Indian markets continued to languish in the red in the last two hours of trade. Currently stocks in the IT and media space are trading higher while stocks in all the remaining indices are trading in the red. The realty sector is the top loser with heavyweights pulling down the index.
The BSE-Sensex and the NSE-Nifty are currently trading under the dotted line by around 98 points and 33 points respectively. The BSE-Midcap Index is trading in the red after falling by 50 points. In the last two hours the BSE-Smallcap index also slipped into the red and is lower by about 14 points. The rupee is trading at 45.63 to the US dollar.
As per a leading daily, India's largest lender SBI is aiming to grow at 25% over the next few years. To achieve this strategy, the bank has major hiring plans this year. The bank plans to recruit more than 27,000 people this year. Of this 20,000 – 22,000 people will be in the clerical post while 5,500 people will be at probationary officer level. Besides this the bank plans to go for lateral hires at middle management level. As part of its rural strategy, the bank aims to deploy around 2,000 probationary officers at its rural branches. The bank plans to open 1,000 branches this year bringing its total branches to 13,000 while it plans to scale up its ATM network to 25,000. While the higher loan growth may be achievable in the medium term, SBI's cost efficiency may be impacted.
According to a press release, telecom major Bharti Airtel will be buying a 70% stake in Warid Telecom. This company is the fourth largest telecom company in Bangladesh with a subscriber base of 2.9 m. Bharti will be making an investment of Rs 13.7 bn in the company for the stake. This capital infusion is expected to be used for funding network expansion and introduction of innovative products and services. The acquisition will be partly through the issue of fresh shares and partly through the acquisition of existing shares of the current promoters, the Abu Dhabi group. The Abu Dhabi group will continue to hold the remaining 30% stake in Warid Telecom. This acquisition is seen as a part of Bharti's strategy of expanding its international operations. However, we do not expect this acquisition to have a significant impact on Bharti's performance in the near term.