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Indian Indices End Marginally Lower; Realty Stocks Witness Losses
Thu, 22 Mar Closing | Monish Vora, TM Team

After opening their day on a positive note, Indian share markets gave up their earlier gains and ended their session marginally lower. Losses were largely seen in the realty sector and telecom sector, while consumer durables stocks ended the day higher.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 130 points (up 0.4%) and the NSE Nifty closed lower by 41 points (up 0.4%). The BSE Mid Cap index ended the day down by 0.8%, while the BSE Small Cap index ended the day down by 1.1%.

Asian stock markets finished on a negative note as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng was down 1.09% and the Shanghai Composite stood lower by 0.52%. The rupee was trading at 65.12 to the US$ at the time of writing.

Jindal Drilling & Industries (JDIL) share price was witnessing buying interest today as the company reached a settlement for an arbitration award worth US$ 31.77 million for damages passed against company, for US$ 9.1 million with a complete waiver of all other costs.

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In the news from the steel sector, as per a leading financial daily, the US has decided to slap anti-dumping duty on stainless steel flanges imported from India and China as it found in its preliminary probe that both the countries provided subsidies to the exporters.

In other news from the banking sector, the government said that Punjab National Bank (PNB) expects a Rs 145 billion loss on account of frauds in this financial year, including contingent liabilities, following the scam by Nirav Modi.

The amount involved in the alleged fraud involving Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and their companies is now pegged at almost Rs 140 billion. The total loss reported by the bank due to frauds was Rs 3.4 billion in FY16, Rs 26 billion in FY17, and Rs 145 billion (including contingent liabilities) in FY18 till date.

Note that the recent fraud at Punjab National Bank in conjunction with the diamond merchant Nirav Modi has put the spotlight on the growing bad loan problems in Indian banks.

It has also brought to the fore the painful issue of willful defaulters especially after the Vijay Mallya fiasco. The chart below shows the banks that have the highest number of willful defaulters.

Banks with the Highest Number of Willful Defaulters

Unsurprisingly, Punjab National Bank tops the list. But the others aren't too far behind.

Also note that the share of large corporates, in total advances of the banking sector, has almost remained unchanged over past three years (at an average of 55%).

However, their contribution to incremental slippages has been huge. At one point, the big corporate borrowers accounted for nearly 90% of total NPAs of the sector.

Banks, in principle, must be careful about not extending loans to borrowers with poor creditworthiness or payment track record. That too, irrespective of the size of the borrower.

While the bad loans struggle at PSBs has been going on since a decade, bureaucracy and a lack of autonomy have ensured the sub-optimal profitability and asset quality of these state-run banks.

That's the reason we've been wary of PSU banks since 2014. This was well before the market had caught a whiff of the NPA problem. We've recommended just two large PSU banks in StockSelect since then...and already successfully closed both of them.

And here's a note from Profit Hunter:

Marksans Pharma Ltd. touched a new 52-week low in today's session. Lets have a look at its chart.

In August 2015, we saw the stock had topped out at the 115 level and fell to touch a low of 35 in March 2016. Though it recovered to touch the 55 level, it lacked strength and subsequently traded in the broad range of 35-55. It found strong resistance and support at the 55 level and 35 level respectively.

Today, the stock broke its support level of 35 to hit a fresh 52-week low.

Will the stock recover to rise above the 35 level or will we see it drop to lower levels going forward? Let's keep the stock on our radar.

Marksans Pharma at a New 52-week Low
Marksans Pharma at a New 52-week Low

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