Barring China (down 0.7%) and Indonesia (down 0.5%), the Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Japan (up 1.6%) , Taiwan (up 0.5%) and South Korea (up 0.6%) leading the gains. The Indian share market indices have also opened the day on a firm note. Barring FMCG and capital goods, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the realty and auto space leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 50 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 13 points (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.5% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.12 to the US dollar.
Software stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Moser Baer India and Wipro Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, UK telecom major British Telecom (BT) has exited Tech Mahindra Ltd. by selling its residual 9.1% stake in the company. BT has sold its stake for Rs 871 per share and has received around Rs 10.1 bn on sale of approximately 11.6 million shares. Tech Mahindra Ltd was a joint venture of BT with Mahindra & Mahindra group to develop software. Earlier in the month of August this year, BT had sold 14.1% in Tech Mahindra at Rs 777.7 per share, giving it gross cash proceeds of around Rs 14 bn. BT's contribution to Tech Mahindra's revenues had come down to 33% of revenues in the September 2012 quarter, from 37% a year ago. Tech Mahindra is planning to merge with Mahindra Satyam. As per the management, the combined entity's dependence on BT as a customer will come down to around 18% of revenues.
The stocks in the Food and tobacco sector have opened the day on a mixed note with Ruchi Soya Industries and VST Industries leading the gains. However, Wadala Commodities Ltd and ITC Ltd witnessed selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, ITC Ltd is planning to invest around Rs 30 bn in the state of West Bengal over a period of four years. The company's chairman Mr. Y C Deveshwar met the state's Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee regarding this investment proposal. The proposed investment will be in various sectors such as hotels and hospitality, consumer goods (including food), software as well as expansion of its existing businesses in the state. Regarding land availability for ITC - InfoTech, Mr. Deveshwar said that the matter is under consideration by the state government.