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Global indices, stock-specific buying lift Indian equities

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Mumbai, Feb 12: Positive global indices, coupled with healthy buying in capital goods, auto, banking, healthcare and metal stocks, lifted the key Indian equity indices on Monday.

Market observers said investors awaited the retail and industrial inflation data due to be announced in the evening which is expected to give direction to the central bank’s next course of action on raising interest rates.

The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange held the 10,500-mark and closed higher by 84.80 points or 0.81 per cent at 10,539.75 points.

On the BSE, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) closed at 34,300.47 points — up 294.71 points or 0.87 per cent from its previous close.

The Sensex touched a high of 34,351.34 points and a low of 34,115.12 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was bullish as 2,050 stocks advanced as against 764 declines.

In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index edged higher by 1.31 per cent and the small-cap index by 1.60 per cent.

“Markets bounced back on Monday after the correction seen on last Friday. The gains came on the back of strong global cues,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

“Major Asian markets closed on a positive note, barring the Hang Seng index. European indices like FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 traded in the green,” he added.

Last week on Friday, the key equities had plunged into the negative territory amid a global sell-off, with the Sensex shedding 407.40 points or 1.18 per cent and the Nifty50 was down 121.90 points.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “On Monday, market reversed from previous day’s losses owing to positive global cues and expectation of marginal decline in January CPI (Consumer Price inflation) inflation today.”

“Mid and small-caps outperformed the benchmark indices as investors start accumulating the over sold stocks. The economy is forecast to improve in the long-term with strong earnings growth which is likely to provide a safety to the ongoing consolidation,” he added.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) is slated to release the macro-economic data points of the CPI and IIP (Index of Industrial Production) on Monday evening.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by nine paise to close at 64.31 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.40.

In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 814.11 crore while domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 1,342.70 crore.

Sectorwise, the S&P BSE capital goods index surged by 317.88 points, followed by auto index by 266.55 points and banking index by 197.62 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE IT index edged lower by 52.47 points and the Teck (technology, media and entertainment) index by 22.59 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Monday were: Tata Steel, up 4.22 per cent at Rs 712.50; Yes Bank, up 2.89 per cent at Rs 334.95; Power Grid, up 2.51 per cent at Rs 198.05; IndusInd Bank, up 2.12 per cent at Rs 1,686.45; and Hero MotoCorp, up 1.94 per cent at Rs 3,615.

Major Sensex losers were: State Bank of India, down 2.67 per cent at Rs 288.50; Infosys, down 0.72 per cent at Rs 1,103.80; ITC, down 0.53 per cent at Rs 269.85; Mahindra and Mahindra, down 0.43 per cent at Rs 746.70; and ICICI Bank, down 0.23 per cent at Rs 326.

The Indian equity markets will remain closed on Tuesday (February 13) for Mahashivratri.

IANS

 

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Share price of Gitanjali Gems hit lower circuit, PNB slips over 7%

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Mumbai, Feb 19: Shares of Gitanjali Gems extended losses for the fourth consecutive session on Monday — plunging almost 10 percent to its lower circuit level at Rs 33.80 per scrip — while those of Punjab National Bank (PNB) slipped over 7 percent.

On a closing basis, PNB’s scrips fell by Rs 9.25 per share, or 7.36 percent, to Rs 116.40 on the BSE.

The stocks of jewellery company Geetanjali Gems continued the plunge a day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted search operations in six franchise-based outlets located in four malls in Kolkata in connection with $1.8 billion banking fraud case.

Following the unravelling of the multi-crore PNB fraud, two senior officials of Gitanjali Gems — Chandrakant Karkare and Pankhuri Warange — resigned from the company, according to a regulatory filing with the stock exchanges on Monday.

Shares of PNB, too, declined after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday sealed the Brady House Branch of the bank as multiple probe agencies continued with their probe into the multi-crore fraud.

The shares of the two companies started to decline following the country’s second largest state-run bank PNB’s declaration of unearthing a fraud of Rs 11,300 crore involving diamantaire Nirav Modi.

The fraud, which included money-laundering among others, concerned the Firestar Diamonds group in which the CBI booked Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal Modi and uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi — who promotes the luxury jewellery brand Gitanjali Gems.

