The Sensex today is down by around 70 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 21 points (0.4%). However, both Mid and small cap stocks have opened in green with BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.49 to the US dollar.
Power stocks have mainly opened the day on a strong note with JSW Energy and National Hydel Power Corporation (NHPC) leading the pack of gainers. However, Reliance Infra and Jaiprakash Power witnessed losses. The Government has approved restructuring of Rs 1,900 bn debt of state electricity boards (SEBs) to turnaround the almost bankrupt power distribution firms. As per the scheme approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), 50% of the short-term outstanding liabilities of power companies would be taken over by state governments. The remaining 50% would be would be restructured by providing moratorium on principle and best possible terms for repayments. The package also offers incentives to SEBs to reduce their transmission and distribution (T&D) losses. If implemented, it will immediately reduce interest costs which make up over a third of distribution companies' losses. The recent tariff hikes by distribution companies along with lower interest expenses and cut down in T&D losses is likely to improve the financial standing of SEBs.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with TVS Motors and Force Motors leading the pack of gainers while Bajaj Auto Ltd and Escorts witnessed losses. As per a leading financial daily, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) will be investing Rs 15 bn on a new platform to be developed jointly with its Korean SUV maker SsangYong. The joint venture will be taken up over the next three years. The company has plans to launch Rexton, a high-end SUV from SsangYong by Diwali. As per the management, Rexton will be in a premium segment than its SUV XUV 500. The company is expecting to develop three products with Ssangyong. As per the management, the investment of Rs 15 bn planned over three years is only for one product, and there will be more investments for other products. The management has also suggested that the price hikes for vehicles cannot be ruled out as costs of inputs are going up.