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Indian Indices Remain Range Bound
Wed, 27 Apr 11:30 am

After opening the day on a flattish note, the Indian stock markets witnessed volatility and continued to trade near the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks from the oil & gas and telecom sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 10 points (up 0.04%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up by 7 points (up 0.1%). The BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index are trading positively, both up by 0.4%. The rupee is trading at 66.50 to the US$.

Stocks in the power space are trading on a mixed note with Rattan India Power and Torrent Power witnessing maximum buying interest. As per a leading financial daily, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is entering the wind energy segment for the first time in India.

This comes as the company has invited bids from contractors to set up a 100 megawatt (MW) wind energy project or two projects of 50 MW each anywhere in India. According to the document inviting bids, the winner of the contract will implement the project from concept to the commissioning stage and subsequently monitor it.

The renewable energy and hydro projects currently account for about 2% of the 40,000 MW capacity that NTPC owns. It has 110 MW of solar plants and 1,200 MW under construction. It also has 800 MW of small hydroelectric plants with another 800 MW being set up.

As per Mr Piyush Goyal- minister of power, coal and renewable energy had earlier stated that India has a US$250 billion investment opportunity in the renewable energy space. Further, the India Government has set a target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacities by 2022 with a capital outlay of US$160 billion including equity of US$40 billion. (1 gigawatt = 1,000 megawatts).

As far as the conventional energy segment is concerned, presently, NTPC is facing subdued demand from the state electricity boards (SEBs) owing to their poor financials.

However, as my colleague Tanushree Banerjee points out in the update for NTPC'S offer for sale, even if problems of the power sector get partially sorted out, the company is likely to be the biggest beneficiary (subscription required). Presently the stock of the company is trading marginally higher.

PSU banking stocks are trading on a mixed note with Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Canara Bank leading the gains.

In another news update it was reported that the Supreme Court has asked the government to overhaul the banking system to prevent bad loans and hasten recovery from defaulting borrowers.

The Supreme Court stated that had the system been working well, the public sector banks would not have had to write off more than Rs 1,140 billion of bad loans.

The court has insisted the government to carry out reforms in order to solve the problem of rising bad loans. It also insisted to set up a committee that will debate how to improve the ongoing system.

The rising bad loans has been a serious concern for Indian banks, especially for the 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.

One shall note that earlier this month the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stated that it plans to put in place a supervisory enforcement framework wherein action against banks would be taken for non-compliance of RBI instructions. This move was initiated to standardize bad loan recognition across all banks and to put an end to decade-old volatility in banks' earnings. The framework is said to be formalised by June this year.

The implementation of above proposals will offer a great opportunity to unlock the untapped value from banks' assets. If the government succeeds, then shareholders in the banking space could multiply their wealth in such stocks. Only time will show the practicalities that these reforms will bring.

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Mar 16, 2018 (Close)