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Indian Equity markets went from strength to strength as it rallied more than 3% after buying gained momentum across sectors led by FMCG, banks, IT and auto. The sentiments were also encouraged on hopes that Reserve Bank Governor will announce an out-of-turn reduction in repo rate after Monday's Budget. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 777 points, while NSE Nifty finished higher 235 by points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap and the S&P BSE Small cap too finished on a strong note as respective indices finished higher by 3% and 3.2%. All the sectoral indices flourished in the green today.
Asian markets finished broadly higher today with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite is up 1.68% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 1.58% and Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.37%. European markets are also higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 1.25% while London's FTSE 100 is up 0.50% and France's CAC 40 is up 0.23%. The rupee was trading at Rs 68.12 against the US$ at the time of writing.
Ashok Leyland, the commercial vehicle manufacturer, has reported an increase of 25% in sales in February 2016 to 13,403 units as against 10,762 units sold in the same period of last year. The company recorded a jump of 31% YoY in sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV) at 10,798 units in February 2016. The company's light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment witnessed a rise of 3% to 2,605 units for the month.
Ashok Leyland reported a 53.5% YoY growth in revenues and a net profit of Rs 2.9 bn (Subscription Required) for the second quarter of financial year 2015-2016 (2QFY16). The company finished the trading day on an encouraging note (up 3.8%) on the BSE. The company has seen its stock price go up by 24% in the past one year meanwhile, the Sensex has lost 20%. In our recent editions of The 5 Minute Wrap Up Premium, we highlight the performance of Ashok Leyland.
The Budget 2016-17 is a disappointing one for the Indian automotive industry. The auto sector has been hit by introduction of new taxes on all passenger cars from entry level to luxury ones. Moreover, the provision for collection of tax at source at the rate of 1% on the sale of luxury cars with prices exceeding Rs 1 million, will result in increased compliance burden on the individual taxpayers. The corporate tax rate has been reduced marginally from 30% to 29% for domestic companies whose turnover does not exceed Rs 50 million
Buying activity was witnessed across majority of the PSU banks with Central bank and Oriental bank leading the gains. Shares of State Bank of India surged more than 2% today after it was reported that bank has received its shareholders' approval to raise up to Rs 150 billion. This fund to be raised will help the bank to meet global risk norms under Basel III, which the banks needs to be fully compliant with by March 2019. The money can be raised by either of the ways including public issue, rights issue or private placement, such as qualified institutional placement (QIP) or Global Depository Receipt (GDR) or American Depository Receipt (ADR) or any another mode or a combination, as may be decided by the Board.
In another development, Axis Bank has purchased 9,57,48,762 shares of face value of Rs 10 each, or 4.99% equity stake, in Max Life Insurance Company (MLIC) from Max Financial Services for a total cash consideration at par (Rs 10 per share) of Rs 957 million. Consequent to this transaction, the bank's equity stake in MLIC has increased to 5.99%.
The announcement made in yesterday's budget was an allocation of Rs 250 bn towards the recapitalization of PSU banks. The rising bad loans has been a serious concern for the Indian PSUs. According to RBI's website, the Indian public sector banks account for 72% of total banking sector assets, but they accounted for only 42% in total profits during 2014-15. Our recent edition of The 5 Minute Wrap Up Premium highlights what the budget holds for the future of PSU banks (Subscription Required).
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