Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in China (up 0.3%), and South Korea (up 0.2%) trading firm. However, markets in Hong Kong (down 0.8%), Japan (down 0.5%) and Indonesia (down 0.4%) are facing selling pressure. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the metal, consumer durables and banking space are leading the losses.
The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by 78 points (0.5%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 22 points (0.5%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the red as well, with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by 0.5% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 53.38 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Tata Motors, Exide Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Maruti Suzuki leading the losses. In a bid to fortify its position in the two-wheeler market, TVS Motors is planning to launch automatic transmission scooters and motorcycles in the second half of 2013. The company claims that these vehicles will have engine capacity of 110 cc and a fully automatic gearshift. In addition to these features, these vehicles will have 20% better fuel efficiency with significant reduction in carbon emission. The company's engineers have been working on this new technology for 6-7 years. Along with the new models, TVS Motors will also introduce the new technologies on current two-wheeler models. Though the company has not reveal the price at which these new models will be launched, it is expected to be higher given that the new engines will provide better efficiency and convenience.
Telecom stocks have opened the day in the red with Reliance Communications and Idea Cellular trading in the red. A leading international daily reported that two US-based private equity firms are in advanced talks with Reliance Communications to buy a majority stake in its tower business. It further said that the people familiar with the matter said that this deal can potentially raise billions of dollars for the company. The two private equities firm identified are Carlyle Group LP and Blackstone Group LP. It is expected that the final deal may be reached by March 2012. This is subject to the agreements on the valuation exercise of the tower unit. Reliance Communication holds 95% in the tower unit Reliance Infratel Ltd. The remaining is held by George Soros' Galleon Group. Both the private equity firms have declined to comment on the queries.