The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in Hong Kong(down 0.4%) , South Korea (down 0.7%) and Taiwan(down 0.6%) leading the losses in the region. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a flat note. Stocks in the pharma and capital goods are leading the gains. However, stocks in the energy and consumer durables sector were facing selling pressure.
The Sensex today is up by around 20 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 5 points (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks have opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.4% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.13 to the US dollar.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Tayo Rolls and Tata Steel leading the losses. However, Adhunik Metaliks and Maharashtra Seamless Ltd have opened in green. As per a leading financial daily, the Odisha government has imposed a penalty of over Rs 500 bn on the leading steel and iron ore companies for alleged illegal and excess mining activities. These companies include the likes of Tata Steel, Essel Mining (an unlisted Aditya Birla company), Sarada Mines , MidEast (Mesco Steel) and firms belonging to KJS Ahluwalia, MC Rungta and the state's own Orissa Mining Corporation. Tata Steel which is setting up a greenfield plant at Kalinganagar has been asked to pay around Rs 90 bn, an amount little short of its investment in the project so far. The company has planned investments worth Rs 490 bn in the state. It is important to note here that Odisha produces one third of country's iron ore. The proposed one time recovery exceeds the amount that the Central Government expects to make from auction of the spectrum and the disinvestment target for the current fiscal year. The state has decided to ban all private non-captive mining. The Union mines ministry has expressed its disagreement with the state government's move.
FMCG stocks have opened mainly in green with Paper Products and Archies Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, leading FMCG major Dabur India is planning to acquire the Kolkata-based GD Pharmaceuticals-controlled Boroline's Eleen and Dey's Medical-owned Keo Karpin. The move is in line with its strategy to acquire niche regional brands to boost its presence in the domestic personal care market, especially the hair care and health care segment in eastern and southern parts of India. As per the management, the company could spend upto Rs 5 bn on domestic acquisitions, with minimum size of the acquisition pegged at Rs 500 m. However, valuation is an important parameter for the company. Dabur is eyeing companies that are value based on the sales multiples instead of operating profits. The company also has plans to boost its presence in the over-the-counter (OTC) category, either organically or through acquisitions.