Tuesday’s Market Preview: Cautious opening likely

The local market is likely to witness a cautious opening on the back of tepid global cues. Wall Street ended mixed following reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials had raided at least three hedge funds for insider-trading. Markets in Asia were mostly lower in early trade today, tracking the US markets and worries that the Irish debt crisis would spill over to other European nations. The SGX Nifty was down 25 points at 5,985 against its previous close of 6,010 on Monday.

Bottom-fishing by investors on Monday, along with supportive global cues, ensured that the domestic market erased the losses suffered on Friday. The Nifty closed just above the 6,000 mark, while the Sensex was just short of the 20,000 levels. The market opened on a firm note on positive global cues. Across-the-board buying by institutional investors lifted the indices further as the session progressed. The Sensex closed 372.15 points (1.90%) higher at 19,957, while the Nifty settled 119.70 points (2.03%) up at 6,010.

The US markets closed mixed overnight, erasing early gains following reports that FBI officials had raided offices of at least three hedge funds for insider-trading. The development gave rise to concerns that other hedge funds would face a similar probe. Besides, speculations that the Irish debt crisis might spread to other nations in the region also weighed on the markets.

The Dow declined 24.97 points (0.22%) at 11,178. The S&P 500 shed 1.89 points (0.16%) at 1,198. On the other hand, the Nasdaq rose 13.90 points (0.55%) to 2,532.

Market in Asia were mostly lower this morning, tracking the US markets that ended lower on Monday and on lingering concerns over the European debt crisis. The Hong Kong government’s imposition of an additional stamp duty on properties that are sold within two years pulled the Hang Seng lower.

The Shanghai Composite tumbled 1.35%, the Hang Seng tanked 0.96%, the KLSE Composite declined 0.58%, the Straits Times fell 0.71% and Seoul Composite was down 0.25%. On the flip side, the Taiwan Weighted added 0.06% in early trade. The SGX Nifty was down 25 points at 5,985 against its previous close of 6,010 on Monday. The Nikkei 225 is closed for a local holiday today.

Back home, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday told the Supreme Court that it will complete investigation and file within three months a charge-sheet in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

The apex court was informed by CBI counsel and senior advocate KK Venugopal that the agency will take two months to complete the investigation and in another one month, it will arrive at a conclusion and file the charge-sheet. DMK leader A Raja had resigned as telecom minister earlier this month in the wake of the spectrum scam.

Hitting out at the microfinance industry, former Reserve Bank of India governor YV Reddy on Monday said the microfinance institutions (MFIs) should be regulated as they are no better than money lenders.

The comments from the former central banker, who is credited with shielding Indian economy from the global financial meltdown, comes at a time when the multi-crore rupees micro finance industry is reeling under a severe crisis.


Govt gives more time to 184 SEZ developers to execute projects

New Delhi: Reflecting slow implementation of the special economic zone (SEZ) scheme, the government has given more time to as much as 184 special economic zone developers to execute their projects, reports PTI.

"...The Board of Approval (BoA) depending on merits of each case, have permitted extension of validity of approval of 184 SEZs beyond the initial three years...," minister of state for commerce and industry Jyotiraditya Scindia said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

BoA, headed by commerce secretary Rahul Khullar is an inter-ministerial body that deals with SEZs and related issues.

Requests for extension of validity period beyond the initial period of three years have been received from developers citing global economic slowdown/delay in getting requisite clearances etc. as grounds for extension.

Interest in SEZs, which give substantial tax benefits to units and developers, is also on the decline, as the draft Direct Taxes Code (DTC) of the government proposes to curtail the sops.

The DTC Bill, if cleared by Parliament, will overhaul the country's Income Tax Act.

SEZs have emerged as major sources of attracting investments and increasing exports.

During April-September 2010-11, physical exports from 122 operational tax free enclaves stood at Rs1,39,841 crore, an increase of 55.8% over the year ago period.

In the last four years, the government has approved 580 SEZs.


CBI collects documents relating 2G spectrum from corporate affairs ministry

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has collected documents from the ministry of corporate affairs about companies which were granted spectrum allegedly in an arbitrary fashion between September 2007 and January 2008, reports PTI.

According to CBI sources, the MCA documents deal with the shareholding of the company and the investments brought in the firms from abroad.

The documents include list of shareholders and whether there was any set of directors during the time of grant of Spectrum who could have influenced the issuance of licences.

Among the companies whose documents were taken for examination included Reliance Communications, Etisalat-DB led by D Balwaa, Loop Telecom and Unitech-owned Uninor.

E-mail requests sent to these companies for reaction remained unanswered.

The CBI had searched some of these companies last year in connection with the spectrum issue and claimed to have seized documents related to alleged irregularities in allocation of second generation (2G) spectrum to some of the new players.

The CBI registered a case against unknown Department of Telecom (DoT) officials and unknown private persons and companies charging them with criminal conspiracy and corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act last year.

Ever since the licences were issued in 2008, there has been widespread criticism and claims that there could have been loss of thousands of crores to the exchequer on account of irregularities.

The CBI had searched offices of Wireless Planning Cell (WPC), the department responsible for allocating spectrum, and the office of Deputy Director General (Access Services) of the telecom ministry to probe the allegations of connivance of officials with private companies in allocation of spectrum.

"It has been alleged that there had been serious irregularities in the award of Unified Access Services Licences to private companies.

"As per information received, there was criminal conspiracy between certain officials of DoT and private persons and companies in order to award licences to these companies by putting a cap on the number of applicants against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommendations," CBI said in its first information report (FIR).

It also said the licences had been awarded to private companies on first-come-first-serve basis on the rates of 2001 without any competitive bidding.


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