Indian equity markets started the day on a flat note but quickly turned negative thereafter. Benchmark indices ended lower weighed down by Banking, FMCG and Oil and Gas shares. Investors booked profits at higher levels after sharp gains yesterday following the Iran deal. Lack of cues from global peers also pushed the investors on sidelines. Auto and Capital Goods stocks were the only leading pack of gainers. While the BSE Sensex closed lower by 180 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 56 points. BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap closed on a negative note.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed in the red. European indices have also opened in the red. The rupee was trading at Rs 62.4 to the dollar at the time of writing.
The Government of India could fast track imports from Iran next month and start transferring billions of dollars it owes for oil as early as next week, following a deal between Tehran and six world powers to curb the Iran's nuclear programme. India is Iran's second-largest buyer and owes Tehran about US $5.3 bn for oil shipments, according to government and refining sources. Payments by Indian refiners to Iran could resume through Turkey's state-run Halkbank, a route used until February. The deal, struck on Sunday, also suspends sanctions provisions on insurance, which had left refiners that processed Iranian oil without cover and resulted in India's imports falling to below even the level permitted by sanctions.
Bharti Airtel is planning to raise US $1 bn by selling bonds to European investors to shore up its coffers before the much-awaited spectrum auction in January. The bond issue will be the third such for the company, together raising a total of around US $3-4 bn. The funds raised could also be used to buy smaller operators post the new merger and acquisition policy, expected to be approved by the cabinet this month. Bharti Airtel has given the mandate to five banks-JPMorgan, Barclays, UBS Investment Bank, Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas-as joint book runners and lead managers for the bond issue. The January auction is crucial for Bharti as the company will see its licences in the lucrative Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles expire in November next year.