Equity indices trade higher; metals, IT stocks gain

Feb 20, 2018 0

Mumbai– Key Indian equity indices on Tuesday traded on a higher note during the mid-afternoon session — amid volatility — with healthy buying in metals, consumer durables, IT and banking stocks.

Around 12.35 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged higher by 30.45 points or 0.29 per cent to trade at 10,408.85 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 33,913.94 points, traded at 33,901.60 points — up 126.94 points or 0.38 per cent — from its previous session’s close.

The Sensex has, so far, touched a high of 33,960.95 points and a low of 33,753.50 points during the intra-day trade.

However, the BSE market breadth was marginally bearish with 1,290 declines and 1,226 advances.

The top five gainers on the BSE were Coal India, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Hero MotoCorp, and Tata Steel.

On Monday, the equity indices closed in the negative territory as heavy selling pressure, along with continued outflow of foreign funds and a surge in crude oil prices, dampened market sentiment.

The Nifty50 shed 73.90 points or 0.71 per cent to close at 10,378.40 points, while the Sensex declined by 236.10 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 33,774.66 points. (IANS)

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PNB fraud: Allahabad Bank has $366.87 mn outstanding exposure

Feb 16, 2018 0

Kolkata– State-run Allahabad Bank on Friday said it has an outstanding exposure of about $366.87 million in the $1.8 billion fraud detected by another public sector bank PNB, but added it was confident of receiving the payment.

Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country’s second largest public sector bank, had detected the $1.8 billion fraud in one of its branches in Mumbai.

Allahabad Bank was among other banks that were said to have offered credit based on Letters of Undertaking (LoU) issued by PNB.

“The outstanding exposure related to the incident is approximately $366.87 million and the bank is fully secured by LoU documents and fully confident to receive the payment,” it said in regulatory filing.

The lender said it, through its overseas branch in Hong Kong, has been taking exposure with PNB as counter party under various LoUs issued through authenticated SWIFT message.

An LoU is in effect a guarantee issued by one bank to the branches of other banks, based on which foreign branches offer credit to buyers.

The bank has also purchased some buyers’ credit assets from Axis Bank extended against PNB LoU through risk participation as a part of normal international business practice.

Another public sector bank Union Bank of India had also said it has an outstanding exposure of about $300 million. (IANS)

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Gitanjali Gems stocks plunge 20% on $1.8 bn scam, PNB slips 2%

Feb 16, 2018 0

Mumbai– Following the $1.8 billion fraud detected by the Punjab National Bank (PNB), stocks of jewellery company Gitanjali Gems on Friday plunged almost 20 per cent — hitting its lower circuit — while PNB’s shares closed over 2 per cent lower.

Stocks of Gitanjali Gems, the luxury jewellery brand promoted by the main accused Nirav Modi’s maternal uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi, plunged 19.94 per cent to close at Rs 37.55 per share.

“Price-wise, the way the stock of Gitanjali Gems has slipped and the kind of circuit that we are seeing, probably the sequence may continue for some days. From a support perspective, Rs 29-30 is a support,” Sacchitanand Uttekar, Assistant Vice-President, Research for Tradebulls, told IANS.

“But with developments in the company going off-track, how much will it hold is something that time will decide,” he added.

According to market analysts, the stock prices fall to an effective level which gives the traders the chance to reinvest in the stock and arrest the fall.

“The stocks fall to a level where the current negatives seem fully discounted, prompting traders to re-enter. The exchanges keep changing the circuit limits, which typically cushions the rise or the fall in stock prices,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

The shares of PNB — the second largest public sector bank in India — started to decline after the bank detected a multi-crore fraud case in one of its branches in Mumbai on February 14, and authorities blamed billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi for the fraud.

On a closing basis, scrips of PNB slipped by 2.10 per cent to Rs 125.65 per share, lower by Rs 2.70 from the previous close at Rs 128.35.

PNB on Wednesday told the stock exchanges through a regulatory filing that it detected fraudulent transactions at $1,771.69 million (around Rs 11,515 crore) in one of its branches in Mumbai, which is equivalent to eight times the bank’s net income of about Rs 1,320 crore ($206 million).

