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$1.8 bn PNB fraud, macro-data hit equities’ movement

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Mumbai, Feb 17: The weekly trade in the Indian equity markets was almost flat. However, a slew of domestic developments like a $1.8 billion fraud reported by the Punjab National Bank (PNB) and release of major macro-economic data impacted the movements of the two key equity indices, analysts said.

On a weekly basis, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) rose a tad by 5 points or 0.01 per cent to close at 34,010.76 points.

The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed trade at 10,452.30 points — bit lower by 2.65 points or 0.02 per cent from its previous week’s close.

“Local factors were more at work during this week. Globally, the markets — especially the US markets — have done very well over the last six sessions. But upper moves in the domestic markets have been limited because of local factors,” Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“The market sentiments kept facing new challenges one after the other. This caused some concern in terms of their financial impact and/or political repercussions,” he added.

According to Jasani, it was the third consecutive week of losses for the Nifty50 index.

During the week, a massive-sell off in the banking sector stocks was triggered after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced new norms to deal with non-performing assets on Monday.

Besides RBI’s latest move, the massive $1.8 billion fraud detected at one of the Mumbai branches of PNB — the country’s second largest public sector bank — on February 14 also spooked investors.

The markets were closed on Tuesday for Mahashivratri.

“The truncated week began with a gap-up opening on Monday; however, bulls failed to keep the momentum and eventually ended the week on lower note as the sentiments got further dented by a $1.77 billion fraud reported by the PNB earlier this week,” D.K. Aggarwal, Chairman and Managing Director of SMC Investments and Advisors, told IANS.

PNB shares started to decline after the bank detected a multi-crore fraud case and authorities blamed billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi for the fraud along with wife Ami, brother Nishal and maternal uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi.

The bank’s shares plunged drastically following the news — over 9 per cent — along with the stocks of Choksi-promoted jewellery company Gitanjali Gems, which plunged almost 20 per cent.

On the macro-front, Aggarwal said: “The CPI (Consumer Price Index) fell marginally to 5.07 per cent in January, while industrial activity has shown growth of 7.1 per cent in December.”

“The December growth showed not only a robust year-on-year growth but also a strong chronological improvement in the industrial activity,” he added.

On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by 18-19 paise to close at 64.21-22 against the US dollar from its last week’s close at 64.40.

Provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold off scrips worth Rs 2,849.1 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased scrips worth Rs 2,368.01 crore during the week.

Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that foreign portfolio investors off-loaded equities worth Rs 3,006.58 crore, or $467.77 million, during February 12-16.

“The benchmark index Nifty closed below 10,500 levels as banking stocks dragged after the PNB fraud case,” Arpit Jain, AVP at Arihant Capital Markets, told IANS.

“On the domestic front the country’s exports increased by 9 per cent in January, while trade deficit touched a three-year high of $16.3 billion due to an increase in crude oil imports,” he added.

Sector-wise, banks, consumer durables and auto fell the most, while metals, FMCG, and oil and gas indices ended marginally in the positive.

The top weekly Sensex gainers were: Tata Steel (up 2.52 per cent at Rs 688.30); Reliance Industries (up 2 per cent at Rs 921.70); Asian Paints (up 1.75 per cent at Rs 1,143.70); Dr Reddy’s Lab (up 1.55 per cent at Rs 2,212.75); and Hindustan Unilever (up 1.51 per cent at Rs 1,352.45).

The losers were: State Bank of India (down 9.85 per cent at Rs 271.75); Yes Bank (down 6.91 per cent at Rs 311.90); Axis Bank (down 5.41 per cent at Rs 537.75); ICICI Bank (down 4.05 per cent at Rs 321); and ITC (down 2.67 per cent at Rs 266.35).

IANS

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Azim Premji and Dr Devi Shetty chosen for PCB awards

Besides them 25 senior journalists have been selected for the ‘Press Club Annual Awards’, a release said.

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Azim Premji Wipro

Bengaluru, Jan 19: The chairman of Wipro Limited Azim Premji and the founder chairman of Narayana Health Dr Devi Prasad Shetty are among those who have been selected for the annual awards given by the Press Club of Bangalore.

Premji has been chosen for ‘Press Club Person of the Year’, while Dr Shetty and actor-Director Sudeep Sanjeev have been selected for the ‘Press Club Special Award.’

Besides them 25 senior journalists have been selected for the ‘Press Club Annual Awards’, a release said.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will facilitate the awardees at a function scheduled for the third week of February, it said.

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Healthcare sector revenues likely to grow by 20% in FY22: ICRA

he risks to the recovery could be in the form of additional regulatory measures, protracted restrictions on international travel and jump in Covid-19 cases”.

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healthcare sector

New Delhi, Jan 19: Even as the healthcare sector witnessed squeezing of revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic, its long-term outlook remains stable on the back of swift rebound in occupancy as well as structural factors, ICRA said on Monday.

The rating agency expects the occupancy of companies in the sector to bounce back substantially to 60 per cent in FY22, from the estimated occupancy of 52 per cent in FY21, and the revenue growth to be at 20 per cent in FY22, against an estimated contraction of 19 per cent in FY21, aided by a lower base as well.

There has been significant sequential improvement in occupancy every month after the sharp fall in April and the pent-up demand is also likely to support the performance, as elective procedures cannot be delayed indefinitely by domestic as well as international patients, the report noted.

Due to the high operating leverage, the EBITDA margin is likely to rise to 13 per cent in FY22, against an estimated EBITDA margin of 9 per cent in FY21. The capital expansion was already slowing down, even pre-Covid, and is likely to remain modest in FY22 as the players have adequate capacity to grow over the medium term and the near-term focus is on better utilisation of the existing facilities rather than expansion of the network.

Consequently, the capex as well as startup costs of new hospitals are likely to be much lower going forward, which will also aid profitability. The net debt is expected to stay largely range-bound, but the debt protection metrics is likely to improve significantly due to a sharp rise in accruals, ICRA said.

According to Kapil Banga, Assistant Vice President, ICRA: “The credit risk profile of entities in the sector had been on improving the trajectory over the last two years and notwithstanding the near-term disruption due to the pandemic, as well as given the essential nature of the services, ICRA believes the sector will resume on its growth trajectory in FY22. The risks to the recovery could be in the form of additional regulatory measures, protracted restrictions on international travel and jump in Covid-19 cases”.

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Excise duty collection surges 48% in FY21 on high fuel levies

The total excise duty in the last financial year was over Rs 2.39 lakh crore.

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Modi Poster on Petrol Pump

New Delhi, Jan 17 : As the government has kept excise duty on petrol and diesel elevated amid the pandemic with a view to increase revenue, the total excise duty collection during April-November FY21 has surged nearly 48 per cent as compared to the year ago period.

The excise duty collection during the first eight months of the current financial year was over Rs 1.96 lakh crore, compared to over Rs 1.32 lakh crore collected during April-November FY20, official data showed.

The collection in November 2020 was highest so far in the financial year 2020-21 at Rs 35,703 crore. In November 2019, excise duty collection stood at Rs 18,948 crore.

The total excise duty in the last financial year was over Rs 2.39 lakh crore.

As fuel prices are at record high despite low crude oil prices, demand has been raised from several quarters to reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the common man.

In the national capital, petrol is sold at a record high level of Rs 84.70 a litre while diesel is priced at Rs 74.88 per litre.

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