Barring Japan (down 0.2%), the other major Asian stock markets have opened the day in the green with stock markets in Indonesia(up 0.8%) and Singapore (up 0.6%) leading the gains. The Indian stock market indices have opened the day on a firm note as well. All sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the oil and gas and consumer durables sector leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 75 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 23 points (0.4%). The midcap and smallcap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index up by around 0.2% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 61.84 to the US dollar.
Telecom stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with AGC Networks Ltd and Tata Teleservices Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) of India has asked the telecom department (DoT) to slap a penalty of Rs 7.3 bn on Bharti Airtel for using third generation airwaves in the circles where it had not bought any. A unit of CAG has said that the company must pay Rs 5.2 bn penalty as a proportionate amount of the auction price for the airwaves in the circles of Kerala, Maharashtra, UP (East), Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana. It further said that the company should pay an extra sum of around Rs 2 bn as spectrum usage fee for the period it has used the spectrum and earned revenues in the seven service areas. The spectrum usage charge is a cascading fee paid by telecom operators annually and varies between 3-8% depending upon the amount of spectrum used. The CAG had earlier chided DoT the telecom department for not revoking the telecom permits of the operator in those seven circles.
Mining stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Hindustan Zinc Ltd and MOIL Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Coal India Ltd has signed 17 fuel pacts for supply of coal for capacity of 15,440 megawatt (MW). The company is likely to sell around 493 million tonnes (mt) of coal this financial year. It is important to note here that CIL has around 150 fuel supply agreements pending. The management has said that the company is currently running a shortfall of about 5 mt production and around 3.5 mt in the coal offtake. He further said that CIL should be able to achieve the 482 mt of production and 492 mt of off take by making up for the shortfall in the second half of the current fiscal year.