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Sensex Opens on a Cautious Note; FMCG & IT Stocks Top Losers
Fri, 7 Jul 09:30 am

Asian equity markets are lower today as Chinese and Hong Kong shares fall. The Shanghai Composite is off 0.26% while the Hang Seng is down 0.41%. The Nikkei 225 is trading down by 0.14%. The Wall Street ended lower on Thursday after disappointing labor market data clashed with the possibility of a more hawkish Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, share markets in India have opened the day on a flattish note. The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 32 points while the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 9 points. The BSE Mid Cap Index and BSE Small Cap index both opened the day up by 0.2%.

Sectoral indices have opened the day on a mixed note with power stocks and healthcare stocks leading the gains. While, FMCG stocks and information technology stocks are trading in red. The rupee is trading at 64.78 to the US$.

Telecom stocks opened the day on a mixed note with Bharti Infratel and AGC Networks leading the losses. As per an article in The Economic Times, the Tata Group and Bharti Enterprises have held exploratory talks to evaluate a mega alliance involving their telecom, overseas cable and enterprise services, and direct-to-home TV businesses.

Apparently, Bharti Airtel is mulling a merger with unlisted Tata Teleservices and Tata Sky and the listed Tata Communications.

Reportedly, if the alliance does fructify, it will consolidate the Indian telecom market still further, and narrow the field down to three main players: Idea-Vodafone, Reliance Jio, and the Airtel-Tata combine.

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The merger will enable Bharti Airtel, the bigger partner in the alliance, to close the gap between Idea-Vodafone both in terms of numbers of subscribers as well as revenue market share.

For the Tatas, the merger will provide an opportunity to fold their loss-making telecom business into a bigger company and become minority investors.

In addition, the merger will form a stronger enterprise player with a large optic-fibre network. The Tata-Bharti combine would also become a dominant leader in the DTH space.

Bharti Airtel share price began trading up by 0.8% on the BSE.

Moving on to the news from the IPO space. As per an article in a leading financial daily, the insurance regulator has approved SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd's application for an initial public offering (IPO) seeking to raise as much as Rs 70 billion.

SBI Life will be the second insurer after ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd to sell shares to the public in India. Last year, ICICI Prudential sold shares worth Rs 60.57 billion through an IPO and became the first insurance company to get listed. At the time of listing, ICICI Prudential was valued at Rs 480 billion.

SBI Life is a joint venture between State Bank of India (SBI) and BNP Paribas Cardif. SBI holds 70.1% and BNP Paribas Cardiff 26%. Private equity firm KKR and Singapore-government owned investment company Temasek hold 1.95% each in the life insurer.

SBI is likely to dilute around 8% and BNP Paribas Cardif, along with the others, the reports noted.

The insurance sector in India is set to grow leaps and bounds, with FDI caps being liberalised and FIPB approvals for foreign investment also done away with. It is only a matter of time that this sector will witness a flurry of M&A activities which will require the regulator to act swiftly and proactively as far as matters such as approval are concerned, the reports noted.

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Jan 16, 2018 01:27 PM