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Indian Indices Extend Downtrend
Thu, 16 Jun 11:30 am

After opening the day in red, the Indian indices registered further losses and went on to trade deep in the red. Sectoral indices are trading on a discouraging note with stocks from the telecom and banking sector witnessing maximum selling pressure.

The BSE Sensex is trading down 369 points (down 1.4%) and the NSE Nifty is trading down 122 points (down 1.5%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading down 0.8%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading down 0.9%. The rupee is trading at 67.19 to the US$.

In a move to keep a tab on the flow of black money stashed in offshore accounts, India and Switzerland have agreed to move towards an early agreement for the implementation of automatic exchange of information (AEOI) between the two countries.

As per an article in Business Standard, Revenue Secretary Dr. Hasmukh Adhia and Switzerland's State Secretary for International Financial Matters Mr. Jacques de Watteville have agreed to move towards an early agreement for the implementation of AEOI between the two countries. It was further decided that experts of both the countries will meet before mid-September, 2016 to further discuss the modalities for the reciprocal bilateral implementation of AEOI.

The implementation of AEOI will enable India to receive financial information of accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland on automatic basis from 2018.

Black money forms a major part of the Indian economy. The finance ministry recently stated that the government has taken sustained steps for curbing black money which includes enactment of a new Black Money Act with strict penalty provisions and new income disclosure scheme formulated for domestic black money.

Black money is money which has been earned, but on which tax has not been paid. Vivek Kaul, editor of Vivek Kaul's Diary, has offered some interesting data that shows India's love for black money. In his latest article on the topic he has shared some insights on what do the car sales tell us about black money.

Moving on to the news from banking space. Shares of all the listed associate banks of State Bank of India (SBI) are witnessing buying interest. This is seen as the Union Cabinet yesterday approved the merger of five associate bank and Bharatiya Mahila Bank with SBI.

State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore and State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur were up around 15% each in early trades today.

SBI has stated that the ratio of the merger will be decided post valuation analysis over next two months. As per SBI management the merger process may get completed by March, 2017.

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.

Presently the stock of SBI is trading down 1%.

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Jan 16, 2018 01:17 PM