Opening bell 16 June

Opening bell 16 June

Mumbai: It is almost a given that the central bank will increase policy rates by 25 basis points today. More than the rate hike, the markets will keenly watch the RBI’s assessment of the economy and its view on future rate hikes. Here’s a list of other things to watch out before trading starts.

Cues from the international markets are not encouraging. Stock markets across the world slumped on renewed concerns about the European debt crisis. US stocks fell by more than 1.5% on speculation that Greece will default on debt obligations. The S&P 500 is down 1.74%.

The Greek contagion caught up with Asian markets as well. Japan’s Nikkei fell more than 1% to 9,477 levels in opening deals.

The overnight rout also sent crude prices lower. Brent crude fell more than $5 to $114 a barrel on speculation that demand for petroleum products will falter.

Back home, the advance tax numbers are nothing to cheer about. The advance tax numbers for the top 100 companies in the Mumbai region went up by around 14%. According to reports, the growth rate is nearly half the level recorded in the previous quarter and lower than the 25% rise in the year-ago period.

The surface transport ministry has set a higher target for highway tender awards in the current financial year. The ministry has identified an additional 20 national highway projects of 2,071 km. This is over and above the 7,300 km it was planning to award this year. The additional projects are estimated to require investments worth 16,000 crore.

The ministry of corporate affairs is set to crack down on 12 listed companies for providing wrong information in annual reports. The ministry asked the regional directors to verify the role of professionals such as chartered accountants and company secretaries in clearing such crucial documents.

The union minister for chemicals and fertilizers MK Alagiri is opposing freeing up urea prices from government control saying that it would raise prices. Read more...

ONGC is reportedly in talks to sell a 30% stake in its Krishna-Godavari DWN 98/2 block. According to reports the company is in talks with BG Exploration and Production, India, and Italian exploration and production major, ENI. Cairn India already owns 10% interest in the block.

GVK Power and Infrastructure has signed an intital agreement to purchase two of Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd’s (HPPL) thermal coal mines in Australia for around 10,730 crore. The acquisition will help GVK group secure fuel supplies for its power plants.

The company is planning to raise $1.2 billion as debt to part-fund its acquisition of Hancock mines in Australia. The company has reportedly roped in ICICI Bank for syndicating the loan.

HDFC is aiming to post an average of 20% annual growth in new lending in coming years. According to its management, low penetration of mortgages and increasing affordability levels are expected to fuel growth in home loans.

Mundra Port expects to import 40% more coal in the current financial year. With the commissioning of new power plants in the Mundra Port area, it is expecting to handle more than 20 million tonnes of coal imports this fiscal. Last year it handled 14 million tonnes of coal imports.

Power Grid Corporation of India will provide consultancy services to the Sri Lankan government for setting up an undersea power transmission line between the two countries. The project is estimated to cost 2,500-3,000 crore.

Finally, two neighbours in Malaysia have a signed a peace deal or ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ to keep each other in check. The two neighbours started fighting three years ago when one of the men complained to the police about his neighbour’s noisy dogs. The bickering went on for three years and when both the men decided to end the feud recently, they signed a peace deal. Read more...