Barring Japan (down 0.1%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with Hong Kong (up 1.8%) and Indonesia (up 1.4%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets indices have opened the day on a firm note. All sectoral indices have opened in the green with the stocks in the software and power sector leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 123 points (0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 36 points (0.6%). Mid and small cap stocks have opened in the green as well with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.5% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 59.99 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Gujarat Gas and Petronet LNG Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has confirmed that its US$ 5 bn acquisition of a stake in Kazakhstan's biggest oilfield has been blocked. It is important to note here that ONGC's subsidiary ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) was hoping to buy ConcoPhilips' 8.4% stake in the Kashagan oilfield. This could have been its largest acquisition ever. However, Kazakhstan has exercised its pre-emption rights to block the deal. As per Kazakh law, the government has the right to buy any oil asset for sale in the country at the price agreed on by buyer and seller. Now, Kazakhstan's national oil company KazMunaiGaz will buy ConcoPhilips' stake for about US$ 5 bn. This stake will then be sold to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for a reported US$ 5.3-5.4 bn.
Indian Pharma stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Orchid Chemicals and Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd has withdrawn from the race to buy Swedish firm Meda Pharmaceuticals for up to US$6 bn. Sun Pharma that has a cash balance of US$1.3 bn as on March this year (including its subsidiary Taro Pharmaceutical Industries' cash), was in talks with banks to raise funds for the acquisition in June 2013. As per the bankers, the decision to withdraw has been taken in the wake of sharp depreciation in the rupee and a patent settlement worth US$ 550 m in the US. Besides, the bankers stated that the negative reaction of the market to Apollo Tyres' US acquisition has also made the company wary.