Last week, the ED launched a nationwide raid on the offices, showrooms and workshops of Nirav Modi. The CBI registered an FIR against the Gitanjali Group of companies based on a complaint registered by the PNB.

On Sunday, the ED conducted searches at over 45 more locations in 15 cities across India in connection with the scam.

IANS

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Key Indian equity indices open in red

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Mumbai, Feb 19: Key Indian equity indices on Monday opened on a lower note as investors booked profits in metals, capital goods, oil and gas, and banking stocks.

At one point, the BSE Sensex dropped over 100 points.

Around 9.20 a.m., the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 34,053.95 points, traded at 33,919.33 points — down 91.43 points or 0.27 per cent from its previous close.

The BSE market breadth was bearish as 806 stocks declined as against 487 advances.

On the the National Stock Exchange, the wider Nifty50 edged lower by 47.15 points or 0.45 per cent to trade at 10,405.15 points.

On Friday, the equity indices closed in the negative territory as heavy selling pressure in banks, along with rising crude oil prices, dampened investors’ risk-taking appetite.

The NSE Nifty50 declined by 93.20 points or 0.88 per cent to close at 10,452.30 points, while the BSE Sensex closed at 34,010.76 points — down 286.71 points or 0.84 per cent.

IANS

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PNB fraud: Assocham calls for privatising PSBs

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Assocham
ASSOCHAM

New Delhi, Feb 18: In light of the massive Rs 11,300 crore ($1.8 billion) scam allegedly involving jeweller Nirav Modi that has hit state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB), industry chamber Assocham said on Sunday that the government should surrender its majority control of banks, which should be allowed to function like private sector lenders.

In a regulatory filing earlier this week, PNB said it had detected the gigantic fraud in one of its Mumbai branches, putting the quantum of fraudulent transactions at $1,771.69 million. The amount is equivalent to eight times the bank’s net income of about Rs 1,320 crore ($206 million).

“The PNB’s fraudulent transactions worth Rs 11,300 crore should act as a strong trigger for the government for reducing its stake to less than 50 per cent in the banks which should then be allowed to work on the lines of private sector lenders with a full sense of accountability to their shareholders protecting interest of depositors,” Assocham said in a statement here.

“The public sector banks (PSBs), ironically, are slipping from one crisis to the other and there is a limit the government can keep bailing them out at the cost of taxpayers’ money, even if it is the principal shareholder in these lenders,” it said.

The industry body said PSB senior managements spend bulk of their time “receiving and implementing directions from the bureaucrats even for innocuous issues.”

“In the process, the core banking functions, including all important risk mitigation and management, take a back seat.”

“The problem has become more grave with banks adopting new technologies which can prove both boon and bane,” it added.

In this connection, a Special CBI Court in Mumbai on Saturday remanded to police custody till March 3 three accused persons in the case.

The three includes a retired PNB Deputy Manager Gokulnath Shetty, Single Window Operator Manoj Kharat and an authorised signatory of the prime accused Nirav Modi’s group companies.

Besides these, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has named 10 other directors and officials as accused in the scam.

“Once the government equity in the banks is reduced below 50 per cent, there would be much more autonomy along with accountability and responsibility of the senior management,” Assocham said.

“The boards should then be truly taking the policy decisions while the CEOs would run the banks with full authority, coupled with the commensurate responsibility, instead of looking towards the bureaucrats for directions,” it added.

Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat in a statement urged the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to take the lead to “engage with the industry in finding ways to do clean business in the entire financial sector, be it the public sector or private sector banks or even the non-banking finance companies.”

In this regard, Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramaniam has also advocated more private participation in public sector banks.

Speaking at an event in Chennai on Saturday, Subramaniam said while the government was going for recapitalisation of public sector banks, the scrutiny, monitoring and disciplined deployment must be ensured only through greater private participation in banks.

According to him, there should be less public lending to private sector and the mode to achieve that is to have higher private participation in the banking sector.

He said more privatisation could be the way forward since there was no guarantee that better governance recommendations of banks, instead of privatisation, would be implemented effectively.

IANS

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