Equity markets maintained upward bias after a positive start, boosted by spectacular gains in financial stocks led by ICICI Bank which reported strong fourth quarter earnings on Wednesday post the market hours. Investors also took position in other banking stocks, helping benchmark Sensex recapture the crucial 30,000-mark.
At 11.50 am, the 30-share BSE S&P Sensex was at 30,070.62, up 175.82 points, or 0.6 percent from previous close. The broader 50-stock CNX Nifty was at 9,344.60, up 32.65 points, or 0.3 percent.
Broader market was positive with 1,445 stocks advancing against 1,071 scrips declining on BSE.
Banking stocks were the clear winners so far, with the market cheering government's move to tackle the rising non-performing loans of several banks. The government said it will shortly come out with an ordinance to empower the Reserve Bank to effectively deal with the problem of mounting bad loans in the banking sector.
The amendment will empower the RBI to issue direction to banks to recover non-performing assets (NPAs) from loan defaulters.
"There is a convention that when some proposal is referred to the President, then details of it cannot be disclosed till it is approved. As soon as approval comes, details will be shared," Finance minister Arun Jaitley said.
PSBs are saddled with non-performing assets or bad loans to the tune of a staggering Rs 6 lakh crore.
Bad loans rose by over Rs 1 lakh crore in the first nine months of last fiscal to Rs 6.07 lakh crore by 31 December, 2016.
Gross NPA of PSBs stood at Rs 5.02 lakh crore at the end of March 2016, up from Rs 2.67 lakh crore at the end of March 2015.
Among the banking stocks, ICICI Bank led the pack, surging nearly 9 percent. The country's largest private sector lender on Wednesday reported manifold jump in standalone net profit to Rs 2,024.64 crore for the quarter ended 31 March.
Total income (standalone) of the bank, however, came down to Rs 16,585.76 crore in March quarter, from Rs 18,590.86 crore in preceding fiscal's last quarter, bank said in a regulatory filing.
Other banking scrips such as Axis Bank rose 2.7 percent, while SBI jumped 2.2 percent and HDFC was up 0.6 percent. However, HDFC Bank emerged laggard, dropping nearly 1 percent.
In a move aimed at giving a boost to domestic steel industry, the government announced a new policy which intends to achieve steel making capacity of 300 million tonnes by 2030 with an additional investment of Rs 10 lakh crore. The Cabinet also approved a policy for use of domestic steel products in government organisations.
"The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to the National Steel Policy (NSP) 2017," the steel ministry said in a statement.
Buoyed over the government's move to prop up economy, investors took exposure to other frontline stocks. Shares of Adani Ports gained 1.8 percent, Hindustan Unilever added 1.3 percent and Lupin was up 1.1 percent.
With PTI inputs
Updated Date: May 04, 2017 12:08 PM