Continuing with the trend witnessed for most of the session, indices in the equity market of India closed marginally above breakeven today. Thus, while Sensex edged higher by around 30 points, gains on the NSE-Nifty came in at around 12 points. Both BSE Mid Cap as well as BSE Small Cap indices also closed virtually flat. Nearly three stocks gained for every two that closed the day in the negative on the Sensex.
While most Asian indices closed positive today, Europe too is trading in the positive currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 52.9 to the dollar at the time of writing.
The run up the markets witnessed over the last few weeks or so seems to be finally entering into a consolidation phase. Perhaps the investors seem to be waiting for the results season to come to its peak before taking the plunge. All this should not deter the long term investor though. He should continue looking for good quality stocks trading at attractive valuations as the long term growth story for India remains well and truly intact.
Tata Motors, India's largest commercial vehicles manufacturer closed higher by 1% today. The gains seemed to be on the back of aggressive stance adopted by the management in the passenger vehicles space. As per reports, the company is scheduled to launch 6 new products in the next one year. These launches will be a mix of brand new products as well as refreshes. The company also appointed a new Managing Director recently in order to give a leg up to its performance in the passenger vehicles space, a segment where it is fast losing ground. The new MD is of the view that he sees Tata Motors as a strong number two player in the market and that's what his vision would be for the short to medium term. Given the kind of competition the sector is going through, it will be interesting to see whether the company does succeed in its vision.
In a further blow to telecom majors like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, the Telecom Commission today recommended that the existing telecom operators should surrender the entire spectrum in 900 MHz band at the time of their licence renewal in 2014. The existing operators will be allowed to bid in the auction of 900 MHz band (technically termed as refarming), which is likely to take place in the first half of 2013. If they are successful, they can retain the spectrum.
However, if the incumbents fail to win the spectrum, they will be given 18 months to move to 1800 MHz for which an equivalent amount of spectrum will be made available for them in the new band. The licences of existing players for metro circles are coming up for renewal in November 2014. For the other circles, the renewal is due in 2015 and 2016. The base price for 900 Mhz band spectrum is proposed to be charged at double the price of 1800 Mhz spectrum band. The government had allocated spectrum in 900 Mhz band to companies from 2001 at Rs 16.5 bn for pan India services. As per estimates of telecom companies, the refarming process may result in call rates going up by as much as 64 paise a minute. This will impact minutes of usage (MoU) and profitability.