Only a close below 6,490 on Tuesday may pull the Nifty lower
In line with negativity on the US bourses and the Asian indices, the Indian indices made a weak opening. Witnessing a range bound session until the last hour of the session, the benchmarks suddenly spurted up to enter green zone and close in the positive.
The Sensex opened at 21,648 while the Nifty opened at 6,447. the Sensex moved up from the low of 21,573 to 21,853 and closed at 21,810 (up 35 points or 0.16%) while the Nifty moved in the range of 6,433 and 6,518 and closed at 6,504 (up 11 points or 0.17%). The NSE recorded a lower volume of 59.64 crore shares.
The stock market remains closed on Monday, 17 March 2014, on account of Holi.
After weak economic data from China on Thursday, at least four investment banks lowered forecasts for China's 2014 economic expansion, leading to more pessimism across European and US exchanges.
Back home the inflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI) eased to 4.68% in February 2014, from 5.05% in January 2014 and 7.28% during the corresponding month of the previous year, data released by the government on Friday. Wholesale prices-based inflation eased to a lower-than-expected nine-month low. Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 5.17% compared to a build up rate of 6.15% in the corresponding period of the previous year. The government revised upwards the rate of WPI inflation for December 2013 to 6.4%, from 6.16% reported on 15 January 2014.
The government is seeking to raise around $500 million by selling partial stakes in 10 state-owned companies via an exchange traded fund that will be operated by Goldman Sachs' asset management unit. The ETF will target mainly retail investors, although the fund will also be sold to institutional and foreign investors.
The economy can grow an annual 5.2% in the quarter to end-March on higher farm output growth, the chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council said on Friday. C Rangarajan also said he foresees the economic growth to pick up to 5.5% to 6% in the fiscal year that begins on 1 April 2014.
US indices closed sharply in the negative on Thursday. US retail sales rose in February for the first time in three months which was better-than-forecast data. On the other hand, the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level since the end of November. Jobless claims dropped by 9,000 to 315,000 in the week ended March 8, a Labor Department report showed in Washington.
Except for Jakarta Composite (up 3.23%) all the other Asian indices closed in the negative. Nikkei 225 (3.30%) as the top loser.
China's Premier Li Keqiang told reporters on Thursday that the nation's 2014 goal of 7.5% economic growth is flexible and some financial-product defaults may be unavoidable. European indices were trading in the negative while the US Futures were trading marginally higher.
Retail individual investors can invest a minimum of Rs5,000 in the NFO of CPSE ETF, that would track the CPSE Index
CPSE ETF, a new fund offer (NFO) scheme based on central public sector enterprises (CPSE) Index, would open on 18th March for anchor investors and the next day for non-anchor investors.
According to Goldman Sachs Asset Management (India) Pvt Ltd, CPSE ETF’s new fund offer (NFO) is an open-ended index exchange traded scheme that would track the CPSE index.
“CPSE ETF is a unique opportunity for investors to invest in 10 Maharatnas, Navratnas and Miniratnas at a discount of 5% on the ‘Reference Market Price’ of the underlying shares of CPSE Index,” Goldman Sachs said in a release.
Retail individual investors can invest a minimum of Rs5,000 and in multiples of Re1 thereafter up to Rs2 lakh. Non-institutional investors/ QIBs can invest a minimum of Rs2 lakh and in multiples of Re1 thereafter. Maximum amount to be raised during the NFO will be Rs3,000 crore subjected to maximum of 3% of the paid up share capital of each of the constituents of the CPSE Index. The entry and exit load is nil. CPSE ETF offers tax benefits as the scheme is in compliance with the provisions of Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme, 2013 (RGESS).
The CPSE Index constituents are as follows: Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC), GAIL (India) Ltd, Coal India Ltd, Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd (REC), Oil India Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC), Container Corporation of India Ltd (ConCor), Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Engineers India Ltd.
Results of a survey of top banks by CARE Ratings
The main challenges faced by banks encompass both the prevailing economic and business environment as well as evolving developments of this industry. This is according to a survey of banks taken up by CARE Ratings. The survey results have been summarised below:
(a) Deceleration in economic growth impacting banking sector growth. Quite clearly this is one factor which affects the growth and prospects of this sector. The fact that the Indian economy has slowed down in the last three years is significant here.
(b) Maintaining asset quality in the face of growing NPAs and restructuring of advances. There is a clear link with the overall state of the economy.
(c) Augmenting capital and maintaining prudential capital adequacy in view of the implementation of Basel III.
(d) Preserve and augment profitability of banks in a stressed environment. Banks are witnessing pressure on margins on account of capital requirement, provisioning, regulation, liquidity, volatile interest rates etc.
(e) Achieving desired credit growth in a weak economy.
(f) Implementation of Financial Inclusion & DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer). As the RBI has been reiterating the need for focusing on financial inclusion this factor has become a challenge as it has to be addressed while keeping an eye on capital, quality of assets and profitability.
(g) Increased competition from both within the banking sector with various banks becoming aggressive in the existing space as well as potential competition from new entrants.
(h) Adopting and adapting to technological changes/ innovation to meet regulatory requirements as well as to tap alternative channels in banking
(i) Dealing with technology related frauds and improving risk management systems of banks
(j) Improving quality of human resources for efficient working of banks in view of the latest technological developments.
Banks do expect to see a series of reforms and measures to be implemented by the RBI in the next one year encompassing regulation, financial inclusion, technological focus etc. These have been elaborated upon below:
(a) Stringent norms pertaining to NPAs and restructured assets. The level of NPAs has gone up sharply this year which becomes more worrisome when the restructured assets are also factored in.
(b) Target Consolidation/mergers and entry of new players. This would involve:
- Continuous bank licensing (as has already been voiced by the RBI),
- Conversion of some urban co-operative banks into full-fledged commercial banks,
- Separate licenses for niche/specific banking operations/functions such as wealth management, investment banking, wholesale banking or retail banking. This has been spoken about in some detail by a special Committee set up by RBI on financial inclusion.
(c) Reforms in Corporate debt market, Government Debt Market & Money Market.
(d) Focus on asset – liability management for banks.
(e) Increased Usage of Technology in Banking. Leveraging of technical developments on various banking activities
(f) Focus on Financial Inclusion/Deepening
(g) Introduce measures for the removal of structural bottlenecks on credit delivery and free pricing of financial assets
(h) Bring about transparency and improvement in clearing and settlement practices
(i) Reforms aimed at creating liquidity and depth for efficient price discovery of all banking products
If these expected reforms come into being, bankers expect them to have wide ranging impact. Some of the expected results are:
(a) Norms on NPAs would improve quality of assets & recovery, liquidity and the overall balance sheets of banks.
(b) Consolidation of banks and new players would result in competition and consequently in innovation and efficiency/productivity of banks. It would also bring about economies of scale and economics of scope for banks.
(c) Conversion of some urban cooperative banks into full-fledged commercial banks will help Banks to participate in main stream line of business on lower risk.
(d) Increased usage of technology could lead to technological upgradation and more e-products would be designed. Technology will help sustain and scale business.
(e) Financial deepening would make banking more inclusive, improve geographical coverage, reduce regional imbalances and credit to the unorganized sector would see an increase.