Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Taiwan (down 0.2%) and South Korea (down 0.6%) leading the losses. However, the markets in Singapore (up 0.6%) and Hong Kong (up 0.9%) are trading in the green. The Indian share markets indices have opened the day on a firm note. Barring information technology, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the metal and realty space leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 56 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 28 points (0.5%). Mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.7% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.43 to the US dollar.
PSU bank stocks have opened the day in the green with Syndicate Bank and UCO Bank leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to clamp down on wilful defaulters. It has classified 274 companies as wilful defaulters' category in FY13. Last year, this figure stood at 383. As such, a total of 657 companies have been branded as wilful defaulters. These companies have defaulted on loans worth Rs 57 bn. Once a company is classified as a wilful defaulter, it is barred from raising money from other financial institutions. Such companies are also barred from floating new ventures for a period of five years. Around 60% of these companies are mid-sized firms and the average loan size stands at around Rs 6 bn to Rs 7 bn. SBI is planning to share the names of wilful defaulters with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (Cibil). It also has plans to publish the photographs of the promoters of the companies in leading newspapers.
Engineering stocks have opened on a mixed note with Honeywell Automation and Elgi Equipments leading the gains. However, Manugraph India and Shanthi Gears have opened in red. As per a leading financial daily, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd's (BHEL) receivables from power companies have hit the record of Rs 400 bn and the payment of at least 50% of this amount is overdue. The problem is compounded by the fact that banks and financial institutions have reduced advances to the power projects on account of concerns about the solvency of the power sector. As per industry sources, the developers from both the public and private sectors have defaulted on equipment procurement bills as banks were reluctant to disburse loans to power projects.