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Software stocks weigh on markets
Mon, 5 Sep 01:30 pm

The Indian stock market continued to tread in the red over the last two hours of trade due to selling pressure in heavyweights. Stocks from the software, oil & gas and power are trading weak while those from the consumer durables and auto space are finding investor favour.

The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 209 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 57 points below Friday's closing. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading flat while the BSE Small Cap index is down by 0.2%. The rupee is trading at 45.92 to the US dollar.

Energy stocks have been trading mixed as well with Gujarat State Petronet, Essar Oil and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) leading the pack of gainers. However, Cairn India, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Reliance Industries are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, Gas Authority Of India Ltd. (GAIL) India's wholly owned subsidiary GAIL Gas and Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) will pursue city gas distribution opportunities in the state. In this regard, a Joint Venture Company (JVC), Kerala GAIL Gas, will be incorporated. The initial authorized share capital will be Rs 1 bn with 26% equity share held by GAIL Gas and 24% by KSIDC. The remaining 50% equity has been reserved for strategic partners, financial institutions (Indian or international) and non-government companies.

The JVC will be taking care of city's gas distribution (CGD) activities by participating in the bidding process of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). There are 14 Geographical Areas (GAS) in Kerala. It is also planning to set up CNG stations at bus depots of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). In addition, GAIL (India) is developing the Natural Gas Infrastructure in Kerala in view of the impending availability of Natural Gas in the state. It is laying the Kochi-Koottanad-Bangalore-Mangalore Pipeline which is passing through the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. GAIL aims to complete the first phase of pipeline, 50 km. in length, by August 2012. This is to synchronise with the completion of PLL Terminal at Kochi. In the second phase, 720 km. of pipeline will be laid which will be completed by March 2013. The stock of the company is trading in the green.

Power stocks have been trading mixed with Power Grid Corporation, Tata Power and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) leading the pack of losers. However, Reliance Infrastructure and Gujarat Industries Power are trading firm. As per a leading financial daily, Reliance Infrastructure's distribution arms in Delhi have committed to settle the electricity bills of NTPC by today in response to a power cut threat. The bills are worth Rs 9 bn. NTPC had served a notice on BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, which cater to 67% of the Delhi's population, and had threatened a power supply turn off by Wednesday. It is important to note here that Power distribution in Delhi was privatised in July 2002 and handed over to three companies, out of which Tata Group's North Delhi Power Ltd. has paid its dues. NTPC signed Power Purchase Agreements with the distribution companies after the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission's order on April 1, 2007.

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