The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with Hong Kong (up 1.1%), and Japan (up 0.7%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets indices have also opened the day on a positive note. Barring banking, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the healthcare and power space are leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 30 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 9 points (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.5% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.91 to the US dollar.
Power stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with JSW Energy and GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is preparing to bid for the upcoming ultra mega power project (UMPP) and has sought exemption from the investment ceiling on the state-run utility. The company has requested the Ministry of Power for an exemption from the investment ceiling of Rs 50 bn so that it can participate in the bids for the upcoming ultra mega power projects and some other projects being planned by state governments. It is important to note here that India has revived its plans for setting up UMPPs of 4,000 Megawatt each by inviting bids for two such projects in Orissa and Tamil Nadu in November. NTPC is bidding for both projects. NTPC, being a Maha Navratna company is allowed to take decisions on projects independent of the government for values up to Rs 50 bn. However, the UMPPs are expected to cost Rs 250 - 300 bn, which would require an equity investment of over Rs 75 bn from the developer. As such, it has requested for an exemption from the investment ceiling.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a firm note with JK Lakshmi Cement and Birla Corporation Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, UltraTech Cement Ltd's deal worth around Rs 38 bn with Jaypee Cement Corporation to acquire its facilities in Gujarat has been approved by Competition Commission of India (CCI) . As per CCI, the transaction does not raise unfair competition concerns. As per the deal, Ultratech will acquire Jaypee's cement unit in Gujarat comprising an integrated cement plant at Sewagram, limestone reserves, captive power plant and mining leases, among others. The deal has been pegged as one of the largest merger and acquisition deal in recent time. It has given Ultratech an entry into Gujarat and is likely to reduce lead time to customers.