Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Taiwan (up 1.3%), South Korea (up 1.2%), Hong Kong (1.1%) and Japan (up 1%) leading the gains. The Indian stock markets have also opened on a firm note. Stocks in the metal and realty space are the major gainers.
The BSE-Sensex is up by around 193 points (1.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 59 points (1.1%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the positive zone as well, with the BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap indices up by about 0.9% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 49.92 to the US dollar.
PSU Bank stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Andhra Bank, Dena Bank and Punjab National Bank (PNB) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, public sector lender PNB is planning to undertake capital infusion of about Rs 23.6 bn. Of the total amount, about Rs 10.75 bn will come from Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). The balance Rs 12.85 bn will be funded by the government. This move will help the bank maintain its financial health and allow flexibility of its operations. The Chairman and Managing Director of the bank, Mr K R Kamath has denied any negative impact of the telecom scam to the bank. During the nine month period ended December 2011, PNB reported revenues and net profits of Rs 6191.2 bn and Rs 34.6 bn respectively.
Mining stocks have opened the day on a positive note with Coal India and Sesa Goa leading the gains. A London-based hedge fund called The Children's Investment Fund (TCI) has threatened to take legal action against individual directors of public sector mining company Coal India for failing in their fiduciary duties to safeguard the interests of minority shareholders. It must be noted that the activist hedge fund is the second largest shareholder in Coal India. TCI has reported abuse of minority shareholders and poor corporate governance as the main issues concerning Coal India. It will take the legal course "if no clear commitments are made public in the immediate future to provide parity of coal prices to import prices and rectifying the other breaches of fiduciary duties which we have outlined." TCI's reaction has come after Coal India recently withdrew its decision of hiking coal prices on instructions from the government. While the Union government holds about 90% stake in Coal India, TCI holds 1.1%.