Key benchmark indices were trading with decent gains in early trade as firmness in Asian stocks boosted sentiment. At 9:28 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 153.52 points or 0.47% at 28,425.01. The Nifty 50 index was up 49.90 points or 0.57% at 8,795.05. Bank, auto and metal stocks led gains on the bourses.

In overseas stock markets, Asian stocks rose tracking higher finish in US stocks yesterday, 28 September 2016 after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) took an important step toward a cap on crude-oil output, which helped in lifting oil prices. OPEC said it would reduce output to a range of 32.5-33.0 million barrels per day (bpd), a reduction of 0.7-2.2% from OPEC estimates of its current output at 33.24 million bpd. In economic data, US orders for durable or long-lasting goods flattened out in August after a sizable gain in the prior month, pointing to ongoing difficulties for American manufacturers.
Closer home, the market breadth indicating the overall health of the market was strong. On BSE, 1,075 shares rose and 229 shares fell. A total of 47 shares were unchanged. The BSE Mid-Cap index was currently up 0.6%. The BSE Small-Cap index was currently up 0.75%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

Oil India rose 1%. Indian Oil Corporation fell 0.02% and BPCL dropped 0.41%. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, yesterday, 28 September 2016 gave its approval to an Indian consortium comprising Oil India (OIL), Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) and Bharat Petro Resources (BPRL), a subsidiary of BPCL for acquiring 23.9% stake in JSC Vankorneft and 29.9% stake in LLC Taas-Yuryakh from Rosneft Oil Company (Rosneft), the National Oil Company (NOC) of Russian Federation (Russia). Rosneft operates Vankor and Tass-Yuryakh fields and are its wholly owned subsidiaries.

The acquisition of stake in Vankorneft will provide 6.56 million metric ton of oil equivalent (MMTOE) and 29.9% stake in Taas-Yuryakh will provide 0.5 MMTOE initially and 1.5 MMTOE by 2019. The acquisition is in line with India’s stated objective of adding high quality international assets to its exploration & production portfolio and thereby augmenting India’s energy security. The consortium will be paying $2.02 billion for acquiring stake in Vankorneft and $1.2 billion for acquiring stake in Taas-Yuryakh. Earlier in May 2016 ONGC Videsh (OVL) completed the formalities of acquiring 15% stake in Vankorneft at the cost of $1.284 billion which gave OVL 4.11 MMTOE.

The acquisition will add 8.06 MMTOE to India’s overseas oil and gas asset. It will also provide an opportunity to Indian public sector Oil and Gas companies to absorb newer technologies with Rosneft and British Petroleum (BP). BP acquired 20% stake in Taas-Yuryakh from Rosneft last year.

ONGC (up 1.39%), State Bank of India (SBI) (up 1.22%), Reliance Industries (RIL) (up 1.16%) and Hero MotoCorp (up 1.08%) were the major gainers from the Sensex pack.