The Indian markets have started today’s session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark and have stayed in the positive territory. Other key Asian markets are in the red with Japan (down 0.7%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets ended lower by 0.2% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with power majors attracting investors’ interest. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 20 points, while the NSE-Nifty is trading up by around 7 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 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.94 to the US dollar.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include Tata Sponge and SAIL. As per a leading business daily, Tata Steel, through a 100% indirect subsidiary Tata Steel UK Holdings, has signed a loan agreement with a syndicate of 13 banks for a term loan and revolving credit facility adding up to more than £ 3.5 bn (Rs 248 bn). It will replace the current term loan and revolving credit entered into at the time of the acquisition of Corus in 2007. The term loan is in two parts. £ 1.8 bn (Rs 128 bn) with a tenor of five years and £ 1 bn (Rs 71 bn) with a tenor of seven years. The revolving credit facility for working capital has been increased to £ 690 m (Rs 49 bn) and will have a tenor of five years. The new agreement will provide more breathing space for Tata Steel. Its repayment obligations for the next five years have been minimized. There is flexibility to incur higher capital expenditure in Europe and to raise working capital depending on business needs. They also carry lighter financial covenant obligations.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a weak note. Losers here include Indian Oil and BPCL. As per a leading business daily, Reliance Industries has offered to buy the land of its fuel retailers who wish to exit its dealership. Over 75 dealers in Gujarat have already written to the company asking for an exit. Dealers in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Kerala are likely to join them. One reason is that they are making losses in the retailing venture. This is because the government continues to regulate diesel prices, leading to operating losses on the retailing front. Another reason for the exit is the appreciation in real estate prices.