On the same day, the bank’s shares had plunged drastically following the news of the fraud to close lower by 9.81 per cent at the BSE. On Thursday, too, the scrips dropped by almost 12 per cent.

The fraud, which included money-laundering among other things, concerned the Firestar Diamonds group of Modi, in which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and uncle Choksi.

On Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate launched a nationwide raid on the offices, showrooms and workshops of Nirav Modi.

The CBI on Friday registered a FIR against the Gitanjali Group of companies based on a complaint registered by the PNB. (IANS)

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Amazon now world’s third-most valuable company

Feb 15, 2018 0

San Francisco– With a market cap of $702.5 billion, Amazon has become the third most valuable company in the world, racing past Microsoft, which has a market cap of $699.2 billion.

According to a report in The New York Post, Amazon stock surged 2.6 per cent on Wednesday, taking the company’s market cap ahead of Microsoft for the first time.

Apple tops the list with $849.2 billion market cap, followed by Google’s parent company Alphabet at $745.1 billion.

With $521.5 billion market cap, Facebook is at the fifth spot.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now the world’s richest man, not just at present, but of all time.

Both Bloomberg and Forbes have put Bezos on top of their billionaire lists. Bloomberg said Bezos’ net worth reached $106 billion while Forbes put it at $105 billion, Xinhua news agency reported.

The previous record was held by Microsoft founder Bill Gates with $100 billion in 1999.

The majority of Bezos’ net worth comes from the 78.9 million shares of Amazon stock he owns. (IANS)

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NDB to lend $100 mn for water project in Rajasthan

Feb 15, 2018 0

New Delhi– India has signed a second loan agreement for $100 million with the New Development Bank (NDB) for efficient use of water in desert areas of Rajasthan, an official statement said on Thursday.

“This is the first tranche loan of $100 million approved by the NDB under the Multi Tranche Financing Facility of $345 million for this project,” the Union Finance Ministry release said.

The loan agreement to finance Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project for the Desert Areas was signed between Economic Affairs Department Joint Secretary Govind Mohan and NDB Project Financing Director General Shaohua Wu here on Tuesday.

The objective is to rehabilitate the 678-km-long Indira Gandhi Canal system built during 1958-63 to prevent seepage, conserve water and enhance water use efficiency as mandated by both national and state level policies on water use.

“The project implementation period is six years. The Rajasthan government will implement the project primarily through the Rajasthan Water Resources Department,” said the release.

The representatives of NDB, Central and state governments also signed Facility Framework Agreement under which NDB has agreed to provide Multi-Tranche Financing Facility for $345 million to the country for this project.

The project is aimed at arresting the seepage by refurbishing the canal, rehabilitation of waterlogged areas, modernisation of the irrigation management practices by involving water users’ associations, and strengthening of drinking water supply and irrigation facilities. (IANS)

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PNB stocks slump for second day, plunges almost 12%

Feb 15, 2018 0

Mumbai– Shares of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Thursday continued to drop for a second consecutive day — closing almost 12 per cent lower — after a $1.8 billion fraud was detected in one of its branches in Mumbai.

Its scrips dipped by 11.97 per cent to close at Rs 128.35 per share, lower by Rs 17.45 from the previous close at Rs 145.80.

Stocks of jewellery companies like Gitanjali Gems and PC Jewellers too declined after authorities blamed billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi for the fraud.

Stocks of Gitanjali Gems, the luxury jewellery brand promoted by Modi’s maternal uncle Mehul Choksi, plunged almost 20 per cent. Scrips of PC Jewellers fell 5.31 per cent on the BSE.

On Wednesday, PNB — the second largest public sector bank in India — informed the stock exchanges through a regulatory filing that it has detected a $1.8 billion fraud in one of its branches in Mumbai.

In the filing, PNB put the quantum of fradulent transactions at $1,771.69 million (around Rs 11,515 crore), which is equivalent to eight times the bank’s net income of about Rs 1,320 crore ($206 million).

The bank’s shares had plunged drastically on Wednesday following the regulatory filing to close lower by 9.81 per cent at the BSE.

The fraud, which includes money-laundering among others, concerns the Firestar Diamonds group in which the Central Bureau of Investigation last week booked Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and uncle Choksi.

On Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate launched a nationwide raid on the offices, showrooms and workshops of Nirav Modi.

