After opening on a positive note, Indian stock market indices shed all their gains during the previous two hours of trade and are now trading in the red. All sectoral indices are out of favour, except for realty and consumer durable stocks.
PSU banking stocks are trading strong led by Union Bank and Punjab & Sind Bank. According to a leading financial daily, the government of India may soon allow the PSU banks to source funds from the equity markets. This is being done with the aim of funding their expansion plans. However, the minimum stake of the government will have to be maintained at 51%. Presently, the government holds 58% stake in 6 of these banks and less than 58% in three. This paves the way for the Follow-on-offer (FPO) of State Bank of India. It must be noted that this state run bank requires Rs 200 bn for its expansion plans.
IT stocks are trading weak. Patni Computers and Mphasis are the biggest gainers, while Infosys and Financial Technologies are the biggest losers. According to a leading financial daily, Infosys is the frontrunner to acquire the health care business of Thomson Reuters. The deal is estimated to be worth approximately US$ 700 m. The health care unit is a provider of data, analytics and performance benchmarking solutions and services to companies, government agencies and health care professionals. This acquisition is a part of Infosys' strategy to diversify beyond banking services. The IT company had earlier maintained that healthcare is one of the key focus areas going forward. This is because health care, as a part of revenue contribution, was just about 1.1% at the end of the quarter ended June 2011. This is far less compared to Wipro which had 11% and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) which had 6% contribution from healthcare.