Sensex gains 42 points in opening trade

Sensex

Manufacturing PMI for January.

INDIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

FINANCIAL/REGULATORY

India's fiscal deficit during the April-December period was 4.07 trillion rupees ($76.22 billion), or 78.8 percent of the budgeted full fiscal year 2012/13 target, government data showed on Thursday.

India's finance minister is putting welfare, defence and road projects on the chopping block in a last-ditch attempt to hit a tough fiscal deficit target by March, risking short-term economic growth and angering cabinet colleagues.

The Indian government is likely to raise 270 billion rupees ($5.06 billion) through the sale of its stake in state-run companies, 10 percent lower than the initial target for the current fiscal year ending in March, Disinvestment Secretary Ravi Mathur told reporters on Thursday.

Axis Bank Ltd said on Thursday it has raised a total of 55.4 billion rupees ($1.04 billion) through the sale of shares, in the biggest equity deal in more than a month in Asia's third-largest economy.

India's central bank tightened rules on Thursday governing how banks and other financial institutions provision for restructured loans, based on the recommendations of a panel.

ENERGY/COMMODITIES

India's infrastructure sector output grew 2.6 percent in December from a year earlier, government data showed on Thursday.

ONGC Videsh Ltd is set to battle it out with Asian rivals from China and Thailand as well as some of the biggest global names for Videocon Industries Ltd's 10 percent stake in Mozambique's Rovuma offshore block, at least four people aware of the developments said.

Separately ONGC Videsh, a unit of explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd, will launch its first overseas bond issue in February to raise about $900 million to fund an acquisition in Azerbaijan.

Reliance Industries Ltd and Essar Oil Ltd are gearing up to cater to the lucrative bulk-sales market for diesel, where the government has allowed free-market pricing.

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