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Indian Indices Open Firm
Tue, 17 May 09:30 am

Barring China, major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note. Stock markets in Singapore and Japan are trading higher by 1% and 0.7% respectively. Benchmark indices in Europe and the US ended their previous session on an encouraging note. The rupee is trading at 66.82 per US$.

Indian stock markets have opened the day on a strong note. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 170 points (up 0.7%) and NSE Nifty is trading higher by 50 points (up 0.6%). Both, BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap are trading higher by 0.6% and 0.5% respectively.

Major sectoral indices have opened the day in green with stocks from telecommunication and oil & gas sectors witnessing buying interest.

As per an article in Business Standard, L&T Finance Holdings is considering selling a minority stake in Fidelity Mutual Fund, a business it acquired four years ago. The company had acquired this business at a valuation of Rs 5.8 billion.

Reportedly, this move is part of the company's ongoing restructuring process aimed at improving the return on equity (ROE) and focusing on core areas such as rural, housing and wholesale lending.

The ROEs have been hovering around 10-11% for the past four years. The company intends to move this to 17-18% over the next three to four years.

Further, the company is eyeing a valuation of around Rs 10-13 billion for this mutual fund business. Reportedly, this would value the fund house at four to five per cent of its asset size, in line with some of the recent acquisitions in domestic Asset Management Companies (AMCs) space.

Moreover, this move will also help to improve the financials at a consolidated level and in-turn benefit the shareholders of Larsen & Toubro. The share of L&T Finance Holdings is trading down by 0.5%.

In another news update, Bank of Baroda reported its results for the quarter ended March 2016. The bank reported a net loss of Rs 32.3 billion for the March quarter as compared to a net profit of Rs 5.9 billion a year ago. The loss was on account of higher provisioning for bad loans. Further, the loss was restricted due to a tax write-back of Rs 10.5 billion in the quarter. If not for the write-back, the loss would have widened.

Reportedly, as a percentage of total loans, gross non-performing assets (NPAs) stood at 9.99% at the end of the March quarter. On a year on year basis the gross NPAs have risen by a whopping 6.27%.

The provisions too have risen by around 280% YoY to Rs 68.5 billion during the March quarter as the company set aside more money to provide for the bad loans.

Net interest income (NII), or the core income a bank rose marginally by 5% YoY to Rs.33 billion during the quarter. Asset quality will be the key thing to watch out for in the company going forward. Looking at the deteriorating asset quality it is clear that the bank is not running efficiently. This brings us to the question as to why the government is running almost 27 banks. Vivek Kaul has written an interesting article stating his views as to whether the public sector banks should be merged. Click here to access it.

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Jan 19, 2018 (Close)