Barring Malaysia (down 0.3%) and Indonesia (down 0.2%), Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Taiwan (up 2.5%) China (up 0.7%) and Hong Kong (up 0.3%) leading the gains. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the telecom, IT and oil and gas space are leading the gains. However, FMCG and healthcare stocks are trading weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 23 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 4 points (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.22 to the US dollar.
Power stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Tata Power trading in the red. However, Adani Power and Reliance Power are trading firm. As per a leading financial daily, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved 9.5% stake sale in public sector power producer NTPC. Through this stake sale, the government is aiming to raise about Rs 130 bn. It must be noted that the move is part of the government's plan to raise about Rs 300 bn through disinvestments during the financial year 2012-13 (FY13). Currently, the government's stake in the company stands at 84.5% of the total equity capital. After the disinvestment of 783 m shares, the government's shareholding in the company would come down to 75%. The initial public offering (IPO) of NTPC was launched in 2004. The government had further divested 5% stake in February 2010 to raise Rs 84.8 bn.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Idea Cellular leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, telecom players have reported a rise in the number of subscribers using GSM mobile services by 238,000 in October 2012. It must be noted that in August and September 2012 Bharti Airtel had lost about 2.8 m subscribers. On the other hand, Vodafone and Idea Cellular had lost 2.1 m subscribers each during the same period. However, during the month of October 2012, while Bharti added close to 0.5 m subscribers, Vodafone and Idea Cellular gained about 4.8 lakh and 2.4 lakh subscribers respectively. It is worth noting that Bharti, Vodafone and Idea together account for about 67% of the sector's total revenues. Since last year, the growth in India's mobile phone user base has slowed down. During their peak growth period of 2009-10, telecom players gained about 20 m subscribers a month. But since mid-2011, the numbers came down to 5-6 m a month.