All major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Japan (up 0.7%) Malaysia (0.4%) and Indonesia (up 0.4%) leading the gains. The Indian share market indices have also opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the oil and gas and power space are leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 69 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 26 points (0.4%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.6% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.94 to the US dollar.
PSU Bank stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Bank of India, United Bank of India and Canara Bank leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the Indian government has cleared a capital infusion of about Rs 30,040 m into leading public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) before the end of the current financial year 2012-13 (FY13). The mode of infusion is yet to be finalised. As per managing director and chief financial officer Diwakar Gupta, the capital may be infused through preferential allotment of equity shares, rights issue or through qualified institutional placement (QIP) or a combination of these modes. The same is to be approved by the bank's board of directors. If the infusion is done through preferential allotment by the bank to the government, then the latter's shareholding will increase from 61.58% to 62.4% of the total equity capital. It must be recalled that the government had infused Rs 79,000 m in SBI in March 2012 to increase its tier-I capital. This had led to an increase in the government shareholding in SBI from 59.4% to 61.58%.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) leading the gains. In a bid to prop up dwindling export sales, India's leading passenger vehicle manufacturer Maruti Suzuki is considering to set up its first overseas assembly plant in Africa. Maruti has been scouting for new export markets and Africa's untapped market seems attractive. While Europe struggles through its slump, countries that are on the verge of motorisation could play a significant role in Maruti's plan to double its export sales over the next four years. Moreover, setting up local assembly units is likely to result in tax advantages and cost efficiencies for the company. It is worth noting that while Europe accounted for about 70% of Maruti's exports three years ago, the contribution has now plunged down to about 30% on account of the sovereign debt crisis in the region.