Opening Bell 3 October

Opening Bell 3 October

Mumbai: Happy Monday. It seems the finance minister and home minister had a ‘working difference’ on the controversial 2G note. Thankfully, with the Congress chief Sonia Gandhi interfering, these ‘differences’ did not escalate. And a more positive interference might do-good for the economy and the stock markets.

With Europe in turmoil and the US slowing down, incremental improvement in policy action will give a fillip to the equity markets.

Cues from global markets are not encouraging. Stock markets in Asia fell after data showed that consumer spending in the US slowed in August. The Nikkei at 8,530 is down 1.95%.

US stocks, on the hand, witnessed another bout of selling on Friday. Worried about the impact of slowing global economy on corporate earnings, investors sold shares of technology and raw material producing companies. The S&P 500 fell 2.50% to 1,131.

The weak sentiment has also hit the crude prices. Brent crude prices dropped below $102 to $101.85 a barrel on speculation that slowing US and Europe will curb demand.

Back home, with FDI in multi-brand retail in abeyance, the government is reportedly considering allowing foreign companies to completely own single-brand retail stores in India. At present only 51% FDI is allowed in single-brand retail.

The new mining law has added to the woes of mining companies. The cabinet has approved the draft law, under which, miners will have to pay an amount equal to the royalty they pay to the government to help create a fund for the welfare of the displaced people. For coal miners, the amount will be 26% of profits from the projects.

According to estimates, the new bill, apart from increasing the cost of commodities, could result in the industry taking a hit of 15,000 crore. Under the new mining law, Coal India’s profits are estimated to erode by as much as 2,000 crore per annum. Read more...

The CBI has reportedly found no evidence of Anil Ambani’s direct involvement in the structuring of different companies and transfer of funds relating to Swan Telecom.

The festive season has bought some respite for the automobile manufacturers. The country’s top 10 car manufacturers reported a mere 0.93% contraction in September sales, compared to a 6% drop in August.

Sales of two-wheelers, on the other hand, continued to grow at healthy pace. TVS Motors posted a 16% growth in last month sales.

Expect some action in Maruti Suzuki stock. The month-long standoff between the management and plant workers ended on Saturday. As per the agreement, Maruti Suzuki will conditionally take back 18 suspended trainees, while the workers agreed to sign the ‘good conduct bond.’ The strike has reportedly cost the company about $135 million in lost output.

Meanwhile, trouble is brewing at Bosch. Workers at the Bangalore plant started a hunger strike protesting against the company’s decision to outsource manufacturing of certain products.

Keep an eye on the Cairn India stock. The company’s subsidiary has struck natural gas reserves in the offshore Mannar basin of Sri Lanka.

Mundra Port and SEZ has emerged as the lone bidder for the Chennai port’s proposed third terminal. The terminal will have a capacity to load four million standard containers a year.

The Airports Authority of India has reportedly rejected a move to extend a 350 crore loan to Delhi International Airport, which is facing a cash crunch due to non-payment of dues by Air India.

Finally, an increasing number of Greeks are turning to barter networks. People are using concepts like Local Alternative Unit to exchange goods and services. Read more to find out how Greeks are coping with economic crisis. Read more...