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After opening the day on a positive note, the Indian share markets witnessed volatile activity and are currently trading on a flat note with a positive bias. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note, with stocks in the IT sector and the realty sector witnessing maximum buying interest. Stocks in the banking sector and the metal sector are trading in the red.
The BSE Sensex is trading up 32 points (up 0.1%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 18 points (up 0.2%). Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index is trading down by 0.1%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.4%. The rupee is trading at 66.93 to the US$.
According to a leading financial daily, state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) plans to sell non-core assets to shore up its finances. Prompting
PNB may look at selling stake in PNB Housing Finance and PNB Gilts in the next financial year, to shore up its capital base.
The bank has stakes in entities like Unit Trust of India (UTI), PNB Housing Finance and PNB Gilts. The management said that it was actively exploring opportunities to affect a sale in all of these entities.
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In the quarter ended December, the bank posted a four-fold jump in net profit at 2.07 bn on account of increase in treasury income and decline in cost of deposits.
Its asset quality, however, deteriorated further as gross non-performing assets (NPA) hit 13.7% of the gross advances during third quarter of current fiscal as against 8.5% a year ago.
Likewise, net NPAs rose to 9.1% of net advances as of December quarter from 5.9% in the year-ago period.
The bank, in order to recover some of the dues from the delinquents, is also exploring moving the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
PNB plans to drag around 250 delinquents to the NCLT as part of efforts to recovering dues promptly.
The bank has asked each bank circle to identify five defaulters where it can proceed with action at the NCLT to ensure they repay their dues. PNB has 76 circles across the country. This is one of the tools the bank is looking at to bring delinquent borrowers to the table.
Bad loans have plagued India's banking system for a long time now. And asset recovery measures such as these are the need of the hour to help reduce the high rate of NPAs choking the banking sector.
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The move falls in line with the Central Electricity Authority's (CEA) projection of thermal capacity addition in the next five years.
CEA, in its plan for the sector till 2022, had said the country will not need any new thermal power capacity and around 50,000 MW capacity that is under construction will only come up in the next five years.
NTPC currently has a capacity of nearly 24,000 MW under construction and plans to add 2000-2500 MW capacity every year. Going ahead, the company will also look to replace 11,000 MW old capacity with new ones, as directed by the Ministry of Power.
On the company's renewable energy plans, NTPC said that it will add 500 MW solar capacity by the end of March 2017. NTPC plans to achieve this target through a 260 MW solar power plant in Rajasthan, and another 250 MW plant in Madhya Pradesh.
In addition to this, the company also plans to set up a 50 MW wind power plant in Gujarat this year.
This is in line with the government's plans to push power capacity addition from renewable energy sources.
In 2017-18, the government is eyeing 20,450 MW power capacity addition from renewables, including 15,000 (solar), 4,600 MW (wind), 750 MW (biomass) and 100 MW from small hydro power (of up to 25 MW). Moreover, the increased use of indigenous renewable resources is expected to reduce India's dependence on expensive imported fossil fuel.
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