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Indian Indices Open Flat
Wed, 8 Jun 09:30 am

Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. The stock markets in Hong Kong are trading down by 0.33%, while markets in Japan are trading up by 0.55%. Major indices in Europe ended their session on a positive note. US markets, however, closed their previous session in the red. The rupee is trading at 66.75 per US$.

Indian stock markets have opened the day on a flattish note. The BSE Sensex is trading up by 51 points (up 0.08%), while the NSE Nifty is trading flat. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap indices are trading in the green, both up by 0.3%. Sectoral indices have opened the day on a mixed note with stocks from telecom and capital goods sectors leading the gains.

Stocks in the PSU banking space have opened the day on a mixed note with Indian Bank and Central Bank leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, State Bank of India (SBI) chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said that the merger of SBI with its five subsidiaries will strengthen them and boost market share as the move will help in reducing several repetitive costs. She also stated that talks with bank unions will take place and their concerns related to the proposed merger will be addressed once the government gives its in-principle approval.

The bank is going to merge its five associate banks, along with Bharatiya Mahila Bank, with itself. The five associate banks are State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, and State Bank of Patiala.

Recently, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the government as of now was looking at SBI merging its subsidiaries and a decision on this will be taken soon.

The above development comes as some state-run banks have evinced their interest to take on smaller entities. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said in March that the bankers' themselves have supported the proposal of consolidation of banks in order to have strong banks rather than having numerically large number of banks.

However, does it really make sense to merge public sector banks? Why are these PSUs willing to consolidate their operations? Will this be a successful move knowing that public sector banks are facing huge bad loan problems? Vivek Kaul answers all of these questions in one of the articles from the Vivek Kaul's Diary. He is of the opinion that the merger of two public sector banks will give us a bigger inefficient bank.

Moving on to the news from energy space. As per an economic daily, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is planning a second phase of setting up solar parks across the country. For this, the ministry is aiming to identify land capable of accommodating 40,000 megawatt (MW) in 25 states.

Notably, this phase is planned twice as ambitious as the first and will set aside a portion where solar power producer will also have to set up facility to store the energy in batteries.

One shall note that the India Government has set a target of 175 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacities by 2022 with a capital outlay of US$160 billion including equity of US$40 billion. (1 GW = 1,000 megawatts) Speaking of renewables, we had written an article stating the major flaw in the US$ 100 billion solar sector.

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