Indices end with modest losses; Nifty holds 16,950; VIX spurts over 8%

March 20,2023

The key equity barometers ended a volatile session with moderate losses on Monday. The Nifty settled below the 17,000 level. FMCG and media shares advanced while metal, PSU bank and IT stocks saw a bit of selling pressure.

As per provisional closing data, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex declined 360.95 points or 0.62% to 57,628.95. The Nifty 50 index lost 111.65 points or 0.65% to 16,988.40.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index slipped 1.12% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index fell 0.99%.

The market breadth was weak. On the BSE, 1,155 shares rose and 2,467 shares fell. A total of 130 shares were unchanged.

The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of the market's expectation of volatility over the near term, jumped 8.39% to 16.01.

Investors reacted negatively to news of a Credit Suisse bailout by its bigger rival UBS. Credit Suisse shares tumbled 60% while UBS was down 8%.

On Sunday, Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS, agreed to buy Credit Suisse in an emergency rescue deal aimed at stemming financial market panic unleashed by the failure of two American banks earlier this month, media reports stated.

UBS is paying 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.25 billion) for Credit Suisse in an all-share deal, about 60% less than the amount the bank was worth when markets closed on Friday, the reports added. Credit Suisse investors will reportedly get one UBS share for every 22.48 Credit Suisse shares held.

Meanwhile, caution prevailed ahead of the US Federal Reserve's meeting outcome due later this week. Investor will keep an eye on the actions of the American Central Bank to see how it will proceed in its fight against inflation in light of the shakeup in the banking sector.

Stocks in Spotlight:

HDFC Bank fell 0.64% and HDFC declined 0.02%. HDFC Bank announced that the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Friday approved the proposed merger scheme of Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) with the bank. HDFC had announced its merger with HDFC Bank on 4 April 2022. According to the merger scheme, HDFC Bank will become 100% owned by public shareholders and existing shareholders of HDFC will own 41% of HDFC Bank.

Tata Steel slipped 2.20%. The company announced that it has acquired 1,55,34,738 equity shares of its wholly owned subsidiary, Tata Steel Advanced Materials (TSAML) for an amount aggregating to approximately Rs 19.90 crore.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) jumped 2.32%. The company said that it allotted 93,561 non-convertible debentures (NCD's) aggregating to Rs 935.61 crore on a private placement basis.

Separately, BPCL announced the appointed Krishnakumar Gopalan as the chairman & managing director (C&MD) of the company with effect from 17 March 2023. The appointment is until Gopalan's superannuation or “until further orders”, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said. Gopalan replaces Arun Kumar Singh, who retired as chairman in October 2022.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals added 0.71%. The pharma company said that it has received final approval by the United States Food & Drug Administration (US FDA) for Prochlorperazine Maleate tablets, the generic version of Compazine tablets of GlaxoSmithKline. Prochlorperazine is used in the treatment of nausea, vomiting, and migraine caused by various conditions.

Rail Vikas Nigam (RVNL) gained 2.85% after TTIPL-RVNL consortium emerged as the lowest bidder (L1) for a National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) project. The cost of the project is Rs 1,271.99 crore in which Tracks & Towers Infratech (TTIPL) share stands at 51% while the remaining 49% remains with RVNL.

Meanwhile, the civil construction company on Friday announced that it emerged as the lowest bidder (L1) for composite contract package in connection with new BG Railway Line of Haryana Orbital Rail Corporation (HORC) project. The cost of the project is Rs 1,088.49 crore and it is expected to be executed within 1,460 days.

Navin Fluorine International added 0.41% after the firm announced that it's wholly owned subsidiary, Navin Fluorine Advanced Sciences, board approved a capital expenditure of Rs 450 crore for setting up a new 40,000 tonnes per annum hydrofluoric acid capacity at Dahej.

Cochin Shipyard advanced 3.21% after the firm bagged an international order from NAVSHUTTLE 1 AS and NAVSHUTTLE 2 AS, Lysaker Norway, for the construction of two zero emission feeder container vessels with an option for two more vessels. NAVSHUTTLE 1 and 2 AS are part of the Samskip Group, headquartered in the Netherlands. The total project cost is approximately Rs 550 crore and the first vessel is to be delivered in 28 months and the second to be within 34 months.

Global Markets:

The Dow Jones futures were down 54 points, indicating a negative opening in the US stock market today.

Shares in Europe and Asia tumbled on Monday after UBS agreed to buy its banking rival Credit Suisse in a $3.2 billion takeover over the weekend.

The People's Bank of China left the loan prime rates for 1-year and 5-year unchanged, after cutting the reserve requirement ratio for almost all banks by 0.25 percentage points last week. The 1-year LPR stayed at 3.65% while the 5-year LPR remained at 4.3%, both unchanged since August last year.

UBS Group AG, Switzerland's largest banking group, has agreed to acquire the crisis-hit Credit Suisse Group AG in a $3.23-billion deal. Swiss regulators played a key role in facilitating the deal in an effort to quell a contagion threatening the banking sector. Under the deal, Credit Suisse shareholders will receive one UBS share for every 22.48 Credit Suisse shares. The combined bank will have $5 trillion of invested assets, according to UBS.

Wall Street closed lower on Friday as investors pulled back from positions in bank shares amid lingering concerns over the state of the U.S. banking sector.

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