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Sensex Finishes Firm; ICICI Bank Continues to Rise
Thu, 20 Oct Closing

Indian share markets finished the trading day on a firm note as buying activity continued in the afternoon session. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 145 points, while the NSE Nifty finished up by 40 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 0.1% and 0.5% respectively. Gains were largely seen in banking and metal stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of their recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 1.39% while the Hang Seng was higher by 0.30%. The Shanghai Composite was even. European markets are also mixed today. The DAX is up 0.22% while the CAC 40 gains 0.22%. The FTSE 100 is off 0.05%.

The rupee was trading at 66.74 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 51.34 at the time of writing.

Share price of State Bank of India finished on an encouraging note (up 2%) after it was reported that the company is planning to raise up to Rs 33 billion through additional tier-1 (AT1) bonds. This is the second time in recent months that SBI is looking to raise funds through this route. In September, the bank had issued AT1 bonds worth Rs 21 billion to YES Bank at a coupon (interest rate) of nine per cent. CRISIL has assigned 'AA+' for these bonds.

In another development, Yes Bank has reported results for second quarter ended September 30, 2016.

The Bank has reported 31.3% rise in its net profit at Rs 8.01 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2016 as compared to Rs 6.1 billion for the same quarter in the previous year. Total income of the bank increased 24.70% to Rs 49.82 billion for Q2FY17 from Rs 39.95 billion for the corresponding quarter in previous year.

The Bank's gross NPA for the July-September quarter of the current fiscal increased to 0.83% as compared to 0.61% in the same quarter of the previous year. Besides, bank's Net NPA stood at 0.29% in Q2FY17.

Share price of Yes Bank finished the day up by 1.3% on the BSE.

Moving on to news from stocks in FMCG sector. According to an article in The Economic Times, Maggi noodles in India has reported sustained recovery, regaining market share in the country almost a year after it was re-launched following a five-month ban in 2015.

Reportedly, at present, Nestle enjoys 57% market share in the instant noodles market in India as against 75% before the crisis had hit the company. The instant noodles market in the country is estimated at Rs 20 billion with ITC's Yippee, Nepal-based Chaudhary group's Wai Wai and Patanjali Noodles among major players besides Maggi.

In June 2015, FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles in India following a Bombay High Court order, saying it was "unsafe and hazardous" for consumption after finding lead content beyond the permissible limit. After a 5-month ban, in November last year, Nestle India re-launched the instant noodles in the market.

Earlier this year, Nestle India launched up to 25 products across various categories in a day to fend off competition.

In another development, consumer goods firms are of the view that a standard goods and services tax (GST) rate of 17-18% can spur growth in the FMCG industry. But the companies also warned that ease and simplicity of GST may get compromised if their categories are not clubbed in compatible slabs.

As per the reports, 17-18% GST would be positive for household and personal care segments as the effective tax rate would come down, apart from reducing warehousing and logistical requirements.

According to managing director of Godrej Consumer Products, a rate of around 18% would spur growth and consumers would consequently benefit from the lower tax rates and could witness an uptick in demand.

For the consumer durable industry, the current effective tax rate including VAT and excise is around 22-24%, varying from state to state.

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Mar 20, 2018 (Close)