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Bank stocks advance

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A bout of volatility was seen in morning trade as the key benchmark indices recovered from lower level after trimming intraday gains. At 10:15 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 167.45 points or 0.69% at 24,355.82. The 50-unit Nifty 50 index was currently up 48.90 points or 0.67% at 7,399.90. The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market was positive. On BSE, 1,136 shares gained and 818 shares fell. A total of 83 shares were unchanged. The BSE Mid-Cap index was currently up 0.34%. The BSE Small-Cap index was currently up 0.5%. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.

In overseas stock markets, Chinese stocks led gains in Asian stocks after Chinese GDP figures were mostly in line with expectations. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite index was currently up 1.64%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was currently up 0.78%. China's economy grew 6.8% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, easing from 6.9% in the third quarter. It is the weakest pace of expansion since the first quarter of 2009, when growth tumbled to 6.2%. China's economic growth rate slowed to a 25-year low of 6.9% in 2015, down from 2014's growth of 7.3%.

IT stocks declined. TCS (down 0.37%), Wipro (down 1.43%), Oracle Financial Services Software (down 0.82%) and Tech Mahindra (down 1.11%) fell. Infosys rose 1.29%.

HCL Technologies dropped 3.35%. HCL Tech' consolidated net profit rose 11.2% to Rs 1920 crore on 2.4% growth in revenue to Rs 10341 crore in Q2 December 2015 over Q1 September 2015. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 6.4% to Rs 2225 crore in Q2 December 2015 over Q1 September 2015. EBITDA margin edged up to 21.5% in Q2 December 2015 from 20.7% in Q1 September 2015. The results are as per US GAAP. The result was announced before market hours today, 19 January 2016.

In dollar terms, HCL Technologies' consolidated net profit as per US GAAP rose 10.3% to $290.8 million on 1.4% growth in revenue to $1566.1 million in Q2 December 2015 over Q1 September 2015. Revenue in constant currency terms rose 2.1% on sequential basis in Q2 December 2015.

MindTree lost 1.95% after consolidated net profit declined 4.6% to Rs 150.90 crore on 3.9% growth in revenue to Rs 1214.50 crore in Q3 December 2015 over Q2 September 2015. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 18 January 2016. MindTree's board of directors at its meeting held yesterday, 18 January 2016, recommended an issue of 1:1 bonus shares.

MindTree after market hours yesterday, 18 January 2016, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Magnet 360, a Salesforce Platinum consulting partner. Magnet 360 brings strong expertise across Salesforce Sales, Service and Marketing Cloud implementations, Mindtree said. The deal is expected to be completed in Q4 March 2016. The total deal value is $50 million. It includes upfront payment of $37 million and earn out and additional payouts of up to $13 million over the next 2 years. Magnet 360 reported revenue (excludes revenue from discontinued operations) of $25 million in calendar year 2015.

Bank stocks gained on renewed buying. Among private bank stocks, HDFC Bank (up 0.12%), Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 0.82%), ICICI Bank (up 2.87%), IndusInd Bank (up 0.76%) and Yes Bank (up 1.62%) gained.

Axis Bank advanced 3.33%. The bank unveils its Q3 December 2015 results tomorrow, 20 January 2016.

Among PSU bank stocks, State Bank of India (SBI) (up 2.04%), Punjab National Bank (up 1.09%), Bank of Baroda (up 0.87%), Canara Bank (up 1.77%), IDBI Bank (up 1.71%), Bank of India (up 1.83%) and Union Bank of India (up 1.74%) rose.

Senior officials from the Reserve Bank of India, including RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Deputy Governors R. Gandhi and S.S. Mundra, as well as senior officials from the concerned regulation and supervision departments, yesterday, 18 January 2016, held a meeting with senior executives of major banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) to discuss the current challenges with regard to the management of stressed assets in the banks' books and the implementation of the various measures in this regard. The meeting reviewed the functioning of the Joint Lenders' Forum (JLF) Mechanism, Flexible Restructuring of Long Term Project Loans, Strategic Debt Restructuring Scheme and regulations on sale of assets by banks to Asset Reconstruction Companies. The meeting took stock of the way these tools are being used by the banking system and the improvements needed to sharpen their efficacy and ease of use.

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First Published: Tue, January 19 2016. 10:26 IST