Opening Bell 27 September

Opening Bell 27 September

Stock markets in Europe, the US and the rest of Asia rose on optimism that European officials would find a solution to confront the debt crisis in the region.

Overnight, stock markets in the US rallied after a report said a plan to leverage money from the European Financial Stability Facility was in the works. The S&P 500 jumped 2.33% on buying in stocks of financial services companies.

The positive momentum also percolated into Asian markets. The Nikkei at 8,510 is up 1.63%.

The optimism has also sent crude prices higher. Brent crude rose 0.88% to $104.85 a barrel on speculation that steps by Europe to confront the debt crisis will temper the slowdown in the region.

Back home, to build capabilities, Tata Consultancy Services is weighing acquisitions in France, Germany, Japan and the US. Despite the current global uncertainty, the company is seeing good demand for its services from retail, manufacturing and consumer product companies.

Raw material scarcity is crippling production at JSW Steel. The company has cut production at its Vijayanagar factory to 30% of capacity after the Supreme Court limited iron ore sales in Karnataka to online auctions.

Due to coal shortage, Nalco is reportedly facing a production loss of about 1 crore per day. According to reports, the company has cut down its daily production to 1,000 tonnes against the normal rate of output at 1,200 tonnes at the Angul smelter unit in Orissa.

The much celebrated Mazagon Dock-Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Co JV has been put on hold. The defence ministry, which pressed the pause button, has also decided to formulate a policy for partnerships between defence shipyards and private shipbuilders.

It is deal time for infrastructure companies. GMR Infrastructure has decided to sell a 30% stake in GMR Energy (Singapore) to Malaysian state-run oil firm Petronas. GMR Energy is developing an 800-MW plant on Jurong Island, Singapore. The plant is scheduled for commercial operations in 2013.

The government has given the green signal for transfer of equity in DLF’s Pune SEZ. Private equity firm Blackstone is reported to have stuck a deal for purchase of the entire 100% stake in the SEZ. DLF holds 70% in the project.

Motilal Oswal Financial Services is looking to sell minority stakes in its asset management and investment banking businesses. According to reports, the company is in talks with global players to offload stakes in these two businesses.

GAIL is on an international hunt. According to reports, the company is in talks with at least two international energy explorers to acquire stakes in their liquefied natural gas plants. The talks are reportedly happening with Chevron and Algeria’s state-run firm Sonatrach.

Maruti Suzuki is acting tough on the workers unrest. Even as the labour strike at Manesar facility entered the 29th day on Monday, the car maker has hired at least 1,400 workers in a sign that it may not soften its stand against striking workers.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has called off an 173.6 crore deal to buy the pharmaceutical prescription portfolio of JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals in Russia and other former Soviet republics. The decision comes on the wake of new Russian policy requiring foreign companies to have a manufacturing presence there and seeking to reduce dependence on imports.

Finally, expect some action in Alok Industries stock. According to reports, the company’s real estate arm Alok Realtors is trying hard to dispose-off a commercial building, even at a loss. The company bought the purported building four years ago for 1,075 crore. Read more...