Most of the sectoral indices ended in the red
Indian stocks ended lower today, led by weakness in banking and energy stocks, though markets ended off day's lows. The Sensex ended 161 points lower at 38,700 while Nifty settled 0.53% lower at 11,604.
Most of the sectoral indices, barring the index for IT stocks, ended in the red. IT stocks attracted some buying as rupee weakened past the 69.50 mark against the US dollar amid rising oil prices.
Some analyst feel that markets are heading for a consolidation after recording a seventh straight weekly gain on Friday.
Investors should also brace themselves for volatility as elections draw closer and the earnings season kicks off, says Jayant Manglik, president of Religare Broking.
"Participants will be closely watching the first phase of general elections, which is scheduled to start from April 11. Besides, this week would mark the beginning of the earnings season and IT majors Infosys and TCS will announce their numbers along with several others. On macroeconomic front, market participants will be eyeing IIP number and CPI inflation data on April 12," he said.
Infosys and TCS kick off the earnings season when they announce March quarter earning on later this week.
"We expect Nifty to consolidate within 11,450-11,800 zone while volatility will remain high on stock specific front," he added.
Banking stocks led the decline with Nifty Bank index falling 0.80% to 29,845. "Financial stocks started cracking towards the end of last week and we could see the Bank Nifty fall to about 29,500," said Krish Subramanyam, co-head, equity advisory, at Altamount Capital. SBI, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, RBL Bank and Yes Bank were among the top losers.
Elsewhere, Lakshmi Vilas Bank board's merger approval with Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd took the private-sector lender's stock up to nearly 5%. Indiabulls shares fell nearly 5%. Market heavyweight RIL fell nearly 2% while oil marketing companies IOC dropped 4% and BPCL 2%.
Lakshmi Vilas Bank shares hits upper circuit for third straight day
Shares of Chennai-based Lakshmi Vilas Bank were locked in 5% upper circuit of ₹97.35 in noon trade today on BSE, the third straight day when shares of the private lender hit the 5% upper circuit. On Friday, Lakshmi Vilas Bank said that its board has approved a merger with mortgage financier Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd in an all-stock deal. The merged entity, to be called Indiabulls Lakshmi Vilas Bank, will be among the top eight private banks in India by size and profitability, Indiabulls Housing Finance said in a filing with stock exchanges.
Lakshmi Vilas Bank shares hit upper circuit
Shares of Lakshmi Vilas Bank shares hit 5% upper circuit today. Shares were up 5% at ₹97.35. On the other hand, shares of Indiabulls Housing Finance were flat at ₹902. Lakshmi Vilas Bank and Indiabulls Housing Finance had said in a filing on Friday that they will merge operations in a share-swap deal, subject to regulatory approval.
NIIT extends gains, hits 20% upper circuit
Shares of NIIT extended gains, hitting 20% upper circuit of ₹114.50.
Mid-sized banks shares in focus
Mid-sized banks were trading higher after Bloomberg reported. quoting a Credit Suisse analyst, that the proposed merger of Lakshmi Vilas Bank with Indiabulls Housing Finance may act as a a catalyst for similar transactions at other small private lenders if central bank approves the deal. RBL Bank rose 3.6%, Federal Bank 3%, DCB Bank 1.3%, J&K Bank 3.1%, Union Bank of India 0.9%. Karur Vysya Bank 3%, and Karnataka Bank 3%.
NIIT surges 12% in early trade
Shares of NIIT surged 12% to ₹107 in early trade. Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) has agreed to buy a 30% stake in software services company NIIT Technologies Ltd for about ₹2,627 crore ($381 million). NIIT Technologies’ promoters, which include NIIT and the families of Rajendra Pawar and Vijay Thadani, hold a total of 30.04% stake in the company. NIIT directly has a 23.1% stake in NIIT Tech.
Rupee weakens, back at 69.50 vs US dollar
Indian rupee weakened today against US dollar tracking losses in its Asian currencies as traders awaited further details on a prospective US-China trade deal. Higher crude oil prices also dampened sentiment. The rupee was trading at 69.50 a dollar, down from its previous close of 69.23. The home currency opened at 69.34 a dollar.
HDFC Bank reports strong loan growth
In its Q4 update, HDFC Bank in a communication to the exchanges said its advances aggregated to approximately ₹8,19,500 crore as compared to ₹6,58,300 crore as of March 31, 2018 and Rs. 7,81,000 crore as of December 31, 2018.
Lakshmi Vilas Bank, Indiabulls Housing Finance to merge, RBI says not yet approved merger
Lakshmi Vilas Bank and Indiabulls Housing Finance had said in a filing on Friday that they will merge operations in a share-swap deal, subject to regulatory approval. Shareholders of the Chennai-based bank will get 0.14 share in Indiabulls for every share held in the lender, according to terms of the deal disclosed on Friday. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said it has not yet approved a merger proposal of private-sector lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd and Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd.
Responding to media speculation that the presence of two nominee directors of RBI on the board of Lakshmi Vilas Bank implies RBI's indirect approval of the deal, the central bank said the deal does not have its approval at this stage.
RBL board to consider fund raising
RBL board will meet April 18, 2019, to consider and approve the financial results of the Bank for the quarter/year ended March 31, 2019 and also "consider raising of funds by issue of equity shares/depository receipts and other securities including through
Qualified Institutions Placement (QIP)/ Global Depository Receipts (GDRs)/ American Depository Receipts (ADRs) I Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs), or such other methods or combination as may be decided," the bank said in a system. Shares of RBL Bank had gained over 3% to close at ₹671 on Friday. Shares had hit a record high of ₹692 on 29 March.
NIIT Tech shares in focus
Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) has agreed to buy a 30% stake in software services company NIIT Technologies Ltd for about ₹2,627 crore ($381 million). Baring will acquire the shares at ₹1,394 apiece, NIIT Technologies said in a regulatory filing on Sunday. The offer price is a 3.3% premium to the closing price of NIIT Technologies on Friday. Baring also made an open offer to the public shareholders of NIIT Technologies for a 26% additional stake at the same price of ₹1,394 per share. If the open offer is fully accepted, Baring will pay a total of ₹4,890 crore ($709 million) to acquire approximately 56% stake in NIIT Technologies, according to the statement.
Asia markets move higher, shares at 7-month peak as China talks stimulus
Asian shares inched up to seven-month highs on Monday as investors cheered a rebound in US payrolls and hints of more stimulus in China, though there was some caution ahead of what is likely to be a tough US earnings season. In a document published on the central government's website late on Sunday, Beijing said it would step up a policy of targeted cuts to banks' required reserve ratios to encourage financing for small and medium-sized businesses. Chinese blue chips climbed 1.4%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan followed by gaining 0.4 percent to its highest since August.
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