Most Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stock markets in Japan (up 1.2%), South Korea (up 1.2%) and Taiwan (up 1.2%) are leading with significant gains. However, the markets in China (down 0.4%) are trading in the red. The Indian stock markets have also opened the day on a strong note. Stocks in the IT, power and metal space are leading the gains.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 143 points (0.8%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 42 points (0.8%). The midcap and smallcap stocks are also in the positive with both the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices up by 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.99 to the US dollar.
Food and beverage stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Tata Coffee, Tata Global Beverages and ITC trading in the green. In a bid to become the country's leading fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, ITC is now planning to enter into the dairy and beverages business. The company plans to scale its FMCG business (excluding cigarettes) turnover from Rs 50 bn to Rs 150 bn. Regarding the dairy business, the company is currently conducting an experimental venture in Bihar. If the model succeeds, it will replicate the same in other parts of the country and also foray into the entire value chain from milk to processed foods. As far as the beverages business plan is concerned, the company plans to focus on tea, coffee and aerated drinks. In the coming five years, ITC also plans to take its various food and personal products in the global markets.
Public Sector stocks have opened the day on a firm note with SAIL and BHEL trading in the green. State-owned entities SAIL, BHEL and RINL (Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited) are exploring a joint venture wherein they plan to build an integrated manufacturing unit for electrical and silicon grade steel. Few other value-added products will also be produced which cater to the heavy electrical equipment and infrastructure sector. The proposed project will be in collaboration with the technology owner. As per a leading daily, the three companies have formed a joint technical committee and have had several rounds of informal discussion with owners of well-guarded technology. It is expected that the initial production capacity of two grades of silicon steel - CRGO and CRNO - will be about 1.5 lakh tonnes per annum (ltpa) and 2-3 ltpa, respectively. The initial investment for the same is estimated to be about Rs 30 bn.