The BSE-Sensex is trading up by 44 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 8 points above Friday's closing. The BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices are down by 0.9% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.24 to the US dollar.
Telecom stocks have been trading mixed with ADC India, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) leading the pack of gainers. However, Mahanagar Telephon Nigam (MTNL) and Himachal Futuristic Communication are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, the Telecom Ministry may ask Bharti Airtel to give a minimum of 20% dividend to Telecom Consultants of India (TCIL) which holds 30 % in Bharti Hexacom. The latter offers mobile services in six north-eastern states (excluding Assam) and Rajasthan and has a little over 15 million customers. The government owns 30 % in Bharti Hexacom through Telecom Consultants of India (TCIL). The Telecom ministry believes that Hexacom being a debt free company, its shareholders should be awarded with a nominal dividend. Meanwhile, the Government has dropped its plan to sell its 30% stake in Bharti Hexacom. As per the management, though TCIL board has been looking to exit since quite sometime, it has decided to remain invested on account of strong performance of Hexacom, along with the chances of better valuations as 3G technologies are introduced.
Engineering stocks have been trading mixed as well with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), Alfa Laval and KSB Pumps leading the pack of the gainers. However, Punj Lloyd and Suzlon Energy are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is planning to develop one port in Gujarat and another in Orissa. These will be apart from the second phase expansion of Dhamra Port in Orissa, which is a joint venture with Tata Steel. While the company officials have finalized on a site in Gujarat, the location in Orissa is yet to be finalized. It is expected to be done in the second quarter of 2012-13. The company officials have declined to comment on the size of the ports and the investments required. The company has shown great interest in ports and shipping sectors in the recent past. It sees huge opportunities in this space as both east and west coasts face substantial increase in overall traffic and lack of handling capacities. The stock of the company is trading in the green.