The Indian markets continued to trade weak during the previous two hours of trade. Currently stocks from the auto, IT and healthcare spaces are the few gainers, while stocks from the capital goods, realty and metals spaces are amongst the top underperformers at the moment. The market sentiments are negative at the moment as the decline to advance ratio is poised at 1.6 to 1 on the overall BSE.
Currently, the BSE-Sensex is trading down by around 170 points (down 0.9%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 65 points (down 1.1%). Stocks from the mid and smallcap spaces are also under pressure with the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices trading lower by 0.6% and 0.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.67 to the US dollar.
IT stocks are trading mixed with Tech Mahindra and Wipro trading firm and CMC Limited and HCL Infosys trading weak. As per Nasscom, India's top software giants are looking at an increase in hiring. TCS, Infosys and Wipro are set to hire over 90,000 professionals this year up 450% from those hired last year. In fact, in September, the staff strength grew by 50%, the strong growth seen in the IT sector since the recession. These new recruits, apart from serving new projects will also build up bench strength for future business. With the increase in hiring a familiar problem for IT firms is also back. Retention of employees is also becoming a problem and some companies are also hiring as a preventive measure for attrition.
As per reports in a leading business daily, IOC is planning to acquire up to 49% stake in its proposed joint venture (JV) with Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL). This is in contrast to the 26% holding announced earlier by the company. The proposed venture will own the 7th and 8th unit of a Rajasthan based nuclear power plant of 700 MW each. Earlier, IOC had stated that it would invest Rs 9.6 bn for a 26% stake in the JV for the purpose of setting up a 1,400 MW nuclear power project with NPCIL. Thus, an increase in stake to 49% in the JV would mean an increase in investment of roughly 88% over IOC's earlier plans, or an additional Rs 8.5 bn outflow for the company. The total outlay for the project is slated to be Rs 120 bn, with a debt to equity ratio of 7:3. It may be noted that the project, which is to be completed in five years, is the first joint venture nuclear power plant to be set up in India.