Barring China (down 0.2%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Hong Kong (up 0.4%) and Malaysia (up 0.6%) leading the gains. The Indian markets have also opened in green with stocks in the FMCG and healthcare sectors leading the gains. However, stocks in the banking, energy and realty sector have opened in the red.
The BSE-Sensex is currently trading higher by about 95 points (up 0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 20 points (up 0.2%). The stocks in the midcap and small cap space too have opened the day on a positive note, with BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index up by 0.3 % and 0.5% respectively. The rupee was trading at Rs 61.54 to the dollar.
Banking (Private) stocks have opened mainly in the red with Karnataka Bank and South Indian Bank leading the losses. ING Vysya Bank has reported results for the quarter ending December 2014. The net profits for the quarter declined 13% year on year (YoY). This was mainly on account of sluggish non interest income and spike in provisions. As per the management, the fee is generally based on deals or transactions, and a slowdown on that front was the key reason behind a 4.2 % YoY decrease in other income. The increase in provisions was mainly on account of an increase in retirement benefits for the unionized staff, due to a correction in the benchmark yields. Further, the bank was not able to capitalize on the lowering in yields for treasury profits because of its limited investment book. The core net interest income for the quarter grew as per the balance sheet expansion at 18 % YoY, while the net interest margin was maintained at 3.37 %. The gross non-performing assets grew to 1.86% during the quarter from 1.68 % in the year ago period. As per the management, the restructured assets and net NPAs, which collectively stand at 2.06 % at present, will increase to 2.60 % by the end of the fiscal. The capital adequacy ratio stood at 14.02 % during the end of the quarter. It is noteworthy that the bank is in the process of being merged with Kotak Mahindra Bank in a Rs 150 bn all stock deal. The bank is in the process of getting regulatory approvals for the same and has expressed confidence on meeting the April 1 2015 target announced at the time of the merger.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a mixed with MRPL and Indraprastha Gas Ltd leading the gains. However, Cairn India Ltd and Gujarat State Petronet Ltd were facing selling pressure. Amidst falling oil prices, India's crude oil production declined 1.4 % in December, mainly led by the decline in output from Cairn India Ltd's fields. However, state run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) reported a 0.7 % rise in output, on the back of 5% growth in offshore production. The privately operated fields reported a 5.2 % decline in production. Further, natural gas production declined 3.5 % as output from privately operated fields like Reliance Industries' eastern offshore KG-D6 block continued to decline. ONGC's gas production was also down 5.1 % while output by private firms from offshore fields declined by 4.5 %. As far as petroleum products are concerned, the domestic refineries reported 6.1% YoY increase in production. The public sector refiners saw a capacity utilization of 103.46 %.