Indian stock markets started off today's session on a positive note. But soon things took a turn for the worse. The overhang, of RBI's policy hike yesterday could have also been a reason for the same. Profit booking in index heavyweights forced the indices deep into negative territory towards the close of the session. The BSE-Sensex closed lower by 0.6% (down 115 points), with the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 30 points. The BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices had a worse outing. They closed lower by 0.8% and 0.9% respectively.
Asian indices closed in the negative whereas Europe is currently trading mixed. The rupee was trading at near about Rs 44.88 per dollar at the time of writing.
Leading infrastructure financier, IDFC recently signed an agreement with Africa Finance Corp (AFC) in order to help Indian companies enter Africa. This will be in order to expand infrastructure, logistics, mining, power and telecom, in the country. AFC provides project structuring advice and risk capital to address the dark continent's infrastructure development needs in power, oil and gas, heavy industry, transport, etc.
Bharti Airtel recently jumped on the African bandwagon with its acquisition of the African assets of the telecom company Zain in a US$ 10.7 bn acquisition. India's state-run oil firms are also beginning to invest in Africa. Coal and diamond firms have invested across the continent. IDFC's management believes that in the coming decade Africa will attract a lot of attention from global investors, especially for its growth, natural resources and its untapped potential.
ONGC plans to spend around US$ 39 bn over the next 5 years (starting April 2012) in order to raise its output. This investment, when finalized will be a 40% increase from the company's spending programme in the previous 5 year period. ONGC holds the largest and most prospective acreage in India, including blocks in Krishna Godavari (KG) basin. The company accounted for 65% of India's crude oil and 44% of its natural gas output in the year ended March 31 2011. However, its output has been stagnant, as its oil fields are aging and it has not been able to bring any new fields into production. In order to fund its expansion, the company mainly plans to use internal accruals, as it is a debt free company.