Barring Japan (down 0.2%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day on positive note with stock markets in Hong Kong (up 1.2%) and Malaysia (up 1.4%), leading the gains. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note. Barring software, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with the stocks in the FMCG and metal segments leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 39 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 15 points (0.2%). The mid cap and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index up by 0.5% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 63.23 to the US dollar.
Stocks in the chemical sector have opened mixed with Bayer Cropscience and UPL Ltd leading the gains while PI Industries and GHCL Ltd were facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Chemicals Ltd is aiming a topline of Rs 300 bn over the next 5 years, as compared to revenues worth Rs 160 bn as of now. As per the management, the company would also focus on FMCG and non-regulated agri sector products, apart from chemicals and agri inputs as major future growth drivers through both organic and inorganic route. The FMCG segment of the company is expected to grow to Rs 40 bn from about Rs 10 bn in the next four years. The company is also planning to extend the brand to the nutrition and wellness segment in the coming days. As per the management, the recent restructuring in the overseas business by closing one plant each in UK and Kenya has started yielding results.
Energy stocks have opened mixed with Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL) and Cairn India Ltd (CIL) leading the gains. However, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and MRPL Ltd were leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, the Oil Ministry has informed the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) that a consortium-led by BG Group, including its partners Reliance Industries Ltd and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) had caused a production loss of US$ 5.6 bn in western offshore Panna/Mukta and Tapti oil and gas fields by not completing committed work programme. The Oil Ministry has further written that it is trying to protect Government's interest and is moving to Supreme Court for filing curative petition. As per the sources, the consortium had initiated arbitration on the issue related to cost recovery limit prescribed in the Production Sharing Contract (PSC), calculation of royalty on gas production and government audit issues. As per the ministry, the total profit petroleum earned by the contractors from the PMT fields was US$ 11.05 bn of which BG Group and RIL got 30% each while ONGC got remaining 40%. The Government's share was US$ 1.3 bn, besides which it also earned US$ 590 m as royalty and US$ 472 m as cess from these fields. The Ministry has blamed the three partners of not completing the committed work programme, which has resulted in a production loss for the government. The loss is estimated at US$ 3.7 bn in Panna-Mukta and US$ 1.9 bn in the Tapti production-sharing contract. Besides, it is said that the contractors have also used the clause related to notional income tax in the PSC in a manner so as to earn undeserved benefits.