After ending in deep red yesterday, Asian stock markets have opened today's session on a positive note. Benchmark indices in China (up 1.2%), Hong Kong (up 1.0%) and Indonesia (up 0.5%) are leading the pack of gainers. Even, the Indian stock markets have opened the day on a good note. Stocks in the realty and healthcare space are the main gainers.
The BSE-Sensex is higher by around 148 points (0.8%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 52 points (0.9%). Midcap and small cap stocks are trading in the positive as well, with the BSE Midcap and the BSE Small cap indices up by about 0.9% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.69 to the US dollar.
Technology (IT) stocks have opened the day on an upbeat note with TCS, Mphasis and HCL Technologies trading in the green. However, stocks of Infosys and Wipro are currently witnessing selling pressure. The shadow of erstwhile promoter, Mr Ramalinga Raju, seem to cloud Mahindra Satyam even after all these days. The company, which is now a subsidiary of Tech Mahindra, may have to pay almost Rs 6.17 bn tax. These taxes are related to the years of the accounting fraud under the erstwhile promoter. The income tax department had slapped the tax liability on the company last year. It was related to the incomes in 2003-04 to 2008-09. The company had sought relief for the same from the High Court. The case eventually went on to the Supreme Court and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) was directed to recalculate the tax liability. However, CBDT has given only partial relief to the company. It appears for now that Mahindra Satyam would be forced to pay most of these taxes.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a positive note as well with Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland leading the gains. As reported in a leading daily, Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) is considering increasing its stake in Maruti Suzuki by 5%. If this goes through, SMCs stake will increase to 59% from the current 54%. The buyout plan is said to be already delayed by a couple of months. It is also reported that the purchase would be done in the open market through creeping acquisition route. This would not trigger any open offer. On the basis of its current price levels, a 5 per cent stake can be valued at US$ 400 m. However, the management of Maruti has declined having any direct knowledge of the subject. They have categorically stated that in case SMC wishes to increase its stake, then the matter would be brought forth in the next Board meeting. The next Board meeting is scheduled to be held on the 26th of July.