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Opening Bell 31 Dec | US fiscal cliff looms

With US budget negotiations failing, Asian markets were trading mixed
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First Published: Mon, Dec 31 2012. 08 14 AM IST
A file photo of BSE building in Mumbai. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
A file photo of BSE building in Mumbai. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Mumbai: Protests continue in India following the death of the 23-old women who was brutally gang raped and thrown out of a moving bus in Delhi, a fortnight ago. People across the country continued to agitate for greater protection of women against sexual violence.
Asian markets were trading on a mixed note on Monday morning over concerns of the looming fiscal cliff in the US. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.1, China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.8% while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.7%.
In the US, last-ditch efforts in Congress to reach an agreement over the budget, failed a day before the 1 January deadline for a deal, leaving financial markets facing the prospect of unstable beginning for the New Year, reports Financial Times. On Friday, the S&P 500 Index, Nasdaq Composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined almost 1% each.
In India, banking shares may see some action after RBI extended the date for implementation of Basel III norms by three months to April 1, 2013. Extension of the deadline will provide additional time to the banks to enhance their capital base.
RBI is likely to release the final guidelines for new bank licenses in January to allow entry of new private banks. In the draft guidelines, RBI had stressed on the eligibility of promoters, past business track record, and impeccable corporate governance standards of the firm as a prerequisite to apply for banking licence.
Sriram Transport Finance may see some action following an Economic Times report that the Piramal Group is in advanced talks to buy US private equity firm TPG Capital’s 20.27% stake in Sriram for around Rs 3,500 crore. TPG is selling the entire holding in a block sale to Piramal Healthcare at Rs 536 per share.
Reliance Communication is seeking lower base price for CDMA auction after it lost 11.2% of its customers, indicating weakening demand for the technology, reports Economic Times. CDMA platform of RCom and Tata Teleservices has lost over 36 million subscribers over the past one and half year as users have switched to the more popular GSM technology.
Power woes continues as more than half of the coal-based power units have been running on less than seven hours of fuel supply, reports Business Standard. These power stations account for 51% India’s coal based power capacity.
Lastly, some hotels, clubs and business houses have dropped or toned down New Year’s eve party plans, as the death of the Delhi gang-rape victim cast a shadow on revelry, reports Economic Times.
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First Published: Mon, Dec 31 2012. 08 14 AM IST
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