Profit booking in heavyweights from power, banking, telecom and engineering sectors lead to Indian indices leading the pack of losers in Asia today. Select FMCG and pharma sectors however elicited some investor interest. Nevertheless, the benchmark indices closed near the day's lows. While the BSE Sensex closed lower by around 110 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 21 points. Both BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap closed near the dotted line.
As regards global markets, most Asian indices closed lower today while European indices have opened lower. The rupee was placed at Rs 53.22 to the dollar at the time of writing.
ICICI Bank declared the results for third quarter and first nine months of financial year 2012-13 (9mFY13). The bank has reported 29% YoY growth in net interest income for 3QFY13 while net profits have grown by 30% YoY. This was backed by 16.5% YoY growth in advances. The net interest margin too improved to 3.0% in 9mFY13 from 2.6% in 9mFY12. Meanwhile, cost to income ratio came down to 40.7% in 9mFY13 from 43.5% in 9mFY12. While net NPA to advances ratio was at 0.64%, provision coverage was at 78% in 9mFY13. Capital adequacy ratio (CAR) was at 19.5% in December 2012 as against 18.9% in December 2011.
As per a business daily, the possibility of India losing its investment grade credit rating from rating agency S&P has receded somewhat as a result of economic reforms undertaken by the government since last September. The government has launched a raft of reforms in recent months to revive an economy headed for its slowest growth in a decade. It has opened the retail and aviation sectors to more foreign investment, hiked railway passenger fares, cut budget-busting fuel subsidies and imposed higher duties on gold imports that have widened its current account deficit. India has a BBB- rating from S&P, the lowest investment grade among the BRIC economies. A one notch cut would relegate it to 'junk' status. Better ratings are likely to have an impact on overseas borrowing rates for corporates as well.