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Sensex Opens Flat; PSU & Healthcare Stocks Top Losers
Tue, 20 Feb 09:30 am | Rini Mehta, TM Team

Asian equities are higher today as Japanese and Hong Kong shares show gains. The Nikkei 225 is up 1.20% while the Hang Seng is up 0.61%. The Shanghai Composite is trading up by 0.45%. The US markets were closed on Monday for a holiday.

Back home, Indian share markets have opened on a flattish note. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 27 points while the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 1 point. The BSE Mid Cap Index and BSE Small Cap index both opened the day down by 0.2%.

Sectoral indices have opened the day on a mixed note with metal stocks and capital goods stocks witnessing maximum buying interest. While, PSU stocks and healthcare stocks leading the losses. The rupee is trading at 63.91 to the US$.

Automobile stocks opened the day on a mixed note with M&M & Escorts leading the losses. In light of the government's strong push for electric vehicles, Mahindra & Mahindra is planning to invest Rs 9 billion over next four years as it seeks to bring out efficient electric vehicles (EVs).

Reportedly, the company has already invested Rs 6 billion in EVs over the past five-six years and has decided to invest Rs 4 billion in Karnataka and Rs 5 billion in Maharashtra over the next four-five years.

Further, the company will be doing all parts of the EV play, except batteries, which require greater volumes for local manufacturing and so they will have to be imported. This investment is likely to ramp up its first installed capacity to 5,000 units a month, the company stated.

The auto major has a capacity of 400 units a month, which would go up to 1,500, including three-wheelers by this September-end and the company should be capable of rolling out 4,000 units by December 2019, the reports noted.

Rahul Shah, Co-head of Research, offered his views on electric vehicles segment recently. Here's an excerpt of what he wrote:

  • "If you think car companies are resisting this change, you will be surprised. Volvo, the Swedish/Chinese car company has announced it will only offer electric or hybrid vehicles by 2019.

    Mercedes is planning on launching two SUVs and two sedans as EVs by the end of this decade. Volkswagen has big electric plans too. It has set a goal of 30 new EVs and two to three million plug-in sales by 2025. MM, India's largest EV manufacturer, recently forged a partnership with Ford to work on electric cars."

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So, how should you play this trend? What are the companies best positioned to extract the maximum mileage?

Stay tuned. Rahul Shah has got a close eye on this megatrend - and he doesn't plan to miss a thing.

Moving on to the news from the banking sector. Listed Indian banks have lost nearly US$11 billion (Rs 697.5 billion) in market capitalisation after the US$1.8 billion fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB) came to light. PSU banks continued to bleed on Monday, after more lenders reported exposure to the scam.

Recently, PNB reported that it has detected a scam where billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from a branch in Mumbai to secure overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

UCO Bank on Saturday said it has an exposure of US$411.82 million to PNB's Nirav Modi LoUs. Earlier, State Bank of India and Allahabad Bank disclosed Rs 13.6 billion and Rs 20 billion, respectively.

As per the reports, the fraud will lead higher provisioning and may further impact the profitability of banks, which are already struggling under mounting non-performing assets (NPAs).

PNB shares have fallen 28% since the scam was reported, eroding nearly Rs 109.8 billion of its market cap. State Bank of India lost around Rs 180 billion in market value while Bank of Baroda erased Rs 56.3 billion.

PSB Underperformance vis a vis Sensex

Among private banks, Axis Bank, Yes Bank and ICICI Bank lost nearly Rs 56.3 billion, Rs 48.2 billion and Rs 40.1 billion, respectively. The PSU Bank index slumped nearly 10.4%, while BSE benchmark Sensex index fell 1.5% in this period.

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Mar 23, 2018 03:37 PM