Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stock markets in Japan (up 0.8%), Hong Kong (up 0.7%), South Korea (up 0.6%) and Singapore (up 0.4%) are leading the gains. The Indian stock market have opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the realty and power space are leading the gains.
is trading up by 34 points (0.6%) and the NSE-Nifty
is down by around 5 points (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks have opened on a firm note as well, with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at 51.50 to the US dollar.
Bank stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Bank of Baroda and ICICI Bank leading the losses while Axis Bank is in the green. India's 3rd largest private sector bank, Axis Bank, is planning to increase its retail loan portfolio in smaller cities. Axis Bank aims to increase its retail lending portfolio from 21% to 30% in the next 3 years. Retail loans for ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank account for 40% to 50% respectively. For Axis Bank, loans to large and medium sized companies are 55% of total loan book portfolio. This percentage is expected to come down from current levels over next 3 years.
Steel Stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and Tata Steel in the green. SAIL and Posco of South Korea are moving towards a joint venture (JV) for the planned 3 million tonne (mt) Bokaro steel plant. This will incur a cost of Rs 170 bn. SAIL Chairman and Posco's India head were under discussions with the Steel Secretary for sorting out any issues relating to shareholding and iron ore supplies. The steel secretary said that the meeting was only for courtesy sake. He added that the investment would be to the tune of $4 bn to $5 bn. SAIL has refused to divulge any further information but has hinted that they are very close to the final understanding.