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Indian markets open in red
Mon, 16 Nov 09:30 am

The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on an disappointing note with stock markets in Hong Kong (down 1.6%) and Indonesia (down 1.2%) being the top losers. Major stock indices in Europe and US too ended their previous session deep in red. The rupee is trading at 66.13 per US dollar.

Indian stock markets too have opened the day on a negative note. BSE-Sensex is trading lower by 74 points (down 0.3%) and NSE-Nifty is trading lower by 25 points (down 0.3%). Both S&P BSE Midcap and S&P BSE Smallcap is trading marginally higher by 0.2% and 0.1% respectively. Major sectoral indices have opened the day on a mixed note. Stocks from banking and pharmaceutical sector are witnessing buying interest. However stocks from information technology and oil and gas are the top losers in the pack.

As reported in a financial daily, owing to default on loans by mid-sized companies, banks have reduced their exposure to this group of companies. According to a data published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), outstanding credit to medium-sized companies has come down by 10% to Rs 1.14 trillion as on 18thSeptmeber as compared to the beginning of the financial year. During the same period the advances to micro and small companies (MSE) have also reduced by around 3%.

Reportedly, net sales of the companies within a range of Rs 500 to 1000 m have dropped over 76% from a year ago period. Further Interest Coverage Ratio (ICR) stood in a range of 0.4-1.6 for companies under Rs 2500 m of sales. An ICR below 1 indicates that the company is not generating sufficient revenue to pay interest expenses.

Owing to such concerns, banks are making efforts to reduce their exposure to the mid-sized companies and MSE.

Vivek Kaul, co-author of 'The Daily Reckoning' recently wrote a quite an interesting piece highlighting the poor state of public sector banks. In the article, Vivek emphasizes on the high levels of the non-performing assets (or bad loans) of the banks and whether any steps have been taken by the government to revive this sector. Read on to this article to know more about his insights on this sector!

The stocks in the commodity pack have remained under pressures since some time now. And Tata steel too is facing several challenges. As reported in a financial daily, Tata Steel intends to sell its steel plant in Northern England. The company is struggling to sell its products due to the cheaper imports from the Chinese markets. Further, high energy costs and strong value of sterling too have led to the subdued demand for the company's product.

The company was in talks with US industrial tycoon Gary Klesch to sell its plant. However the talks failed to materialize. As per an article in leading financial daily, company hopes that the sales of its plant will take place by April next year. Reportedly, various bidders are believed to be interested in purchasing the plant. Further there is also a possibility of management buy-out.

The stock of Tata Steel is trading marginally down by 0.05%.

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