The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Singapore (up 1.6%) and Indonesia (up 1.8%) leading the gains. However, the stock markets in China (down .3%) and Malaysia (down 1.6%) were leading the losses. The Indian equity market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Barring healthcare, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the banking and capital goods leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 289 points (1.5%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 89 points (1.5%). Midcap and small cap stocks have opened in the green as well with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.7% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 62.6 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, state run ONGC and Royal Dutch Shell intend to exercise their pre-emption rights to buy a 35 % stake in a Brazilian oil block which Petrobras was planning to sell China's Sinochem Group. Petrobras had agreed to sell the block to Sinochem Group for US$ 1.54 bn last year. The block has been in production since 2009 and has produced more than 70 million barrels of oil equivalent so far. As per Shell, the second phase development of the block is likely to start by the end of the current year. Post the second phase development, the peak production from the block is expected to be around 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. ONGC currently has a 15% stake in the block. Theoretically, it entitles ONGC to a further 8% stake from the 35% stake that Petrobras is planning to sell to Sinochem. Shell is the operator in the block with 50% share. While there has been no confirmation yet, as per the daily, ONGC plans to buy between 10% to 15% share in the block (higher than its entitlement) while Shell is likely to buy between 20%-25% from Petrobras. This will be the first case of an Indian oil exploration and production company exercising its pre-emption rights to block the sale of an oil block to Chinese firm.
Power stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Satluj Jal Vidyut Ltd and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Ltd leading the gains.. As per a leading financial daily, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) has drawn up an annual capital expenditure plan of Rs 200 bn for the next five years. The company plans to expand further in the transmission business. As per the management, the company has already placed orders for projects worth Rs 800 bn. Also, its capital expenditure work for projects worth around Rs 400 bn is already in progress. The company is currently working on the National Transmission Asset Management Centre (NTAMC), in which it plans to operate 192 substations from a remote location. It has already started operations in 25 substations under the system. As per the management, the company's future projects would be to set up 1,200 kilo volt lines. The company is already conducting tests on the platform in the National Test Station at Bina, Madhya Pradesh with participation of Indian manufacturers. Its first 1,200 kv lines is from Wardha to Aurangabad and is expected to start in 2015-16 or 2016-17.