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Sensex, Nifty steady; PSU banks under pressure, BPCL up 2%

13:00

The News International Team

01:25pm Interview

The Modi-led government has brought about a material sentimental turnaround in the country’s business circles and abroad, says MS Unnikrishnan, managing director MD, Thermax.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18 on his views on the government’s performance in the first 100 days, Unnikrishnan says there is now a strength of conviction in bureaucracy.

Unnikrishnan expects a revival to come in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), durables and autos soon and in that order itself.

“Commodities like steel, cement will pick up but in the second leg of revival,” he adds.

Unnikrishnan hopes the government can address the land acquisition issue soon.

“Land is needed for everything. I do hope the bill is being amended, as was hinted by rural development minister Nitin Gadkari,” he adds.

Among other issues, Unnikrishnan wants the government to address are more clearances in foreign direct investments and an easing of interest rates by addressing inflationary woes.

01:00pm The market remained steady in afternoon trade supported by private banks, capital goods, auto and oil & gas stocks. The Sensex advanced 61.87 points to 26622.02 and the Nifty rose 15.55 points to 7951.60.

The market breadth turned negative with the 1434 shares declined and 1270 shares advanced on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

PSU banks continued to see selling pressure with the top lenders State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Bank of Baroda falling 1-1.5 percent after sources say the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) Mumbai is probing role of public sector banks relating to the fixed deposit (FD) scam.

Reports indicated that there was a fraud on loan against the FD in the Malabar Hill branch of Dena Bank. The misappropriation of funds is to the tune Rs 180 crore. When investigated further, the Mumbai EOW found that this scam is spread across and other state-owned lenders are involved as well. It is likely that scam could more than Rs 800-1,000 crore.

Vijaya Bank, Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) and Dena Bank declined 3-5 percent after sources say EOW filed FIRs against employees of these banks.

Shares of BPCL, Asian Paints, ONGC, Hero Motocorp, GAIL, Wipro and Sesa Sterlite gained 1-2.5 percent while Tata Power, Axis Bank, Sun Pharma, Infosys, Jindal Steel, DLF, Bank of Baroda and PNB lost 0.8-3 percent.

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