Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed with stock markets in Indonesia (up 2.6%), Taiwan (up 1.5%) and Hong Kong (up 0.9%) leading the pack of gainers. However, markets in China (down 1.3%), Japan (down 0.8%) and South Korea (down 0.3%) are trading weak. The Indian share market indices have opened the day with marginal gains. Stocks in the realty and power space are leading the gains. However, auto and consumer durable stocks are trading weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 13 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 7 point (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.3% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 59.66 to the US dollar.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Bharti Airtel and ITI Ltd leading the losses. However, Reliance Communications and Idea Cellular are trading firm. As per a leading daily, Telecom Minister Mr Kapil Sibal is supposed to have approved a penalty of Rs 6.5 bn on India's leading telecom services provider Bharti Airtel for violating roaming norms in 13 service areas between 2003 and 2005. As per the allegations of an internal committee of Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the telecom player had continued to route national and international calls as local calls under a scheme till 2005. This was despite it being told to seize the practice in 2003 through specific notifications by the DoT. By violating norms, Bharti had passed payment of licence fee and spectrum charges to the government exchequer. In addition, the payment of ADC (Access Deficit Charge) was also passed on to state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).
Power stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Reliance Infrastructure, Jaiprakash Power and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the disagreements between India's largest power producer NTPC and coal mining giant Coal India Ltd (CIL) over quality and payment terms have been resolved. A year after the deal was first offered, NTPC has agreed to sign the fuel supply agreements with CIL. The fuel pact has been approved by the board of NTPC. This has now set the stage for other power producers to ink similar agreements with the coal miner. It is worthwhile to note that several other power producers were awaiting the resolution of the issues between NTPC and CIL because given its size the state-run power producer has a stronger bargaining power than other firms.