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Opening Bell 22 May | Global equities higher on US Fed minutes

LiveMint logoLiveMint 22-05-2014 R. Sree Ram

Mumbai: Asian markets are trading higher. Stocks gained after the minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s last meeting reassured investors that policy makers will continue to support the world’s biggest economy. Read the Reuters report.

Federal Reserve policymakers began to lay the groundwork for an eventual retreat from their easy monetary policy. The Fed staff presented several approaches to raising short-term interest rates, but said the discussion was simply “prudent planning” and not a sign that rate hikes would come any time soon, reports Reuters.

The thinking was in line with investor expectations. S&P 500 gained 0.81% to 1,888. Read the Bloomberg report.

The Congress party is likely to support bills such as the Goods and Services Tax and the Direct Taxes Code in the Rajya Sabha, reports Business Standard. The BJP does not have majority in the Rajya Sabha and passage of these bills is important for economic revival.

Keep an eye on jewellery stocks-Titan Co. Ltd, Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri Ltd, Rajesh Exports Ltd, PC Jeweller Ltd and others. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed large private gold importers and premier trading houses, to import the yellow metal—a move that should bring down prices of gold in the domestic market. Read more.

Essar Ports Ltd, Essar Shipping Ltd and Essar Oil Ltd may see some action. According to Bloomberg, the Essar Group is considering delisting all its publicly traded units.

Narendra Modi is exploring breaking up state behemoth Coal India Ltd (CIL) and opening up the sector to foreign investment to boost output and cut imports, reports Reuters. Modi wants to fix the coal sector quickly to ensure unbroken power supply across the country, the report adds.

Keep an eye on Hindalco Industries Ltd. According to The Economic Times, the company’s subsidiary, Novelis Inc, has decided to pay a dividend of $250 million (`1,470 crore). The funds can help ease Hindalco’s debt burden.

Bajaj Auto Ltd will resume exports to Egypt in June, reports Mint. The move follows the Egyptian government’s decision to lift a ban that came into effect in February on import of such vehicles.

One of the three chief operating officers stripped of executive power at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd has submitted his resignation, reports Mint. S. Maitra, previously COO (supply chain), who was designated chief mentor early this month, put in his papers, but the company is yet to accept his resignation.

Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL) is likely to buy 11-15% stake in Petronet LNG Ltd’s `5,000 crore liquefied natural gas import terminal on the east coast, reports PTI. HPCL’s Vizag refinery in Andhra Pradesh is being expanded and the expanded unit will have a gas requirement of close to 3 million tonnes per annum.

Hotel Leelaventure Ltd has called off talks with private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for a loan of `2,000 crore, reports The Economic Times. According to the report, the parties did not agree to the terms of the deal.

The Supreme Court gave the Andhra Pradesh high court two days to decide on an appeal challenging the latter’s stay on a proposed merger between Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. Sun Pharma, Ranbaxy and Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd had appealed to the apex court against the high court order.

Initial findings of a special audit on MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) revealed violations of corporate governance norms, and instances of related-party transactions similar to those unearthed at Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX), reports Mint. Both MCX-SX and MCX are affiliates of the Financial Technologies (India) Ltd.

UCO Bank reported a five fold jump in net profit for the fourth quarter ending March 2014. Net interest income rose by almost 16%. The bank released results after the market hours. Read more.

SKS Trust Advisors Pvt. Ltd, the largest shareholder of SKS Microfinance Ltd, sold 7.59% stake in the micro-lender, cutting its holding from 12.5%. At a market price of `281.75 per share, 7.59% of equity will fetch `231 crore. Read more.

Ashok Leyland Ltd, Cummins India Ltd, IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd, Jyothy Laboratories Ltd, Motherson Sumi Ltd, Novartis India Ltd and Sobha Developers Ltd are some of the companies that will release their March quarter earnings on Thursday.

Lastly, all new ATMs to be installed by commercial banks from July 2014 onwards would provide audible instructions and Braille keypads to customers, RBI said on Wednesday.

The RBI’s directive came on top of its earlier advice to banks in 2009 to make bank branches and ATMs accessible to people with disabilities. Read more.

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