The Sensex today is up by around 48 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 14 point (0.3%). However, the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices are trading almost flat. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 64.11 to the US dollar.
Public sector bank stocks have largely opened the day on a firm note with Oriental Bank, Allahabad Bank and Andhra Bank leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, banks are witnessing a reviving in credit offtake. As other forms of borrowings are becoming costlier, corporates are going back to banks for their working capital requirements. In the two weeks to August 9, 2013, loans to companies, individuals, farmers as well as to small businesses increased by Rs 1.08 trillion. As a result, the total outstanding loan portfolio of banks has increased to Rs 55 trillion. On a year-on-year basis, the growth has been 16.6%. It must be noted that this is higher than RBI's comfort level of 15%. While fresh investments in projects are not taking place owing to the slowdown in the economy, corporates that were going to the commercial paper market are now returning to the loan market.
Oil & gas stocks have also opened the day on a firm note with Essar Oil, Gujarat Gas and Cairn India leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, state-run oil and gas exploration firm Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) plans to save 40% capital expenditure and reduce about four years in developing three gas discoveries. These discoveries are adjoining the gas fields of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) in the east coast. The savings would be by sharing spare infrastructure of the KG-D6 block. The capital expenditure in developing the three gas fields may be around US$ 1.75 bn. By sharing the facilities with RIL, ONGC expects to save capital expenditure of about US$ 0.7 bn out of this. As per ONGC's "conservative estimate", it aims to produce about 6-9 million standard cubic metres of gas by mid-2017 from the three gas fields. Both ONGC and RIL are discussing details before signing a formal agreement.