Opening Bell 18 November | Little respite for global markets

Opening Bell 18 November | Little respite for global markets

Mumbai: There is unlikely to be any let up in the selling of stocks. Overnight, stock markets in the US fell on concerns that Europe’s debt crisis will worsen and lawmakers will fail to agree on plans to cut the American deficit. The S&P 500 at 1,216 is down 1.68% on selling in shares of commodities and technology companies.

The negative sentiment, though, has one positive consequence for India. Brent crude fell below $110 to $107.67 a barrel on speculation that debt crisis in Europe is spreading to more countries.

Back home, things are finally moving on FDI in retail. The finance ministry has okayed the draft cabinet note on opening multi-brand retail to foreign investment. The move will help Wal-Mart and Tesco enter India’s multi-brand retail segment.

The crisis in the power sector is getting worse. The power distribution companies of Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Assam, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi are defaulting on payments to the public sector electricity utilities. These utilities are now threatening to pull the plug.

Expect action to continue in airline stocks. The government is reportedly considering a proposal to allow foreign airlines acquire stakes in the Indian carriers.

To shore up performance and save on running costs Shipping Corp. of India is planning to sell up to 13 ageing vessels for breaking by March. The company which runs a fleet of 82 ships is disposing uneconomical assets as new ships enter service at a rapid pace.

Lupin made a second acquisition in the Japanese market. The company agreed to buy Tokyo-based I’rom Pharmaceutical Co, which produces injection-based medicines and had reported sales of around 354 crore the last financial year.

Expect action to continue in Everonn Education stock. According to reports, private equity firms Carlyle Group and New York Life Capital Partners are in talks to buy a stake in the company.

Idea Cellular continues to face regulatory headwinds. An arm of the telecom department has reportedly recommended cancellation of six over-lapping mobile licenses held by Idea Cellular.

Finally, the number of children considered poor are rising at a rapid pace in the US. According to a census survey, the number of poor children rose by 1 million in 2010. Now, an estimated 21.6% of the children were poor in 2010, compared to 20% in 2009.