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Indian Markets Trade Flat
Fri, 19 Feb 11:30 am

After opening the day on a bearish note, the Indian Markets registered some gains and are presently trading near the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks from the telecom and realty sectors leading the gains. Energy stocks are trading in the red.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 11 points (0.1%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up by 6 points (0.1%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading flat and the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.1%. The rupee is trading at 68.45 to the US$.

Stock in the PSU banking space are trading on a positive note with Allahabad Bank and Punjab National Bank leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Punjab National Bank (PNB) is weighing the options of diluting stake in some of its subsidiaries and selling off some of its real assets. This comes as a part of the banks efforts to raise capital. The company stated that it is trying to get the valuations of the assets (subscription required) and has to decide on what to dispose and how much will it fetch. The bank has subsidiaries like PNB Housing Finance, PNB Gilts, PNB Investment Services. Besides, it is one of the sponsors of the country's oldest asset management company UTI Mutual Fund.

It shall be noted that during the current fiscal PNB got Rs 17 billion to meet global risk norm (Basel III) as a part of government's capital infusion plan for public sector banks. However, the bank would require more capital to fund its growth.

On a separate note, PNB is planning to sell up to Rs 30 billion bad loans to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) in the fourth quarter. The bank has stated that it has lined up quite a good number of proposals for the same. Apart from the above, the bank is organising special camps for recovery at various places. The bank is looking at one-time settlement proposals and other measures to reduce its bad loans. These efforts come as a part of the banks' balance sheet clean-up exercise.

During the third quarter ended December 2015, PNB's asset quality deteriorated and gross non-performing assets (NPAs) rose to 8.5% of the gross advances as against 6% same quarter year ago. Similarly, net NPAs rose to 5.9% of the net advances in the third quarter as against 3.8% in the corresponding quarter a year ago. On the back of this, the bank's provision against bad loans increased sharply to Rs 28 billion during the quarter as compared to Rs 19 billion in the same period a year ago.

During the third quarter many leading state-owned banks reported their highest ever quarterly losses totaling over Rs 120 billion on the back of mounting bad loans. This came in after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked banks to recognise select weak loans as non-performing loans over the quarters ending December 2015 and March 2016, and shore up provisioning. PNB's earnings also witnessed sharp erosion on the back of the above exercise. For the third quarter ended December 2015, PNB's net interest income fell by 2.7% YoY while net profits slumped by 93.4% YoY. If you are interested in the stock, do read our result analysis of the bank (subscription required). Presently the stock of PNB is trading up by 2.9%.

Buying activity is witnessed in majority of the telecom stocks with ITI and MTNL leading the gains. In another news, credit rating firm India Ratings (Ind-Ra) has revised its outlook on Indian telecom sector for FY 2016-17 to 'stable-to-negative' from 'stable'.

The rating firm noticed declined in revenue realisation of Airtel and Idea Cellular by 4.5-5.5% on QoQ basis. Further, it expects the operators' debt profile to deteriorate in FY 2016-17 (subscription required) . This is as the operators will incur high capex on network expansion and acquisition of additional spectrum through trading, largely to compete with RJio.

This comes as the rating agency expects the launch of Reliance Jio to intensify competition in the telecom space, which will squeeze the market share, EBITDA margins and credit metrics of incumbents. As a result of this launch, data market will be the first to face the impact of increased competition, resulting in decline in data average revenue per user.

We have shared some views on the telecom sector in our recent telecom sector analysis report. You can read it here.

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Mar 22, 2018 (Close)