After opening flat; the Indian indices have have inched upwards in the last two hours of the trading session. Most of the sectoral indices are trading in the red barring banking and IT.
The BSE-Sensex is trading up 20 points and the NSE-Nifty is trading up 6 points. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up 0.4%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 1.2% today. The rupee is trading at 59.3 to the US dollar.
All PSU Banking stocks are trading positive today. United Bank of India and Union Bank are leading the gainers. According to a leading business daily; State Bank of India (SBI) will begin the consolidation in the banking industry by combining five of its associate banks. SBI's five associates are State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur and State Bank of Mysore. The combined entity with inclusion of associates will enhance the asset base of SBI to Rs 21,900 bn, and add 5,658 branches to its existing network of 15,143 branches. The combined market share of SBI will rise to 24%, from 19%, making it stronger than before. The company feels that the timing is right for such a consolidation as the Indian economy is on cusp of a strong growth. Experts believe that as the economy grows; Indian banks will also have to grow big in size on the lines of Chinese banks. The stock is trading 1.8% up today.
Telecom stocks are trading higher today. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and Tata Teleservices are leading the gainers. As per a leading business daily; India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel has witnessed significant traction in data services from rural India. The company had launched data packs for Re 1 in rural and semi-urban areas last year. These packs offered video based entertainment as well as internet browsing at a very affordable price. This service called Entertainment Store, has been successful in attracting large numbers of first time users in non-metro areas, especially those customers who do not use smartphones. The company's data volumes and realizations have been growing at a rapid rate over the last few quarters. Bharti Airtel is trading up 0.5% today.