The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with the markets in Japan (down 1.9%) and Singapore (down 1.1%) leading the losses. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a flat note. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with stocks in the energy and capital goods sector leading the losses. However, auto and realty sector indices were trading firm.
Steel stocks have opened the day mainly on mixed note with Tata Steel and Bhushan Steel Ltd leading the gains. However, Tata Sponge Ltd and Tayo Rolls Ltd were facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Steel Ltd is in talks with the Swiss investment firm Klesch Group to sell a part of its European assets, including mills in northern England and Scotland. The division employees about 6,500 people in Britain and Europe. The decision has been taken in wake of weak prices and poor market sentiments. As per the management, the company will now deploy its resources mainly on strip products activities, where it has greater cross-European production and technological synergies. The management has declined to give a value for the potential sale or to reveal losses by the division.
Telecom stocks have opened the day mainly in the red with ADC India Communications Ltd and AGC Networks Ltd leading the pack of losers. However, Reliance Communications Ltd and Idea Cellular were trading in the green. As per a leading financial daily, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has suggested a 10% hike in the base price for spectrum in the 1800 megahertz (MHz) band across the country. TRAI has based its valuation on the price discovered in the last auction of airwaves in February. It has recommended that the minimum price for 1MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band be set at Rs 21.4 bn. For spectrum in the more efficient 900MHz band, the regulator has set a base price of Rs 30 bn per MHz in the 18 circles where the airwaves will be auctioned. It has further said that that the government should allow telecom operators that offer services based on the more popular GSM technology standard to use the 800MHz band. The latter is currently reserved for operators using the rival CDMA standard. The government, which has so far raised Rs.1.8 trillion through four spectrum auctions, expects to start the next auction in the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands from 3 February 2015.