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Banking stocks lead markets higher
Fri, 13 Aug 09:30 am

The Indian markets have started today’s session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened below the breakeven mark but soon moved into the positive territory. Other key Asian markets are in the green with South Korea (up 0.8%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed lower by 0.6% yesterday.

Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with banking and metal majors finding investors’ favour. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 90 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 30 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.8% and 0.9% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.72 to the US dollar.

Banking stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include SBI and ICICI Bank. SBI declared its 1QFY11 results yesterday. The bank reported a 6% YoY growth in interest income during the quarter. This came on the back of 21% YoY growth in advances. Its net interest margin improved from 2.3% in 1QFY10 to 3.2% in 1QFY11 led by robust growth in low cost deposit base. It managed to garner some large corporate salary accounts including that of the Indian Military and technology major IBM. Its cost to income ratio reduced from 57% in 1QFY10 to 44% in 1QFY11 due to write back of employee cost provisioning. The bank’s gross non performing assets (NPAs) increased to 3.1% from 2.8% in 1QFY10 while net NPAs remained at 1.7%. Capital adequacy ratio for the bank stood at 13.5% at the end of 1QFY11.

Auto stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include TVS Motor and Eicher Motor. As per a leading business daily, Tata Motors plans to set up a new manufacturing unit for small trucks in India. This will help it tap the commercial vehicles business globally. The company is also exploring synergies with its joint venture partner, Fiat. Apart from trucks, the company plans to launch more Fiat cars in India in the coming days. It plans to expand the Fiat product range and marketing team in the coming days. It may be noted that Tata Motors and Fiat have an equal joint venture company in India called Fiat India Automobiles which produces Grande Punto, Linea and Palio Stile cars at its factory at Ranjangaon near Pune.

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