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Markets close flat
Mon, 7 Apr Closing

The markets continued to languish in the red as the index heavy weights reported maximum selling pressures in the last hour of trade. The weak global cues added to the negative sentiments in the domestic markets. Consequently, the Indian equity markets closed the day on a pessimistic note. Stocks from the sectors such as realty, consumer durables and oil and gas led the pack of losers today.

While the BSE Small Cap was up by 0.2%, the BSE Mid Cap index stood lower by 0.5%. The BSE Sensex closed lower by 16 points and the NSE-Nifty was up a tad by 0.7 points.

On the global front, barring few, most of the Asian indices closed the day on a mixed note whereas most of the European indices opened the day on a weak note. The rupee was trading at Rs 60.20 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Barring few such as Indian Bank, Central Bank and SBI, most of the PSU bank stocks closed the day on a weak note. Union Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce led the pack of losers.

As per a leading financial daily, the country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) is all set to offload its non-performing assets worth Rs 35 to Rs 40 bn of FY14 to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs). The total bad assets for the bank stood at Rs 680 bn as at the end of December quarter 2013. The non-performing assets as a percentage of total bad assets stood at 5.73% during the same period. Many of the 14 ARCs in existence have been invited to pick the bad loans. These ARCs would pay 5-10% of the total bad loans in cash and the rest in the form of security receipts. This will help the bank to offload the equivalent NPA loan off the book and make annual provisions for recovery of actual cash payments. While the asset quality pressures already looming, FY15 is expected to be no different. The outlook is expected to remain subdued and the credit growth may remain weaker as cited by the Management.

Barring few such as JK Lakshmi Cement, Shree Cement and The Ramco Cements, most of the cement stocks closed the day today on a firm note. Stocks such as Ultratech Cement and Ambuja Cement led the pack of gainers.

As per an article in the Business Standard, cement stocks are all set to breathe a new life with the construction activity catching up in the fourth quarter of FY14. Moreover, the positive election outcome and anticipated policy changes are expected to boost the infrastructure activity. This in turn would lead to surge in volumes for cement companies and sustain at higher levels. The demand growth is also expected to accelerate and touch 7-8% in FY15. This will aid in driving the pricing and profitability for the cement companies. The cement demand would witness an improvement in the second half of FY15.

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Feb 22, 2018 02:49 PM