets closed in the red on Tuesday as traders preferred to remain on the sidelines ahead of major political and economic event from the UK which is scheduled for Thursday.

Meanwhile, share markets in India opened the day marginally higher ahead of monetary policy today. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 62 points while the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 23 points. The BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap index both have opened the day up by 0.3%.

All the sectoral indices have opened the day in green with metal stocks and consumer durables stocks leading the gainers. The rupee is trading at 64.35 to the US$.

Telecom stocks opened the day on a mixed note with AGC Network and ITI Ltd leading the gainers. Bharti Airtel share price opened the day on a positive note after it was reported that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the proposed merger of Telenor (India) Communications with the company.

Airtel had announced on February 23 that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Telenor South Asia Investments Pte.

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As part of the Scheme, Airtel will acquire Telenor India's running operations in seven circles - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam.

The proposed acquisition will include the transfer of all of Telenor India's assets and customers, further augmenting Airtel's overall customer base and network. It will also enable Airtel to further bolster its strong spectrum foot-print in these seven circles, with the addition of 43.4 MHz spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.

Notably, after Telenor Acquisition, Bharti Airtel had also announced to acquire Tikona Wireless in March this year.

The announcement comes at a time when the telecom industry is witnessing an unprecedented churn following the entry of Reliance Jio forcing market leaders like Vodafone India and Idea Cellular to take the merger route.

In another development, the government is now considering further relaxing foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in the defence sector to attract more overseas inflows. In a meeting attended by industry chambers, including CII and FICCI, the ministry asked the stakeholders suggestions for changes in FDI policy to attract foreign investors.

In India, presently FDI up to 49% is permitted in the sector through the automatic route and beyond that up to 100% via government nod is permitted. Government is the only procurer of defence equipment in the country, besides, the export of defence products from India is also very regulated. At the meeting industry experts stated that foreign investors seek assured orders before setting up manufacturing unit in any country.

The government had recently cleared the Strategic Partnership (SP) policy to create a vibrant defence manufacturing ecosystem in the country through the involvement of both the major Indian corporates as well as the MSME sector.

The policy is also likely to reduce current dependence on imports and gradually ensure greater self-reliance & dependability of supplies essential to meet national security objectives.

Defence Production by Public Sector in Doldrums

To reduce dependence on imports, the government has increased thrust on indigenisation and greater private sector participation under the Make in India policy. In its defence procurement for 2016, highest preference has been accorded to equipment domestically designed, developed and manufactured.

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Jan 17, 2018 (Close)