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Indian Markets Trade on a Choppy Note
Thu, 28 Jan 11:30 am

Indian indices after opening a day on a lackluster note, continue to trade flat on derivatives expiry. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks from the telecom and capital goods sector witnessing maximum selling pressure. FMCG stocks are trading in the green.

The BSE Sensex is trading down 11 points (down 0.1%) while the NSE Nifty is trading up by 2 points (up 0.02%). Both, the BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index are trading marginally higher by 0.03%.

Power stocks are trading on a mixed note with Neyveli Lignite leading the losses and Power Grid leading the gains. As per an article in Economic Times, states with financially sound power distribution companies and undivided electricity departments are lining up to be part of the Centre's Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY). The drive behind joining the UDAY scheme for these companies is incentives like concessional coal, power and finance, which reduce their costs.

Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, whose discoms do not have accumulated loans, have shown interest in joining the scheme. Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have signed agreements with the Union power ministry to be a part of the scheme. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana too will be signing similar memoranda of understanding. Apart from this, a dozen other states have conveyed their in-principle approvals to be part of the scheme.

Rajasthan, which became part of the debt recast scheme, is expected to derive benefits to the tune of Rs 210 billion in the next three years. Rajasthan's discoms have debt of Rs 805 billion. The benefit of 210 billion will come as the state is expected to save Rs 70 billion interest cost annually. This comes as the state government takes over 75% of the debt as part of UDAY. As per the MoU, the three power distribution companies of Rajasthan will have to curb commercial losses to 15% and transmission losses to 3.5%, upgrade technology and deploy energy efficient equipment.

The UDAY scheme was brought up by the government to bring a turnaround in the State Electricity Boards (SEBs) that have been caught up in a vicious cycle of high debt and operational losses. The scheme allows power distribution companies (discoms) in select states to convert their debt into state bonds. Further, the part of debt not taken over the DISCOMs shall be converted by banks into bonds with a cap on the interest rates.

The above rescue package for discoms bodes well for health of SEBs. By looking at the above developments and interest shown by various states, the scheme can have said to be gotten successful response. Having said that, one shall watch out further steps that government takes to make the scheme successful.

Stocks in the banking space are trading on a mixed note with Federal Bank and ICICI Bank leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, Axis Bank has entered into tie-up with Apollo Munich whereby the health insurance company will be offering bank customers customized insurance policies. The partnership is said to help further expand the bank's existing bouquet of offerings and put forth a compelling proposition and ensure the health and well-being of customers.

On a separate note, the bank has registered a rise of 14.5% in its net profit on a YoY basis at Rs 21 billion for third quarter ended December 31, 2015. Total income of the bank grew 14.6% at Rs 125 billion during the period. Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) increased to 1.7% in the October- December quarter as against 1.3% in the same quarter previous year, while net NPAs stood at 0.75%. Net advances during the quarter rose by 21% on a YoY basis of which retail advances (which accounts for 40% of net advances) grew by 27% and corporate advances increased 21%.

Presently the stock of Axis Bank is trading down by nearly 0.8%.

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