Barring China (down 0.6%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day in the green with stock markets in Japan (up 1.0%) and Indonesia (up 1.0%) leading the gains. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note as well. All sectoral indices have opened in the green with the stocks in the capital goods and banking space leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 103 points (0.5%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 32 points (0.5%). Mid cap stocks and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.7% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.9 to the US dollar.
Telecom stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Bharti Airtel Ltd and AGC Networks Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the leading telecom service provider Bharti Airtel is likely to exit from Sri Lankan mobile market by selling its business to Etisalat. Etisalat is currently the third largest player with nearly five million subscribers. The discussions between both the entities have advanced to final stages. It is important to note here that Bharti Airtel had launched its operations in Sri Lanka in 2009. The company has less than two million users in the country. Despite investing over US$300 m to roll out services in Sri Lanka, the company is making losses. In Sri Lanka, Airtel operates across 25 administrative districts with distribution network of over 41,400 retailers. Airtel also offers 3.5G services which are present across major towns in Sri Lanka. The company does not share specific revenue details from Sri Lanka.
Banking stocks have opened on a firm note with Axis Bank and City Union Bank leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has restricted foreign institutional investors (FIIs) from buying additional shares in HDFC Bank, as their shareholding has exceeded the limit. The RBI in a release has stated that the stakes held by overseas investors, including FIIs, non-resident Indians (NRIs), persons of Indian origin (PIOs), foreign direct investment and global depository receipts, in HDFC Bank have crossed the upper limit of 49 % of its paid-up capital. As such, no more purchases of the bank's shares will be allowed through the stock exchanges on behalf of overseas investors