Market may edge lower in early trade: no chance for Brussels Stock Exchange?

Market is seen opening lower on negative global cues. Trading of Nifty 50 index futures on the Singapore stock exchange indicates that the Nifty could slide 78 points at the opening bell.

In overseas stock markets, Asian stocks were mixed as investors continued to digest the UK’s unexpected vote to leave the European Union (EU). US stocks plunged on Friday, 24 June 2016, after Britain surprised markets by voting to leave the EU.

A statement from the European Commission after a meeting at Brussels, Belgium between Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council and Mark Rutte, Holder of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) on 24 June 2016 said that the union of the remaining 27 member states of the EU will continue after British people voted in favour of United Kingdom leaving the EU. The EU stands ready to launch negotiations swiftly with the UK regarding the terms and conditions of UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The statement further mentioned that the EU now expects the UK government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty. The EU hopes that the UK becomes a close partner of the EU in the future.

The Governor of UK’s central bank Bank of England Mark Carney said in a statement on 24 June 2016 that there will be a period of uncertainty and adjustment after people of the UK voted for the UK to leave the European Union. It will take some time for the UK to establish new relationships with Europe and the rest of the world. Some market and economic volatility can be expected as this process unfolds. Carney said that the Bank of England stands ready to provide more than 250b billion of additional funds through its normal facilities to support the functioning of markets. The Bank of England also stands ready to provide substantial liquidity in foreign currency, if required. A few months ago, the Bank of England judged that the risks around the referendum were the most significant, near-term domestic risks to financial stability. To mitigate them, the Bank of England has put in place extensive contingency plans, Carney said.

The US Federal Reserve said in a statement on 24 June 2016 that it is carefully monitoring developments in global financial markets, in cooperation with other central banks, following the results of the UK referendum on membership in the European Union. The Federal Reserve is prepared to provide dollar liquidity through its existing swap lines with central banks, as necessary, to address pressures in global funding markets, which could have adverse implications for the US economy.

Closer home, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 629.14 crore on Friday, 24 June 2016, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 114.94 crore on Friday, 24 June 2016, as per provisional data.

Among corporate news, Bharti Airtel said that the company and Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata), have on Friday, 24 June 2016 agreed to further extend an earlier agreement until 26 September 2016 or such other date as the parties may agree. The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 24 June 2016.

It may be recalled that Bharti Airtel and Axiata Group Berhad had on 28 January 2016 signed a definitive agreement to merge their respective telecommunication subsidiaries in Bangladesh; namely, Airtel Bangladesh (Airtel) and Robi Axiata (Robi). The agreement follows the 9 September 2015 announcement of both parties entering into an exclusive discussion to explore possibility of combining the business operations in Bangladesh.

Post-merger, the combined entity operating as Robi will serve approximately 4 crore customers. The joint strengths of Robi and Airtel will deliver the widest mobile network coverage across Bangladesh, strengthening its position in the mobile internet segment as well as consolidating its position as the second largest operator in the country, Airtel and Axiata said in a joint press release on 28 January 2016. The proposed transaction is subject to conditions precedent including receiving applicable approvals from relevant authorities and is expected to complete in the first half of 2016, the two companies had said. Upon completion, Axiata will hold 68.3% controlling stake in the combined entity, while Bharti will hold 25%. The remaining 6.7% will be held by the existing shareholder, NTT DOCOMO of Japan, they added.

Metal, capital goods and banking stocks led sharp losses for the two key benchmark indices on Friday, 24 June 2016, triggered by the outcome of a British referendum showing UK had voted to leave the European Union (EU). The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, fell 604.51 points or 2.24% to settle at 26,397.71.

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