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Listless Gains for Indian Indices
Tue, 19 Jul 11:30 am

After opening the day on a flat note, the Indian stock markets witnessed some choppy trades and are presently trading near the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks from the oil & gas and telecom sectors leading the gains. FMCG stocks are trading in the red.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 7 points (up 0.03%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up by 3 points (up 0.03%). The BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index are trading up by 0.2% and 0.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 67.14 to the US$.

Stocks in the steel sector are trading on a positive note with Bhushan Steel and JSW Steel leading the gains. As per an article in the Economic Times, Indian has decided to back a recent G20 move to curb excess steel capacity and subsidies given by countries to their steelmakers. Although, at the same time, the Indian government is concerned that this decision will keep the local industry from availing itself of state support in the form of a minimum import price (MIP).

Members at the G20 trade ministers' meeting held last week said structural problems including excess capacity in some industries had caused a negative impact on trade and workers. They also stated that excess capacity in steel and other industries is a global issue which requires collective response. G20, addressing these issues, said that the subsidies and other types of support from governments can cause market distortions and contribute to global excess capacity and therefore require attention.

Interestingly, India had opposed a similar proposal ten years ago which sought to control the steelmaking capacity of developing countries.

The government of India on February 5, 2016 had imposed the MIP on 173 steel products. This was done to promote domestic growth of steel manufacturing industry. Also, government has made efforts to impose anti-dumping duty, safeguard duty on imported steel products. This is likely to further restrict and reduce dependence on externally manufactured steel products.

MIP is the minimum price per tonne that firms have to pay while importing products. To know more about MIP and its impact on steel industry, do read this edition of The 5 Minute WrapUp Premium (subscription required).

In another news update, non-banking finance companies (NBFC's) have seen their funding costs fall in the past few months. This is seen as the likes of Bajaj Finance, and Indiabulls Housing Finance have expanded credit much faster than average bank loans. Reportedly, NBFC's, with a few rating upgrades, are set to see a further drop in borrowing costs.

Saddled by bad loans, banks have been growing loans less than 10% on a YoY basis. However, on the other hand, NBFCs have expanded credit, mostly in the range of 15-25%, as they ensure better credit quality through retail lending mechanism.

However, one must note that NBFC's are also incurring non-performing losses. This is seen on the back of the shift to 120-day non-performing loans (NPL) recognition norm in FY17 from 150-days in FY16. The norm states that NBFCs will have to classify an asset as non-performing asset if it stays overdue for 120 days.

However, it is clear that NBFCs will continue to gain credit market share at the expense of banks. This is because banks struggle to raise capital for a successful transition to the Basel-III regime, which is forcing them to reduce credit growth.

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