Indian indices have registered sharp gains during the last two hours of trade after the Union Budget was tabled in the parliament recently. All the sectoral indices are in the green with stocks from the FMCG and PSU space leading the pack of gainers.
Currently, the BSE-Sensex is up by 515 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 151 points above the dotted line. BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices are both up by 1.38% and 1.44% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.24 to the US dollar.
While on the reforms front the budget was neutral, the fiscal road map laid down by the finance minister seems to have excited the market. As far as the infrastructure sector is concerned, the finance minister has made a couple of interesting suggestions that should ease the flow of credit into the sector. The investment limit by FIIs in the corporate infra bonds has been raised by US$ 25 bn, taking the total limit available for foreign investors to US$ 40 bn. He has also made a suggestion on issuing tax free infrastructure bonds to the tune of Rs 300 bn. This should ease credit concerns for the cash starved sector. Further, tax benefit for investing in infrastructure bonds for individuals (to the tune of Rs 20,000 - above the investment limit of Rs 1 lac) stays put and is extended by another year. Disbursement targets for IIFCL have also been raised.
PSU bank stocks are buzzing as the government intends to infuse Rs 60 bn in PSU Banks in FY12. Central Bank, SBI, Canara Bank are leading the pack of gainers. As a part of his budget speech the finance minister said that the proposed allocation for PSU banks will help them to maintain their tier-1 capital at 8%. The proposed capital infusion would increase the government shareholding in PSU banks. In addition, it would also enhance the lending capacity of the PSU Banks to meet the credit requirements of the economy. The finance minister also mentioned that the government is committed to retain 51% stake and management control in PSUs.