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Indian markets inch higher
Tue, 31 Dec 11:30 am

After opening flat, the Indian Indices are trading above the dotted line in the morning session. All sectoral indices except banking are trading in the green. The buying interest is the highest in energy and pharma stocks.

The BSE-Sensex is trading up 45 points and the NSE-Nifty is trading up 15 points. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up 0.6% and the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.5%. The rupee is trading at 61.86 to the US dollar.

Software stocks are trading mixed today. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and HCL Technologies are leading the gainers; while Infosys and Tech Mahindra are leading the losers. As per a leading news daily, India's fourth largest software firm HCL Technologies is the front-runner to bag a large IT contract in the UK. The deal, which is in the range of 80-100 m pounds, is from a public sector financial firm Student Loan Company (SLC). HCL Tech had bid for this project jointly with one of its old technology partners; Misys which is a UK based banking software company. As per the deal Misys would provide core banking solution (CBS) to SLC while HCL Tech would handle the System Integration and all IT related activities. This project will give HCL Tech a much needed opportunity to gain expertise in core banking IT services. Unlike Infosys (Finacle) and TCS (BaNCS), HCL Tech does not have a core banking platform of its own. HCL Tech is trading up 0.2% today.

Telecom stocks are trading mixed today. Tata Teleservices and Tata Communications are among the stocks leading the gainers; while Idea Cellular and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) are among the losers. According to leading financial daily, Reliance Jio the only holder of a pan-India BWA license, has hit out at GSM players Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Uninor over the issue of spectrum usage charges (SUC). The GSM operators had written to the government demanding a flat SUC of 3% before the 2G auctions as recommended by the regulator TRAI. Reliance Jio has countered with a strongly worded letter sent to the telecom commission as well as the telecom minister. It has stated that any retrospective change in the SUC made before the auction would be illegal. It has also accused the GSM players of arm-twisting the government to gain undue benefits and windfall gains at the cost of the exchequer. Reliance Jio pays a SUC of only 1% as it holds only the 2300 MHZ BWA (4G) spectrum. All other operators pay a SUC between 3-8% depending on the amount of spectrum that they hold. If the SUC is changed, this particular cost for Reliance Jio would triple. The telecom commission is to meet today to decide whether to adopt the flat SUC structure or not.

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