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Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on an encouraging note. The stock markets in Hong Kong and China are trading higher by 3.9% and 2.2% respectively. Major indices in Europe and US ended their previous session on a positive note. The rupee is trading at 68.15 per US$.
Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 312 points (up 1.3%) and NSE Nifty is trading higher by 94 points (up 1.3%). Both, BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap have surged upwards and?are trading higher by 1.5% and 1.6% respectively. Major sectoral indices have opened the day in green with stocks from banking and oil & gas sectors witnessing maximum buying interest.
As per an article in leading financial daily, Maruti Suzuki reported flat sales in the month of February on a year on year basis. Growth was impacted due to halt in production at its facilities in Haryana owing to agitation by the states Jat community for reservation. The agitation disrupted component supplies, causing a temporary disruption and leading to a production loss of 10,000 units.
Further, sales growth of passenger vehicles at Tata Motor's ended in a negative territory for a third month in a row. The sales declined by 21% YoY during the month of February.
However, sales of passenger vehicles at Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) grew by 26% YoY to 23,718 units. The increase in the volumes was led by newly launched models KUV100 and TUV300. Reportedly, within a month of the launch the company has received bookings for 21,000 units of the KUV 100.
Going forward, the prices of passenger vehicles are expected to go up, as firms will raise prices to pass on a burden of additional cess proposed in the budget. The government has proposed a 1% cess on compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and petrol cars. Further, 2.5% on small diesel cars and 4% on vehicles with higher engine capacity. In addition to this, the government has proposed a 1% luxury tax on the purchase of vehicles worth Rs 10 lakh or more. Consequently, the demand for such vehicles may possibly witness some slowdown owing to increase in the prices. The sales data for the coming months would show trend about the impact of the price increase.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has relaxed norms for core requirements of capital. The step is taken to ease pressure of the banks that are facing several pressures owing to non-performing assets and losses.
Under the current norms of Basel III, banks are required to maintain a minimum capital adequacy of 9% and a Tier-I ratio of 7%. Capital adequacy is a measure of a bank's financial strength, expressed as a ratio of capital to risk-weighted assets.
While all banks have capital in excess of those minimum requirements, some are coming close to the limit. Reportedly Indian Overseas Bank and United Bank of India have capital adequacy ratios of less than 10%, while 10 other banks have capital adequacy ratio of 10-11%.
Banks are now allowed to include certain items such as revaluation reserves linked to their property holdings in the Tier-I capital. In addition, foreign currency translation reserves which arise out of translation of financial statements of a bank's foreign operations to the home currency can now also be included in the Tier-1 capital. Some part of deferred tax assets will also be counted as a Tier-I capital. All this put together could help shore up the capital by Rs 350 billion of public sector banks. These measures will boost the capital requirement and are positive for the banking industry.
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