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The Indian equity markets closed the day on a firm note. Stocks from sectors such as telecom, oil & gas and FMCG were leading the gains. Both the BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap indices were up by 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively.
On the global front, most of the Asian indices closed the day on a negative note. The Shanghai Composite ended lower by 0.36%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended lower by 0.2%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 ended lower by 0.36%. The European indices were trading mixed. The FTSE 100 was down 0.14%, France's CAC 40 was up 0.2% and Germany's DAX was up 0.37%.
The rupee was trading at Rs 66.45 to the dollar at the time of writing. Also, the rupee depreciated 3 paise to 66.55 as against the greenback in early trade today. The selling pressure for rupee comes ahead of the outcome of two-day Federal Reserve policy meet later in the day.
One shall note that the US Federal Reserve has waved the caution flag on interest rate hikes later this year. Fed officials had said a rate increase in April would signal an inappropriate sense of urgency. However, some officials want to raise rates as soon as April if the incoming economic data is consistent with their expectations.
Last month, the US Fed not only left the rates untouched but also signalled that it would expect to raise its benchmark rate just twice this year. This was against the four interest rate hikes this year the Fed predicted earlier. The focal question for now is whether the Fed will raise interest rates in its ongoing meeting or leave them untouched.
Yes Bank reported its results for the quarter ended March 2016. The company's net profit grew by 27.4% YoY during the quarter to Rs 7 billion. Reportedly, the healthy growth was on account of improving loan demand, higher net interest and other income.
Net Interest Income (NII), considered to be the core income of the bank, grew by 27% to Rs 12.4 billion. Further, the NII margins too improved to 3.4% during the quarter from 3.2% as compared to a year ago. Other income, comprising of bank's non-interest earnings from fees/commission, trading in foreign exchange and gains on investments too grew by 36% to Rs 8 billion.
However, there was a slight slippage in the asset quality owing to Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) directive to recognize visible stressed assets. At an absolute level, gross non-performing assets (NPAs) grew by 139% to Rs 7.4 billion. As a percentage of total loans, gross NPAs stood at 0.76% at the end of the March quarter as compared to 0.66% in the December quarter. The provisions increased by 47.6% to Rs 1.8 billion.
Further, the advances grew by 30% to Rs 982 billion, while the deposits grew by 22.5% to Rs 1117.1 billion during the quarter.
The stock of Yes Bank ended the day higher by 0.6%.
Biocon too reported its results for the quarter ended March 2016. The company's net profit grew by 79% YoY to Rs 3.6 billion during the quarter. Reportedly, the growth was on account of an exceptional item, improved sales at contract research arm Syngene International Ltd and moderate growth at its bio-pharmaceutical division. Further, the company recorded an exceptional income of Rs 2.6 billion during the quarter. Excluding the exceptional items, net profit for the March quarter stood at Rs 1 billion.
The company's revenue grew by 17% YoY to Rs 9.7 billion during the quarter. Sales of biopharma, which consist of small molecules, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), generic formulations and biosimilars, grew 12% to Rs 5 billion, while branded formulations reported a growth of 3% with sales at Rs 1 billion for the March quarter.
For the full year to March, Biocon's net profit rose 80% to Rs 8.9 billion, while sales rose 13% to Rs 34.5 billion. The firm's contract research arm Syngene contributed about a third of Biocon revenues, followed by biopharma and branded formulations. The traction from biosimilar business will be the key thing to watch out for going forward.
The stock of Biocon ended the day up by 1.1%.
Nifty opened on a slightly negative note at 7,942 but quickly recovered from the day's low and traded with a positive bias throughout the day. The level of 8,000 is acting as a major hurdle in front of the bulls. Last week the index found resistance around the same levels before snapping back. We will have to wait and watch whether bulls are able to take out this level any time soon...
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