After starting today’s session on a positive note Indian indices have gained further ground. Other key Asian markets too are trading strong. Currently heavyweights in the Sensex are trading in the green with stocks from realty and metals space witnessing strong buying interest. However, stocks from oil & gas and FMCG space are trading weak.
Currently, the BSE-Sensex is trading up by around 201 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 63 points. Strong buying interest is also witnessed amongst the mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading up by 1.3% and 1.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.49 to the US dollar.
Bank stocks are trading strong with Lakshmi Vilas bank and South Indian bank leading the gains. However, City Union bank and Karnataka bank are trading weak. As per a leading news daily, SBI is planning to merge its 5 associate banks with itself. These banks include State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad. It should be noted that SBI has already amalgamated two of its associate banks namely State Bank of Indore and State Bank of Saurashtra with itself over the last two years. The merger of associate banks with itself will avoid competition and would enable them to access funds at competitive rates compared to operating on isolated basis. However, the merger is subject to government approval and the concerned banks and SBI is waiting for a nod from the regulatory authorities.
Infrastructure stocks are trading flat with Unity Infra Projects and IVRCL Infra leading the gains. Infrastructure major, L&T is planning to unlock value in its financial services arm in the next one to one and half month. The entire process is expected to be complete by FY12. Since long L&T has been mulling to unlock value in some of its key subsidiaries including L&T Finance, L&T Infotech and L&T Infrastructure. The mode of unlocking, the timing and all other related issues are yet to be decided. However, as far as the infrastructure arm is concerned the company has decided to wait till the Hyderabad Metro project takes shape. It may take some decision on the unlocking plans once the project is complete. Further it should be noted that the company is also planning to foray into the banking sector as well and is waiting for the guidelines to be announced.