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Indian Markets Open Strong
Wed, 23 Dec 09:30 am

Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on positive note, with stock markets in Hong Kong (up 1.1%) and Singapore ( up 0.5%). Major stock indices in Europe and US ended their previous session in green. The rupee is trading at 66.29 per US dollar.

Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. BSE Sensex is trading higher by 188 points (up 0.7%) and NSE Nifty is trading higher by 60 points (down 0.8%). Both BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap have surged upwards and are trading higher by 0.7% each. Major sectoral indices have opened in green with stocks from pharmaceutical and metal sector witnessing maximum buying interest.

As per an article in leading financial daily, Tata Steel is in talks with Greybull Capital Llp to sell its European long products business. Long products are steel products which are used in the construction sector. Further a letter of intent has also been signed with this regards. Reportedly, as per an industry executive the deal is supposedly pegged at around US$ 500 million and the buyer will not take on any debt. However, there is no confirmation on the same from the company. The decision comes at a time when steel industry is facing a tough time in Europe. European markets are flooded with cheap imports from China, proving to be a big hassle for the domestic players. The company has written down most of the value of its UK assets as an impairment loss. The deal, if struck will come as a sign of relief to the company as it is intending to sell its long products business since the calendar year of 2014.

Tata Steel is trading up by 2.6%.

As per an article in leading financial daily, governments recent scheme to rescue the power distribution companies could possibly shoot up the fiscal deficits of certain state governments. Under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY), state government will take over 50% of the debt of power distribution companies in this year and 25% in the next year. In addition to this, interest paid on loans taken up will also be counted while calculating fiscal deficit. Reportedly, fiscal deficit will double to 6% for states like Haryana, Jharkhand, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. Further, Rajasthan state government fiscal deficit could possibly triple from the current 3% to 9%. However the burden will be relatively lower on states like Kerela, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat which will only see a marginal increase in fiscal deficit.

The state government has been reluctant to increase power tariffs on fears of loss of vote bank. This essentially has led to the poor financials of the distribution companies. Once such loans start reflecting in the state government's balance sheet, they will be induced to reduce their fiscal deficit by taking on a hike in the tariffs. The entire scheme will falter if the state government does not engage in tariff hikes. To add to this, power generation companies have been impacted due to poor demand for power from the distribution companies. Poor finances of the distribution companies have made them reluctant to buy power from the power generators. A hike in tariff will help the distribution companies to improve their finances, thus enabling them to buy power from the generators. Going forward, tariff hikes will be the key thing to watch out for to revive the power sector as a whole.

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