The Indian markets have started on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark on the back of strong Asian cues and have managed to stay in the positive territory since then. Asia is currently trading in the green with China (up 1.9%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed marginally higher yesterday.
Currently, in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading in the green with metal and auto stocks leading the pack of gainers. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by 27 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by 14 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small-cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.7% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.75 to the US dollar.
Media stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Jagran Prakashan and ETC Networks. As per a leading business daily, Zee Entertainment plans to merge its subsidiary ETC Networks with itself. It also plans to subsequently demerge the education business into a separate entity. It may be noted that ETC Networks owns two channels-ETC Hindi and ETC Channel Punjabi as well as Zee Interactive Learning Systems. The company’s board of directors has given an in-principle approval for the same. It may be noted the company had recently announced the acquisition of the regional-entertainment channels of Zee News. Apparently, Zee Entertainment is bringing all the entertainment properties of the group under one company. However, in our view, the company tends to undertake frequent restructuring exercises, which makes the task of assessing shareholders’ wealth difficult. It creates unnecessary confusion in the mind of investors. The company will be well served by a little less chopping and changing.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Escorts and M&M. As per a leading business daily, Bajaj Auto today is l ooking at sales of 1 m units per year from the Pulsar brand in FY11 with the launch of its new variant Pulsar 135 LS. It may be noted that the company currently sells about 50,000 Pulsars per month. It expects the new variant to add 35,000 units per month. Pulsar 135 LS comes under the sports bike category which has witnessed a surge in interest. Domestic companies as well as international giants like Suzuki and Yamaha are ramping up their presence in the segment due to surprisingly robust sales. In our view, this once again reflects the coming of age of the Indian auto industry driven by strong domestic demand and increasing confidence in their own technical and marketing ability.