Opening Bell 15 November | Banks under the spotlight

Opening Bell 15 November | Banks under the spotlight

Mumbai: ‘We deserve a better credit rating’: goes a government missive to ratings agency Moody’s. This even as the fiscal deficit threatens to go out of hand and the economy is clearly on a slowdown path.

Asian markets also opened on a weak note as a sharp rise in Italian borrowing costs sparked concerns about the sovereign debt crisis in the region. The Nikkei at 8,566 is down 0.44%.

Back home, the financial crunch at electricity distribution companies could lead to a debt crisis in the Indian banking system. In all, distribution firms across India owe a staggering 1.77 trillion. While 60% of the loans were given by state-owned Rural Electrification Corp. and Power Finance Corp., the rest have come from banks. Some of the distribution firms are even borrowing on a negative net-worth.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India has raised concerns on rising bad loans at Indian banks. According to the central bank, high interest rates are likely to put further pressure on banks’ asset quality, especially in infrastructure, retail and real estate portfolios.

Expect action to continue in airline stocks. According to reports, the government is working on relief measures for troubled airlines such as lowering taxes and allowing foreign carriers to buy stakes in domestic firms.

In the face of an unprecedented cash crunch, Kingfisher Airlines was forced to cancel flights for almost another month. The move came as the board met on Monday to decide on a possible fund infusion by the promoters.

In another report, banks are looking to take control of the Kingfisher Airlines’ earnings. According to a report, banks could put a system in place wherein cashflows of the company will be closely tracked.

GMR Infrastructure stock could witness some positive momentum. The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority has allowed GMR Infrastructure run Delhi International Airport to charge 200 for domestic passengers and 1,300 for international passengers as airport development fee.

With excess supply of vessels crimping rents, Great Eastern Shipping Co. is considering the possibility of selling more of the older ships in its fleet. The company reported an 84% drop in second-quarter profit from a year earlier.

Keep an eye on Gail India stock. The company is reportedly interested in buying the UK major BG’s stake in Gujarat Gas Co.

Finally, here is an interesting account of a person who was addicted to tweeting. All those tweets forced him to eventually commit ‘Twittercide’ after intense tweeting threatened to consume his career and life at large.