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Sensex Surges 200 Points; Energy Stocks Top Gainers
Tue, 17 Jul Closing | Parth Parekh, TM Team

After opening the day in green, share markets in India witnessed positive trading activity throughout the day and ended the day in green. Sectoral indices too ended the day in green, with stocks in the energy sector and stocks in the PSU sector leading the gains.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 196 points (up 0.5%) and the NSE Nifty closed up by 71 points (up 0.7%). The BSE Mid Cap index ended the day up 2.1%, while the BSE Small Cap index ended the day up by 1.1%.

Asian stock markets finished mixed. As of the most recent closing prices, the Hang Seng was down by 1.3% and the Shanghai Composite was down by 0.6%. The Nikkei 225 was up by 0.4%. Meanwhile, European markets were trading on a positive note. The FTSE 100 was down by 0.2%, The DAX, was down by 0.1% while the CAC 40 was down by 0.2%.

The rupee was trading at Rs 68.41 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 71.6 at the time of writing.

Moving on to news from stocks in the banking sector. IDBI Bank share price is in focus today after the Life Insurance Corporation of India's (LIC) board approved the deal for the buyout of the state-owned IDBI Bank Ltd.

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The LIC board approved the acquisition of up to 51% stake in IDBI Bank.

The government owns over 81% stake in IDBI Bank, while LIC already holds a 7.98% stake in IDBI Bank as of end June this year; the latest approval will enable it to acquire another 43% stake in the bank.

A stake sale of 40-43% in the lender could net the government over Rs 100-110 billion.

Notably, the government had announced that it would bring its stake in IDBI Bank below 50% in the Union Budget 2016.

The IDBI Bank board is scheduled to meet soon to draw capital raising plan for the next five years.

IDBI Bank share price ended the day up by 3.1%.

LIC - The Default Bad Bank?

Ask an average Indian investor about the next best thing after safe bank deposits. I can bet they would tell you about LIC policies. For generations Indians have treasured LIC policies in their safe deposit lockers like their gold and fixed deposit receipts.

Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC) meanwhile, has been acting like the government's ATM for years. It has bailed out public issues of scores of PSUs. And helped the government milk by buying a majority stake in several state-owned lenders. The latest attempt to bail out the troubled IDBI Bank is a classic case of the state insurer buying toxic assets.

In fact, given the high stakes that LIC owns in the most troubled banks, the government needn't even consider the proposal of setting up a 'Bad Bank'. It could just turn LIC into one. At least then the investors owning investments in LIC policies, would know the real risk they carry.

Moving on to news from stocks in the steel sector. Tata Steel share price was among the top gainers in the market today after it was reported that the company is planning to raise overseas loans.

Tata Steel is planning to raise as much as US$3.1 billion via overseas loans to repay existing high-cost debt ahead of the merger of its European operations with German steel giant Thyssenkrupp.

The new facilities will replace the existing debt held by its European businesses. Once completed, this could be one of the largest refinancing program by a corporate this year to drastically cut down borrowing costs.

According to reports, the new plan will substantially reduce debt burden on Tata Steel's consolidated operations. The new debt will be cheaper by 30-40 basis points from the current level.

Tata Steel, which has about US$8 billion debt under its European operations, has already agreed to transfer two-thirds of the same to the joint venture with Thyssenkrupp. The remaining high-cost debt will be replaced with the new facilities.

Notably, Tata Steel raised US$1.3 billion in January, by selling dollar-denominated bonds to overseas investors.

Tata Steel share price ended the day up by 2.5%

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