The Indian markets have started today's session on a negative note. The benchmark indices opened at the breakeven mark but soon plunged into the negative territory. Moreover, they have not managed to cut their losses since then. Other key Asian markets are in the red with Japan (down 1.9%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed lower by 1% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading weak with metal and construction majors bearing the brunt of selling activity. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 159 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 52 points. However, buying interest is being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.81 to the US dollar.
Power stocks have opened the day on a negative note. Losers here include NHPC and Tata Power. As per a leading business daily, Tata Power will raise Rs 14 bn from private equity fund Olympus Capital. The company will sell 14% to 15% stake in its two special purpose vehicles - Bhira Investments and Bhivpuri Investments. They own 30% in KPC and Arutmin, which own the Bumi Resources coal mines in Indonesia. Olympus Capital will be issues shares with differential rights. These funds will help reduce the debt taken by Tata Power to assure supply for the Mundra ultra mega power project (UMPP). It has a current debt of Rs 31 bn, which it raised to buy stake in the mines in June 2007 for Rs 57 bn. Tata Power's Mundra UMPP requires 11 to 12 m tonnes per annum (mtpa) of imported coal. It has an off take agreement with KPC and Arutmin for about 10.1 mtpa. The company is looking for additional mines in Australia, Mozambique and South Africa to bridge the gap.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Indraprastha Gas and HPCL. As per a leading business daily, Indraprastha Gas has been approved by the oil ministry to build and operate CNG stations and a piped natural gas network in Ghaziabad. In 2009, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) had invited bids for city gas business in seven cities in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Chandigarh. It included Ghaziabad. However, Indraprastha Gas claimed that it had an earlier authorization from the PNGRB for CNG operations in Ghaziabad. Hence, it challenged PNGRB's move to invite bids in the Delhi High Court. Subsequently, the High Court ruled against the board.