Opening bell 9 September

Opening bell 9 September

Mumbai: Overnight, it was the Ben and Barack show and the markets think one of them fluffed his lines. US President Barack Obama laid out a $447-billion jobs package that includes tax cuts and increased infrastructure spending. But the stock markets were unenthused as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave no indications of new stimulus measures to boost the slowing economy. Bernanke in a speech to economists echoed the points he made in Jackson Hole and said policy makers will discuss tools they could use to boost the economy. Read more...

Stock markets, which were expecting the Bernanke to spell out ‘booster-measures’, were disappointed leading to selling in financial services and industrial stocks. The S&P 500 at 1,185 is down 1.06%.

Asian stocks are swinging between gains and losses. Even though the jobs package is better than what most analysts were expecting, the missing Bernanke comments are weighing on investor sentiment. The Nikkei at 8,775 is down 0.20%.

Back home, the finance ministry has written to public sector banks asking them to expedite decision making process on loan disbursements. A la Anna Hazare, the ministry has also spelt out a definitive time frame for loan clearances.

A norm stipulating 20% local ownership elbowed out Bharti Airtel from bidding for a fourth generation spectrum license in Kenya. Airtel’s Kenya operations have 5% local ownership.

In another report, Bharti Airtel was awarded licenses to operate mobile services in Rwanda. The company has announced an investment of $100 million over the next three years.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India said that Reliance Industries had breached some terms of a production-sharing contract with the government. While the development did not have any impact on the stock (it was up 2.6% yesterday), any steps taken by the government to correct the situation will weigh on the shares.

Axis Bank’s proposal to buy Enam’s broking and investment banking business has hit another hurdle. According to reports, the Reserve Bank of India has told the Axis Bank that the proposed acquisition should be an all-cash deal. The deal, when announced, was structured as a stock transaction.

Expect negative momentum to continue in the shares of Sun TV Network. Tamil Nadu government has launched a cable distribution service named Arasu Cable TV Corp without Sun Network’s popular channels. While consumers are shifting to Sun Network’s DTH platform, the political rivalry is expected to take its toll on the company’s distribution network.

Finally, a man was feared to have been killed and eaten up by his own dogs after he left them unfed for days. The incident happened after the owner returned to his hometown in Manado from a two-week holiday. Read more...