Opening bell 29 July

Opening bell 29 July

Mumbai: US lawmakers are taking their sweet time to increase the debt limit. With the 2 August deadline approaching fast lawmakers have no option but to decide on some kind of a debt plan.

The delay in debt plan approval is making investors nervous. Stock markets in Asia opened weak. The Nikkei is down 0.15%.

Overnight, stock markets in the US closed mixed. While Exxon Mobil fell on poor earnings, technology shares rose on analysts’ upgradations. The S&P 500 was down 0.32%.

Back home, the takeover code got a makeover. Following a board meeting, the Sebi said that a company can acquire up to 25% in a firm without making an open offer. The new takeover code also raised the open offer size from a minimum of 20% at present to 26%.

In a relief to Indian pharmaceutical companies, the European Union has reportedly agreed to issue guidelines to customs authorities directing them not to carry out seizures merely on suspicion. According to reports, the European Commission has also come up with a draft that would permanently take care of such seizures. Read more...

Telecom tower company Viom Networks has reportedly made a 7,500-crore offer to buy GTL Infrastructure. According to reports, both the companies are talking about valuations. Viom is 53% controlled by the Tatas.

Private equity firm, Xander Group Inc., bought a 14.5% stake in HCC Concessions Ltd for 240 crore. HCC Concessionsis a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hindustan Construction Co. According to HCC, the transaction values the infrastructure company at 1,650 crore.

ONGC reported a 12% rise in its net profit to 4,095 crore in the quarter ended June 30. Net realisation during the quarter stood at $48.76 per barrel, almost the same as last year.

EID (India) Parry is planning to reduce its dependency on the sugar business. The company is looking to focus more on ethanol and co-generation businesses. At present the sugar business contributes majority of the revenues to the company.

The Lokayukta report is causing tremors in corporate world also. The report has named NMDC, Adani Enterprises and JSW Steel for wrong doing. Read more...

The Lokayukta report has recommended prosecution of the Karnataka Chief Minister for his dealings with JSW Steel’s associate companies. JSW Steel has allegedly donated 10 crore to Prerana Education Society, a trust run by Yeddyurappa’s family.

In another instance, Lokayukta report alleged that JSW Steel and its suppliers caused a loss of close to 325 crore to the state exchequer between April 2009 and July 2010.

ICICI Bank, TVS Motors, Voltas, Power Finance Corporation, Siemens, Motherson Sumi and CESC will announce their June quarter earnings today.

Finally, here is a dummies guide to the on-going controversy over the US debt limit. Read more to find out what happens if the Congress does not increase debt ceiling on time.