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Positive Start to the Day
Thu, 18 Aug 09:30 am

Barring Japan, major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note with stock markets in Hong Kong and Indonesia are trading higher by 1.6% and 1.2% respectively. Benchmark indices in Europe ended their previous session in red with stock markets in Germany ending the day lower by 1.3%. The rupee is trading at 66.77 per US$.

Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 150 points (up 0.5%) and the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 35 points (up 0.4%). While both, BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap are trading higher by 0.5% each.

Major sectoral indices have opened the day on a positive note with stocks from telecom and power sector witnessing maximum buying interest.

As per an article in a leading financial daily, three months after State Bank of India's (SBI) merger with its five associate banks, the situation at the bank has worsened.

At the time of merger, experts believed that the merger would benefit SBI on many counts. One being, on the cost front. SBI Chairperson, Mrs Arundhati Bhattacharya had stated that the cost to income ratio would go down by 1%. Further, it was also stated that the combined treasury would lower the cost of deposits. To add to this, SBI had even stated that the merger would not dramatically impact its asset quality or increase the bad loan ratio.

However, most of these points have not turned out to be true. The bad loan situation at the bank has worsened on account of the merger. The combined GNPA ratio of the five associate banks at the end of the June quarter has surged to 9.14% from 5.98% in the March quarter. While, without the merger this ratio would have stood at 6.94%.

Not only this, the credit costs too for the merged bank had deteriorated to 5.56% in the June quarter as compared to 3.18% in the preceding quarter.

So did it really make sense to consolidate these banks? Why are these banks willing to consolidate their operations? Will this be a successful move knowing that many public sector banks are facing huge bad loan problems? Vivek Kaul answers all of these questions in one of his articles from the Vivek Kaul's Diary. He is of the opinion that the merger of two public sector banks, will give us a bigger inefficient bank. Click here to read this mindboggling piece.

In another news update, growth in consumer non-durables turned positive in the month of June after eleven months of continuous contraction. Reportedly, the revival is on account of improved rural sentiments.

The growth was led by a pick-up in the apparel and tobacco segment. A normal monsoon has led to normal sowing activities. Sowing of rain-fed kharif crops has been completed in 95.4 million hectares or 90% of the normal area planted during the season.

However, the growth being a mere 1%, a sustainable recovery in this segment needs to be witnessed to see a recovery in the rural demand.

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Jan 22, 2018 03:33 PM