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Opening Bell 27 May | Modi govt takes over amidst expectant markets

LiveMint logoLiveMint 27-05-2014 Krishna Merchant

Mumbai: Narendra Modi was sworn in as India’s Prime Minister with a leaner cabinet and key ministries headed by people close to him. Arun Jaitley was likely to handle the defence and finance portfolio, while Rajnath Singh will probably take care of the home ministry in the 45-member council of ministers.

Asian markets were trading marginally higher after European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi indicated he was willing to support economic growth in Europe, reports Financial Times. China’s Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng were trading flat, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was trading up 0.6%. Overnight, US markets were shut for Memorial Day holiday.

In India, good macro news greeted the new government with the current account deficit narrowing sharply to $1.2 billion, or 0.2% of gross domestic product in the three months ending March from $18.1 billion in the year ago period. Lower imports and steep fall in gold purchases helped reduce the pressure on balance of payment.

Infosys Ltd has interviewed eight internal candidates and finished its evaluations as part of its search for the first non-founder CEO, in the run up to the appointment of a successor to S.D. Shibulal. The two presidents—B.G. Srinivas and U.B. Pravin Rao are in the fray to succeed Shibulal, reports Economic Times.

United Spirits Ltd (USL) shares will be in focus after Diageo Plc received market regulator’s clearance for an open offer to acquire additional 26% stake in USL for `11,449 crore.

Britannia Industries Ltd shares will see some action after its March quarter profit rose 17% from a year ago to `108 crore, helped by lower advertisement and stock-holding expenses.

Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd shares will see selling after a special audit conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) details questionable transactions between the exchange and various related and unrelated parties, including donations given to charitable trusts whose existence could not be established, reports Mint.

AstraZeneca Pharma India Ltd shares will be under pressure after Pfizer Inc. confirmed that it had ended its audacious bid to buy AstraZeneca for $118 billion, after the AstraZeneca board rejected the price offered, reports Business Standard.

Lastly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would use social media to communicate with people across the world, share his views and keep informing citizens about innovative initiatives undertaken by the government of India through the Prime Minister of India website.

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