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Indian Indices Trade Marginally Positive
Mon, 25 Jul 11:30 am

After opening the day on a flat note, the Indian stock markets registered gains and went on to trade in the green. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the oil & gas, realty and finance sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 122 points (up 0.4%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 38 points (up 0.4%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.7%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 1%. The rupee is trading at 67.19 to the US$.

Stocks in the energy space are trading on a positive note with Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) and Chennai Petroleum leading the gains. As per an article in the Economic Times, the government is all set to start consultations for an ambitious plan to merge 13 state oil firms. This is planned in order to create a giant corporation whose revenue overlook global energy major Chevron that competes with US conglomerate General Electricity in the fortune 500 ranking.

Also, the Cabinet Secretariat has referred the above idea of merging state oil corporations to the oil ministry. Following this, the oil ministry has begun the process of evaluating the prospects of creating the conglomerate, which will have a bigger market value than Russian state oil giant Rosneft and India's Reliance Industries. The ministry plans to consult all stakeholders in the state firms that will be joined in the conglomerate.

Notably, a similar proposal as above was considered more than a decade ago. However, the government in July 2005 said that the official committee that studied the matter felt that a merger or formation of the holding company may not be advisable for the present.

What developments are seen for this plan remain to be the test of time. If the merger actually takes place, it would open up many avenues for India as well as the merged oil firms. As the article notes, a consolidated entity could rival the likes of Russia's Rosneft (US$55 billion in market cap) and UK's BP Plc (US$112 billion) in market value and financial power. It can offer proposals such as a significant stake in Rosneft. It would also aid in catering the rising demand for fuel in the country.

Moving on to the news from the global markets... All eyes are set on the Bank of Japan (BOJ) monetary policy meet this week that will define the central bank's stimulus measures.

In the policy meet scheduled this week, Japan's government will be finalizing one of the biggest spending packages since Shinzo Abe took office more than three-and-a-half years ago vowing to revitalize the economy.

As per the news, policymakers have urged BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda to coordinate efforts by expanding the central bank's monetary easing.

Notably, Haruhiko Kuroda has ruled out the possibility of further stimulus. The governor, in a speech last week, declined the use of helicopter money to lift the Japanese economy. The BOJ has already implemented a negative interest rate policy (NIRP). Further, it is printing 80 trillion yen (US$750 billion) a year to stimulate inflation after decades of deflation and stagnant growth. Despite all these measures the inflationary expectations appear to be weakening. An entry in Vivek Kaul's Diary explains how Japan became a giant laboratory experiment for novel monetary policies.

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Mar 20, 2018 (Close)