The equity benchmark indices held on to gains throughout the trading session today as a result of which the Indian markets closed the day on a positive note. Stocks from the capital goods and power sector witnessed maximum gains today. Both the BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap indices outperformed and closed higher by 1.9% and 1.8% respectively. The BSE Sensex closed higher by 314 points. The NSE-Nifty too was seen up by 103 points.
On the global front, most of the Asian indices have closed the day on a firm note. Whereas, the European indices have opened on a mixed note. The rupee was trading at Rs 60.11 to the dollar at the time of writing.
All the PSU banks' stocks have closed the day in green today. Stocks of Syndicate Bank and Bank of Maharashtra have led the pack of gainers. As per a leading daily, banks are reported to have been making a rush to offload bad assets to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) in order to get rid of bad loans. In two separate deals State Bank of India and other banks have agreed to sell the Rs 43 bn loan of Hotel Leela Venture to JM Financial ARC and Rs 80 bn outstanding loan of Bharti Shipyard to Edelweiss ARC. For the first time, the lenders have jointly decided to sell loans as a single block to a single ARC. It is said that about 5% of the amount will be paid in cash while the remaining sum, in the form of security receipts which would be paid over a period of time, will be linked to recovery of the dues by the ARCs. A recent date released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reports that the total bad loans for the commercial banks in the system stood at 4% of total advances in March 2014 as against 3.4% a year ago.
According to a leading daily, the upcoming Budget is likely to state a clear roadmap for diesel price regulation. This will be a big step towards containing the humungous subsidy bill and will also help ensure healthy competition in fuel retailing sector. The Finance Minister is expected to abolish subsidies on auto fuels. The deregulation of diesel prices however is unlikely to result into a positive outcome for the consumer prices of the fuels. Besides, the Ministry is also ready with a roadmap for a phased reduction of subsidy on kitchen fuels - LPG (cooking gas) and kerosene. The details of which are expected to be out as part of Budget. Reviewing fuel subsidy and bringing down the subsidy bill is the prime agenda for the government.
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