The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note with stock markets in Japan (up 1.3%) and Taiwan (up 1.1%) leading the gains. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note as well. All sectoral indices have opened in the green with the stocks in the banking and realty space leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 214 points (1.8%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 69 points (1.1%). Mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.8% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 62.61 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL) and Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd's (ONGC) overseas arm ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) is eyeing a stake in US giant Chevron's US$4.3-bn 'Block B' gas project in Vietnam. As per the daily, Chevron has prepared a development plan to produce gas from the block. However it hasn't started work due to a dispute with Vietnam's national oil firm PetroVietnam about the price of gas. While Chevron wants gas price of between US$7 and US$10 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), Vietnam is not willing to pay more than US$6 per mmBtu. Chevron, that holds 42.38% in blocks B and 48/95 in Malay-Tho Chu Basin of Vietnam, has called for expression of interests from international firms willing to farm-in or buy stake. As per the daily, OVL is interested to buy a part or whole of the stake in the block. The block has 4 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of in place reserves, of which 63% can be recovered or produced. Also, it can produce up to 490 million cubic feet (mcf) of gas and 6,000 to 7,000 barrel of condensate per day. Other interested parties include Russia based Gazprom.
Indian Pharma stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd and Strides Arcolab Ltd leading the gains. However, Panacea Biotech Ltd and Torrent Pharma Ltd were facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, the leading drug maker Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd is likely to sell off Biovel - Bangalore based vaccine manufacturing company that it had acquired in 2010. In 2010, when Biovel was acquired by Ranbaxy, it was working on biotechnology products in segments such as cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, dermatology and gynaecology and also making typhoid and influenza vaccines. The acquisition was expected to mark the entry of Ranbaxy into vaccines as well as biopharmaceuticals. However, Ranbaxy has not rolled any product in the segment for the past two years. Infact, in the quarter ending September 2013, Ranbaxy has booked exceptional impairment loss of around Rs 485 m on account of Biovel. The management has blamed poor market conditions for the impairment loss.