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Late buying propels indices
Fri, 23 May Closing

After trading above the dotted line in the post noon trading session, Indian equity markets ended the day on a strong note. While the BSE-Sensex today closed higher by 319 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 91 points. Even Smallcaps and Midcaps were in much demand today with both the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices closing higher by 1.8% and 1.9% respectively. Barring stocks from Consumer durables and FMCG, all the sectoral indices closed in green.

As regards global markets, Asian indices closed on a strong note today. The rupee was trading at Rs 58.42 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Failing to check the price rise was the primary reason why the UPA received a drubbing from the voters in this election. But is the new government ready to tackle the problem of food inflation on which people have shown so much hope? And if yes, what steps it needs to take? An article in economic times highlights critical issues that need to be addressed in order to curb food inflation. For the one the excessive stock lying in Food Corporation of India (FCI) must be immediately released into the market. Second plan of action could be to reduce import duties on food articles. And lastly, steps should be taken to avoid leakages that take place in food and fertilizer subsidy allocation. If these three steps are taken on a priority basis by the new government we may well see food inflation coming down drastically over the future.

PSU banking stocks have closed firm today, with State bank of India (SBI) and Andhara bank being among the leading gainers. SBI has declared results for fourth quarter and full year FY14. Net interest income rose to 16.5% YoY for the quarter and the total income increased by 13.1% YoY. However the net profits were down by 7.8% YoY for the quarter. On the positive side, SBI has shown solid improvement in its asset quality. The gross non-performing assets (NPAs) declined by 78 bps on QoQ to 4.95% and the net NPAs were down by 67 bps QoQ to 2.57% during the quarter. Capital adequacy ratio (CAR) too improved to 12.44% in the quarter versus 11.59% on sequential basis. The bank has declared a dividend of Rs 30 per share for FY14. SBI closed up by 8.5%.

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