Most Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stock markets in Hong Kong (down 0.8%) Indonesia (down 0.8%), Japan (down 0.9%) and South Korea (down 1.1%) are leading the losses. However, the markets in China (up 0.4%) are trading in the green. The Indian stock market have opened the day in the green. Stocks in the energy, capital goods and healthcare space are trading firm.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 114 points (0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 29 points (0.5%). The midcap and smallcap stocks are also trading in the positive with both the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices up by 0.3% and 0.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.11 to the US dollar.
Bank stocks have opened the day on mixed note with ICICI Bank and Yes Bank trading in the red. However, HDFC Bank, Federal Bank and IndusInd Bank are trading firm. ICICI Bank is planning a major expansion drive in which it will add about 2,500 new branches over the next four years. At present, the private sector lender has 2,533 branches and 6,301 ATMs in the country. With the expansion, the total number of branches will be over 4,000 by 2015. The move will not only help the bank expand its presence but also help in growing business. This is because branches are important for acquiring customers and also for generating fee based income by selling third party products. During the financial year 2010-11, the bank acquired Bank of Rajasthan which added to its branch network and also helped it gain a greater exposure to northern and western India.
Auto stocks have opened the day a weak note with Hero Honda, Maruti Suzuki, Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors facing selling pressure. However, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Bajaj Auto are trading firm. Tata Motors has launched its small car Nano in the Nepal. The introductory price for the same has been set at 7.98 lakh Nepalese rupee (approximately Rs 5 lakh). All the three variants of Nano will be offered for sales across the Himalayan country through the company's authorized distributor Sipradi Trading and those authorized by it. In the first phase, the company will keep bookings open for 10 days. Tata Motors has had a presence in Nepal for 36 years and it is currently the third largest passenger vehicle marketer in the country.