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Indian markets lose steam
Wed, 20 Nov 11:30 am

After opening on a weak note Indian markets extended its losses in the last two hours of trading session. Realty and power indices have seen some buying interest; while Banks and capital goods indices are facing the maximum selling pressure.

BSE-Sensex is trading down by 98 points and NSE-Nifty is trading down by 28 points. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.48% and BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.53%. The Rupee is trading at 62.5 to the US Dollar.

Private sector banking stocks are trading mixed today. Karur Vysya Bank and Federal Bank are leading the gainers. ICICI Bank and Indusind Bank are leading the losers. ICICI Bank's Dubai branch has successfully raised US$750 m in a 5.5-year overseas bond sale at a coupon of 4.8%. The bond sale is a part of ICICI's US$ 5 bn medium-term note programme. These bonds were offered at an issue price of 99.6. The issue attracted 4.5 times the offer or US$3.5 bn worth of orders. The bonds now will be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. There were large number of participants from US and Europe who subscribed to 66% of the issue. The issue from ICICI indicates that corporates are again moving abroad for raising funds as there is a less possibility of domestic interest rates coming down any time soon. ICICI is trading 1.9% down today.

Telecom stocks are trading mixed today. Tata Communications and Reliance Communications are among the stocks leading the gainers while Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular are among the stocks leading the losers. According to a leading business daily, Bharti Airtel is considering the option of selling its tower business in Africa. This would be done with a view to raise much needed cash to reduce the debt on its balance sheet. Bharti Airtel's debt which stood at US$ 9.69 bn in 2QFY14 is largely due to its US$ 10.7 bn acquisition of Zain Telecom's Africa business in 2010. Its Debt/Equity ratio stood at 1.33 at end of FY13. Bharti had earlier also considered the option of transferring the African tower business to its Indian tower arm Bharti Infratel. Bharti has an extensive tower network in Africa of about 15000 towers and is looking for a buyer for the entire business. It has already received expression of interest from a few large global tower operators. Bharti Airtel is trading down 1% today.

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