Most major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a strong note with stock markets in South Korea (up 2.1%), Taiwan (up 1.9%) and Hong Kong (up 1.9%) leading the gains in the region. The Indian equity market indices have also opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the banking, metal and capital goods space are leading the pack of gainers.
The Sensex today is up by around 231 points (1.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 76 points (1.5%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices down by around 1% and 0.9% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.51 to the US dollar.
PSU bank stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Indian Overseas Bank, Dena Bank and UCO Bank leading the pack of gainers. As per a leading financial daily, India's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has raised US$ 1.25 bn through the issuance of a five-year US dollar bond. The bank has managed to raise the funds at a coupon rate of 4.125%. It is noteworthy that this is the first public sector bank US dollar bond issuance out of India since May 2011. SBI has managed to raise funds at the lowest ever coupon an Indian issuer has ever achieved in the US dollar bond market in the 5-year tenor. Also, this is the largest offering by a local bank after the 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse. This issuance is likely to open up the international bond markets for other high quality Indian banks. Following SBI's issue, Indian Overseas Bank has announced plans to raise US$ 500 m through a bond offering.
Indian pharma stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Dishman Pharma and Orchid Chemicals leading the gains. After obtaining exemption from the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the promoters of pharma firm Dr Reddy's Laboratories have transferred a large shareholding to APS Trust, an entity controlled by the promoter family. The promoters' group currently owns 25.61% of the company's total equity shares. Of this, 23.08% is held by Dr Reddy's Holdings Ltd (DRHL), a promoter held company. Within DRHL, 83.17% is held by individuals of the promoter group. It is this 83.17% holding that has been transferred to the Trust. Following the share transfer, the APS Trust now holds 21.28 of the company's equity. It must be noted that since this is an inter se transfer among the promoters, their overall shareholding in the company remains the same.