The major Asian stock markets have opened on a mixed note with stock markets in Hong Kong (down 0.3%) and South Korea (down 0.5%) leading the losses. However, the stock markets in Malaysia (up 0.4%) and Indonesia (up 0.9%) were leading the gains.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and ITI Ltd leading the gains. However, AGC Networks Ltd and Tata Teleservices Ltd were facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, the telecom department is considering auctioning a band of spectrum used typically in third-generation services in FY15. The move is likely to offer relief to operators such as Vodafone India and Bharti Airtel that have been facing a lack of frequencies to expand high-speed mobile Internet services. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) could sell 3G airwaves in the 2100 MHz band in 2014-15 along with the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands it has already decided to auction. Further, DoT is considering selling spectrum in the 2,300 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands used for fourth generation services. But auction of 800 MHz band that companies use for offering CDMA-based services may take time. This is because DoT had opposed the sector regulator's recommendations on keeping the base price for 800 MHz spectrum high. It is likely to ask the regulator to reconsider the proposal.
Energy stocks have opened the day mainly in the red with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd leading the losses. However, Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL) and Petronet LNG Ltd were leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Cairn India Ltd (CIL) has signed up Halliburton Company, a US multinational, for a Rs 12 bn contract to drill 100 wells at the Rajasthan onland block RJ-ON-90/1 over the next 18 months. The company expects Halliburton to begin drilling in a month or two. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) is Cairn India's 30 % joint venture partner in the Rajasthan block and both plan to drill 300 wells over the next three years, and 1,000 wells in five years. Cairn India had won approval to drill exploration wells in the block last year after long delays. It now plans to increase production from current level of 200,000 barrels a day to 500,000 barrels a day in five years.