The Indian markets moved higher above the dotted line during the post noon trading session. Buying activity is being witnessed in stocks across the board barring those from the consumer, banking and auto spaces. Stocks from the consumer durables and metal sectors are leading the pack of gainers.
The Sensex today is trading higher by about 40 points (up 0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is trading higher by about 10 points (up 0.1%). Stocks from the midcap and smallcap spaces are trading firm with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by about 0.8% and 0.9% respectively. The rupee is trading at 55.66 to the US dollar.
FMCG stocks are currently trading firm with GSK Consumer, United Spirits and Britannia leading the pack of gains. As per a leading financial daily, parent company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced an open offer to buy shares in the listed Indian subsidiary GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (GSKCH). According to the offer, GSK wants to acquire 13.4 m shares at a price of Rs 3,900 per share. Post the offer, parent GSK's stake in GSKCH is set to rise from 43.2% to 75%. The current SEBI regulations require a minimum public shareholding of 25% for a company to maintain a public listing. The offer period is likely to commence in January 2013. GSK has said that this buy-out represents a further step in the company's strategy to invest in the world's fastest growing markets. The stock of GSKCH is up by 20% today.
Auto stocks are currently trading firm with Ashok Leyland, TVS Motor and Tata Motors leading the pack of gainers. A leading business daily has reported that auto maker Mahindra and Mahindra is competing with an Italian buyout firm named Investindustrial for a stake in British luxury sports car maker Aston Martin. The Economic Times has reported that M&M has emerged as a frontrunner to become a strategic investor. It may however be noted that the same was not an official statement from the company. Aston Martin is currently owned by a Kuwait-based finance firm Investment Dar. Investment Dar acquired this company from Ford Motors for US$ 767 m in 2007. As reported, it is believed that M&M may pick up a 40% stake initially at a cost of US$ 190 to 320 m, and could raise it by another 10% over the next four years. M&M's stock is trading lower by about 2%.