Sunil Mehta, MD and CEO of PNB said the company “will not spare anyone” involved in the wrongdoing.

“We are known for clean banking. The fraud started in 2011. We have brought it under the notice of regulatory and law enforcement agencies as soon as we came to know about it. We will not spare anyone involved in the fraudulent practice,” Mehta told reporters on Thursday. (IANS)

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Banking sector stocks depress equity indices

Feb 14, 2018 0

Mumbai– Massive sell-off in banking sector stocks pulled the key Indian equity indices — S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 — lower on Wednesday.

According to market observers, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in banking, healthcare and automobile stocks.

At 3.30 p.m. the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE receded by 144.52 points or 0.42 per cent to 34,155.95 points from Monday’s close. The equity markets were closed on Tuesday.

Similarly, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange declined by 38.85 points or 0.37 per cent to 10,500.90 points. (IANS)

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Allahabad Bank posts Rs 1263.79 cr net loss in Q3

Feb 14, 2018 0

Kolkata– State-run Allahabad Bank on Wednesday reported a net loss of Rs.1, 263.79 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2017, as compared to a net profit of Rs 75.26 crore in the year-ago period.

The net loss was due to a massive increase in provisions to cover rising bad loans.

During the third quarter this fiscal, the bank’s provisions for non-performing assets rose over 150 per cent over last year to Rs 2,044.23 crore as against Rs 795.82 crore for the same period last fiscal.

Asset quality of the lender worsened further in the quarter under review as Gross non-performing assets in absolute term increased by 21.84 per cent to Rs 23,260.81 crore.

Gross NPA as a percentage of total loans rose to 14.38 per cent in the December quarter this fiscal from 12.51 per cent during the same period last fiscal.

In the quarter, net NPA ratio rose to 8.97 per cent from 8.65 per cent in the same period last fiscal.

The bank said that it has provided Rs. 575.91 crore up to December 31, 2017, in respect of nine accounts covered under provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). (IANS)

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Nestle India’s net profit up 22% in 2017

Feb 14, 2018 0

Mumbai– Nestle India on Wednesday reported a 22.35 per cent rise in its net profit during 2017.

The company in a regulatory filing to the BSE said that its net profit for 2017 rose to Rs 1,225.19 crore from Rs 1,001.36 crore reported in 2016.

According to the filing, the total income of the company during year stood at Rs 10,369.10 crore, up 7.73 per cent from Rs 9,625.47 crore earned in 2016.

“Total sales and domestic sales for the year increased by 7.7 per cent and 8.2 per cent, respectively. These growth rates are adversely impacted due to lower reported sales by the change in structure of indirect taxes and reduction in realisations to pass on the GST benefits,” the company said in a statement.

“On a comparable basis the domestic sales growth is ‘estimated’ at 11.8 per cent due to increase in volumes including rebuild of Maggi noodles, supplemented by better underlying realisations,” it said.

On a quarterly basis, the net profit rose nearly 60 per cent to Rs 311.83 crore in Q4, 2017 from Rs 195.41 crore during the corresponding period of 2016.

The total income in Q4, 2017 stood at Rs 2,652.55 crore, up 10.45 per cent from Rs 2,401.56 crore earned in Q4, 2016.

“The board of directors have recommended a final dividend of Rs 23.00 per equity share amounting to Rs 2,217.6 million (Rs 221.76 crore) for the year 2017,” the company said.(IANS)

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Welspun India’s Q3 consolidated net falls 47%

Feb 13, 2018 0

Mumbai– Home textiles firm Welspun India on Tuesday reported a 47.08 per cent fall in its consolidated net profit to Rs 79.51 crore during the third quarter (Q3) of 2017-18.

The consolidated net profit of the company fell to Rs 79.51 crore from Rs 150.24 crore reported in the Q3 of 2016-17, the company said in a regulatory filing to the BSE.

The company reported a total income of Rs 1,414.30 crore during the quarter under review, down 7.07 per cent from Rs 1,521.82 crore earned in the corresponding period of FY17.

The stand-alone net profit of Welspun India stood at Rs 84.77 crore in Q3, FY18, down 29.18 per cent from Rs 119.69 crore reported in Q3, FY17.(IANS)

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