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Mid Caps Buck the Weak Trend
Wed, 2 Dec Closing

Indian stock markets began the day's proceedings on a firm note but traded weak for most of the morning and afternoon session as indices closed below the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex closed lower by 52 points, the NSE-Nifty today closed lower by 24 points. Meanwhile, S&P BSE Midcap closed on a positive note gaining 0.2%, while the S&P BSE Smallcap closed flat. Losses were largely seen in banking and IT stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 2.33% and the Hang Seng rose 0.44%. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.37%. European markets are higher today with shares in London leading the region. The FTSE 100 is up 0.26% while France's CAC 40 is up 0.07% and Germany's DAX is up 0.01%. The rupee was trading at 66.62 against the US$ in the afternoon session.

Shares of Tata Steel surged more than 2% today after it was reported that TS Global Holdings Pte (TSGH), a subsidiary of Tata Steel incorporated in Singapore, has executed agreements for loan facilities of US$1.5 billion comprising a 5 year loan of US$750 million and a 6 year loan of US$750 million. The proceeds of this loan will be used to repay existing term loan facilities in TSGH.

The loan facilities have been contracted with a group of 16 Mandated Lead Arrangers. Tata Steel's operations in India and Europe have been affected by global weakness in steel demand and steel prices. The refinancing will provide more flexibility with savings in costs and extension of the loan tenure.

The stock ended higher by 1.1% on the BSE. The company announced its numbers for the second quarter of financial year 2015-2016 recently. Here is our analysis of the results. (Subscription required)

Banking stocks languished in red today with PNB and Bank of India bearing majority of the brunt. According to a leading financial daily, HDFC Bank has sold 150,000 shares of United Spirits Ltd that Vijay Mallya had pledged with the bank for Rs 470 million. Reportedly, HDFC Bank sold the shares pledged by Kingfisher Finvest to secure loans given to the holding company United Breweries Holding Ltd.

The move comes days after Yes Bank sold United Breweries shares worth Rs 7.78 billion, pushing promoter Mallya to repay loans over Rs 70 billion taken for the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

As for the public sector banks, the non-performing asset story remains worse. Net non-performing assets of public sector banks for the financial year ending on March 31, 2015, stood at 2.92% of their total advances (i.e. loans). It was at 2.01% for the financial year ended March 31, 2013. In comparison, the private sector banks are extremely well placed with their net non-performing assets being at 0.89% of their total advances. For financial year ending on March 31, 2013, the net non-performing assets of these banks stood at 0.52%. In one of our recent articles of 'The Daily Reckoning', Vivek Kaul highlights why the government shouldn't be running 27 public sector banks.

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