All Asian equity markets have opened the day on a negative note with market indices in South Korea (down 0.8%), Taiwan(down 0.6%) and China(down 0.5% ) leading the losses in the region. The Indian equity market indices have also opened the day in red. Sectoral indices are trading mixed with consumer durables and FMCG sectors witnessing maximum gains while those in the metal and IT sectors are trading weak.
The Sensex today is down by around 40 points (0.2%) and the NSE-Nifty is up by around 3 points (0.1%). However, both Mid cap as well as the Small Cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.1% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.51 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have been trading mixed with Maharashtra Scooters and Bajaj Holdings and Investment Ltd leading the gains while Bajaj Auto Ltd and Maruti Suzuki are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, Bajaj Auto Ltd., the country's largest exporter of motorcycles and three-wheelers has slashed prices by 10%-15% to revive demand in Sri Lanka to compensate for a recent import duty hike in the country. Earlier in April, the company had increased prices of motorcycles and three-wheelers by 29% and 32%, respectively after the local government in April increased import duty to contain its rising fiscal deficit. This resulted in a weakening of the demand there thus dragging down company's overall exports. The burden of the price cut will be shared by Bajaj and its dealers. Prior to the price hike, Sri Lanka accounted for 17-18% of company's total exports. Overall, exports accounted for 36% of Bajaj's production in fiscal 2012 (FY2012).
Stocks in the Power sector are trading in red. Among the stocks leading the losses are Tata Power and Reliance Power. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Power Ltd.'s 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Kutch district has come under scanner of the Ombudsman for International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. The association of local fishing community has raised complaint regarding adverse social and environmental impact on account of the project. The project is being built by Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL); a fully owned company of Tata Power at an estimated investment of US$ 4.14 bn.IFC has invested US$ 450 m in the project. Following the complaint, the Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman's (CAO) compliance appraisals have been initiated and the appraisal report is expected by end of July. The process is meant to assess if an audit of IFC's handling of its investment in the Tata Power's UMPP at Mundra in Kutch is warranted. As per Tata Power, the issues raised by association of fishing community are not specific to Mundra UMPP and relate to certain generic issues concerning the coastline of Gujarat.