The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened below the breakeven mark but soon moved into the positive territory. Other key Asian markets are in the red with Japan (down 1.3%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets ended lower by 0.7% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with FMCG majors attracting investors' interest. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 30 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 5 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.3% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.6 to the US dollar.
Hotel stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include EIH and Taj GVK. As per a leading business daily, Reliance Industries (RIL) and the Oberoi family will increase their shareholding in East India Hotels (EIH) by buying the unsubscribed portion of a Rs 13 bn rights issue. The rights issue was cleared by EIH board. It may be noted that the Oberois hold 32%, down from 46.43% in August, after RIL bought 14.8% stake in EIH. RIL will make an open offer after the rights issue, as its stake will go beyond the 15% threshold set by SEBI. RIL and the Oberois will eventually have an equal stake in EIH. Apparently, EIH is planning to float two new companies. One will operate the hotel chain. It will be controlled by EIH. The other will hold the hotel chain's assets and be controlled by RIL. RIL's presence provides EIH the financial strength to expand its footprint abroad, especially in the US and UK.
Engineering stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include Crompton Greaves and Voltamp Transformers. As per a leading business daily, L&T has entered into an agreement with South Africa-based Befula Investments for a joint venture to develop power transmission and distribution projects (T&D) in the African nation. L&T will have a 72.5% stake in the venture. It will help L&T exploit the business potential for T&D projects in Africa. In fact, the South African government is likely to invest US$ 10-12 billion in the next five years in augmenting T&D network in the next five years. The country has a current peak demand shortage of 3,000 mega watts and this is expected to grow by 6% every year.