The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. While the benchmark indices opened at the breakeven mark, they soon moved into the positive territory and have managed to hold on to their gains since then. Other key Asian markets are in the green with South Korea (up 0.6%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed higher by 0.1% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with metal and FMCG majors finding investors' favour. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 55 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 16 points. Buying interest is being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.18 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Escorts and TVS Motor. As per a leading business daily, Tata Motors is set to raise up to Rs 25 bn in long term funds in order to reduce debt on its balance sheet. The company's board will meet on Monday to take a decision on the issue. The company is likely to pass an enabling resolution to mop up about Rs 25 bn through global depository receipts (GDRs), foreign currency convertible bonds or share sale to qualified institutional buyers. The company would be seeking to pay off a large portion of its debt of Rs 188 bn. Of this, it has to repay around Rs 80 bn this year itself. Last October, the company had raised US$ 750 m by selling GDRs and convertible notes to repay debt taken to buy Jaguar-Land Rover. It had taken a US$ 3 bn bridge loan to finance the acquisition and meet its working capital requirement.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Petronet LNG and ONGC. As per a leading business daily, ONGC is exploring the option of exiting three joint venture domestic producing fields. This is because the public sector oil & gas producer is unable to bear the royalty burden of its partners. These fields are in Rajasthan's Barmer district, Cambay basin in Gujarat offshore and a block in Puducherry offshore. In these fields ONGC pays for the joint venture partners' share of the statutory levies under a commitment from the government that these will be reimbursed. However, no reimbursement has come forth rendering these fields unviable for the company. The origin of this royalty burden goes back to 1991 when private firms were exempted from paying statutory levies to attract private investment in oil & gas exploration.