Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in Japan (down 1.2%), China (down 1.1%) and Malaysia (down 1%) leading the losses in the region. The Indian share market indices have also opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the capital goods and realty space are leading the losses. However, IT and FMCG stocks are trading firm.
The Sensex today is down by around 101 points (0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 35 points (0.6%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the red with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices down by around 0.9% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.37 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp and Ashok Leyland leading the losses. After successfully building its marketing tie-up with Kawasaki in Philippines, India's second largest two wheeler maker Bajaj Auto is planning to replicate the model in other ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries and Brazil. Last week, the boards of both the companies approved the tie-up. By mid 2013, Bajaj plans to replicate the Philippines business model in Indonesia. As part of this model, Bajaj Auto develops and manufactures bikes in India and ships them to Kawasaki. The latter further fine tunes them to suit local regulations. The bikes are then sold in under the Kawasaki-Bajaj name.
This arrangement is a win-win for both the companies. It results in better production capacity utilisation for Bajaj, while also improving Kawasaki's distribution capacity utilisation. In the financial year 2011-12, Bajaj Auto exported 1.2 million motorcycles, contributing one-third of its total revenues.
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Reliance Industries, Cairn India, Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) and Petronet LNG leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, the overseas arm of oil explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), ONGC Videsh (OVL), has initiated talks with Cairn India for partnership in Sri Lanka. The latter has drilled successfully in Sri Lanka, marking the first hydrocarbons discovery in the island nation. OVL is yet to finalise the quantum of investment it wants to make in the partnership. It must be noted that in 2008, OVL had submitted a bid for the same block with Canada-based Niko Resources. However, it was outbid by Cairn India.