After opening on a positive note, the Indian indices traded firm post the Economic Survey. But, they later lost some ground, only to recover in the final hour of trade. While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by around 69 points (up 0.4%), the NSE-Nifty fared much better and closed higher by around 41 points (up 0.8%). The BSE Midcap and the BSE Small cap were however subject to selling pressure and both lost ground by 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. Losses were largely seen in the IT and capital goods space. FMCG stocks saw good gains and banking stocks saw some recovery after yesterday's selloff.
As regards major global markets, most Asian indices closed in the positive on the back of oil prices easing. European indices also opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 45.35 to the dollar at the time of writing.
As per the Economic Survey licenses should be given to industrial houses wanting to set up banks to promote financial inclusion. However, provisions need to be put in place to avoid conflicts of interest. Providing banking access to all citizens is one of the main objectives. Currently, India has a large number of banks, with a bulk of them being cooperative banks. However, access to basic facilities is still not present in a large part of India. Various entities like Reliance Capital, IndiaBulls, Religare, IL&FS, IDFC, IFCI and Aditya Birla Financial Services are reportedly thinking of entering the banking space. The RBI received comments on its discussion paper on giving out banking licenses from all stakeholders. It is expected to come out with the final guidelines soon.
SAIL is now giving special emphasis on expanding its scope of business in rural India. It is planning to have at least two dealers in every district of the country. It has also introduced an 'exclusive dealer' scheme which has helped it to strengthen activities of the network spread across the country. To enhance efficiency of its retail activity, it is concentrating on the availability of materials in small customised packages. It has also been trying to enhance product knowledge and trying to make steel consumption more popular among present and prospective buyers. It also plans on opening company-owned retail shops which will serve as model stores. The stock closed marginally in the green.