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Indian stock markets breathe a sigh of relief
Fri, 24 Jun 09:30 am

Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note. Benchmark indices in China (up 1.6%), Hong Kong (up 1.5%) and Korea (up 1.2%) are trading in the positive territory. However, markets in Taiwan (down 0.6%) are trading below the dotted line. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note as well. Stocks in the IT and banking sectors are leading the gains.

The BSE-Sensex is higher by around 184 points (1.0%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 47 points (0.9%). 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 0.7% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.95 to the US dollar.

Telecom stocks have opened the day on a positive note with Reliance Communications and Idea Cellular leading the gains. Leading telecom operator Bharti Airtel has completed its acquisition of Zain by paying the final installment of US$ 700 m for the same. Bharti had acquired the African operations of Zain last year. The total value of the deal was set at US$ 10.7 bn of which Bharti had paid US$ 7.9 bn immediately and another US$ 400 m later. The remaining US$ 700 was to be paid by the company after a year. The acquisition made Bharti the fifth largest mobile operator in the world (in terms of subscribers). Bharti intends to replicate its popular 'minute-factory' model in Africa. For the year ended March 2011, the African operations reported revenues of Rs 131 bn and a loss of Rs 4.8 bn. The company has allocated a capex of US$ 1-1.2 bn for the current fiscal.

Engineering stocks have opened the day on a strong note as well with Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML), Elecon Engineering and Cummins India leading the gains. Through a consortium, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) are planning to invest about Rs 20 bn in the Fab city project near Hyderabad. The public sector majors will set up a solar photovoltaic modules production unit. The proposed project has been allotted 90 acres of land in Fab city by Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC). The state of Andhra Pradesh had bagged the 1,040 acre Fab city project in 2006. According to the original plan, the project was planned to set up a semiconductor manufacturing hub. But the project failed to take off. As a result, the state decided to position it as a solar investment hub.

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