The Indian markets have started today's session on a volatile note. The benchmark indices opened at the breakeven mark but soon fell into the negative territory. These have managed to make their way into the green since then. Other key Asian markets are in the positive with Indonesia (up 0.5%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed lower by 0.2% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading weak with software and auto majors facing the brunt of selling activity. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 15 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 5 points. Some buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.2% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.51 to the US dollar.
Power stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Reliance Power and NTPC. As per a leading business daily, Reliance Industries plans to bid for the Surguja ultra mega power project (UMPP) in Chhattisgarh. The deadline for submitting the bid is July 5. The 4,000 mega watt UMPP calls for an investment of about Rs 160 bn. Funding would not be a problem for Reliance Industries given its strong cash position. In fact, the company mopped up a seven-year US$ 1 bn loan at an attractive rate last week. This would be the company's second major diversification plan after the Ambani brothers last month cancelled their non-compete agreements.
Interestingly, Anil Ambani controlled Reliance ADA group may not bid for the Surguja project. This is because a bidder cannot have more than three UMPPs at a pre-commissioning stage. It can bid for the next one only after all the units of at least one of the three projects achieve commercial operation date 30 days prior to the submission of the fresh bid. Reliance Power has bagged three UMPPs at Sasan in Madhya Pradesh, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tilaya in Jharkhand. The Sasan project is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2012.
Food stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Tata Coffee and ITC. As per a leading business daily, Tata Tea plans to step up its presence in Pakistan and Bangladesh. It aims to capture at least 10% of the packaged tea market in both countries over the next two years. Towards this, the company is enhancing its distribution networks and increasing the points of sales. The company has a 7% market share in Pakistan and 5% in Bangladesh. It may be noted that South Asia accounts for about 33% of the company's global revenue. It has also formed a joint venture with Pepsico recently for producing non carbonated ready-to-drink beverages and expects to launch its first product by the end of this year.