After opening weak, the Indian Indices have slipped well below the dotted line during the morning session. Apart from IT stocks, all sectoral indices are witnessing the selling pressure.
The BSE-Sensex is trading down 460 points. The NSE-Nifty is trading down 130 points. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading down 2.6% and the BSE Small Cap index is trading down 3.2%. The rupee is trading at 63.46 to the US dollar.
Most telecom stocks are trading lower today. Reliance Communications and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) are leading the losers. India's largest telecom firm Bharti Airtel has taken yet another step in completely offloading its tower portfolio in Africa. The company has signed an agreement with leading mobile infrastructure firm IHS Holdings to sell 1,100 telecom towers in Africa under a renewable contract. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals. The towers being sold are in the countries of Zambia and Rwanda. The proposed contract is for ten year duration. Bharti Airtel will receive about Rs 20 bn which the company will use to pare down its debt. Bharti Airtel was trading down 1.6% at the time of writing.
Most auto stocks are trading on a negative note today. Ashok Leyland and Force Motors leading the list of losers. As per a leading financial daily, excise duty concessions to the automobile sector may not continue beyond December 31, 2014. It may be noted that the erstwhile UPA government had cut excise duty by up to 6% in a bid to revive demand in the interim budget in February this year. The subsequent NDA government had extended the sops, which were to expire on June 30, until December 31. Reportedly, in light of fiscal deficit considerations, the government is unlikely to extend these sops beyond the end of 2014.