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State-run banks` NPAs Touched Rs 7.34 lakh cr by Q2-end

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Non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans, of state-run banks, amounted to a staggering Rs 7.34 lakh crore by the end of second quarter of the current fiscal ended September, mostly on account of corporate defaulters, according to data furnished by the RBI and the government.

Reserve Bank of India data earlier this week, however, showed that NPAs of private sector banks stood at a much lower level of around Rs 1.03 lakh crore by the end of the July-September quarter.

“The gross non-performing assets of the public sector and private sector banks as on September 30, 2017, were Rs 7,33,974 crore and Rs 1,02,808 crore, respectively,” a Finance Ministry statement said.

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It said leading corporate entities and companies accounted for around 77 percent of the total gross NPAs of banks from domestic operations.

Among the major government-owned banks, State Bank of India had the highest level of NPAs at over Rs 1.86 lakh crore, followed by Punjab National Bank (Rs 57,630 crore), Bank of India (Rs 49,307 crore), Bank of Baroda (Rs 46,307 crore), Canara Bank (Rs 39,164 crore) and the Union Bank of India (Rs 38,286 crore).

Up to end-September, among private banks, ICICI Bank had the most amount of NPAs at Rs 44,237 crore, followed by Axis Bank (Rs 22,136 crore), HDFC Bank (Rs 7,644 crore) and Jammu and Kashmir Bank (Rs 5,983 crore).

The Ministry also said that the network of Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) have been expanded to 39 at present, as compared to 33 in 2016-17, which would help in reducing the pendency of cases and expedite their timely disposal.


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Offshore India Funds, ETFs Register $565-mn Inflows in Nov

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India-focussed offshore funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) witnessed net inflows of $565 million in November and helped the overall tally to reach nearly $6.5 billion in 2017, reflecting confidence of overseas investors in Indian markets.

In comparison, these funds had seen a pull out of $674 million in November last year.

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Offshore India funds — not domiciled in India — receive flow from overseas investors and in turn, invest the money in Indian markets.

India-focussed offshore funds and ETFs are a subset of the overall foreign portfolio investor (FPI) flows.

India-focussed offshore funds have seen an investment of $501 million last month, while those of ETFs witnessed an infusion of $55 million, translating into a total of $565 million.

India-focussed offshore funds have seen an investment of $501 million last month, while those of ETFs witnessed an infusion of $55 million, translating into a total of $565 million.

This also marked the highest investment since June, when such funds had received net inflows to the tune of $738 million.

Flows into offshore funds are generally considered to be long-term in nature, whereas flows into ETFs indicate predominantly short-term money.

Assets coming through India-focused offshore funds are long-term in nature, compared to India-focused offshore ETFs as the later is less expensive and offers easy exit option, sources said.

Pleasingly, through 2017, India-focused offshore fund consistently received net inflows into offshore funds.

Indian markets have not withered enough in testing times. The money that moved out was largely short-term in nature.


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Market Week Ahead: F&O expiry, FIIs in Vacation Mode among 10 Things to Track

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After big gains, the rally might continue in the coming truncated week but largely there could be volatility and rangebound trade, experts suggest.

The week has gone by was great for the market as not only equity benchmarks, but also broader markets ended at fresh record closing highs, driven by technology, metals, auto, FMCG and PSU banks stocks. The BJP’s victories in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections lifted sentiment. Global cues also lent support after the US passed a bill that slashes the corporate tax rate in the country to 21 percent from 35 percent.

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Benchmark indices added more than 3 percent gains in three consecutive weeks while for the passing week, the 30-share BSE Sensex gained 1.4 percent; and the 50-share NSE Nifty rallied 1.55 percent to close a tad below the psychological 10,500-mark ahead of the expiry of December futures & options contracts next week. The index hit an intraday record high of 10,501.10 on Friday.

Short covering could be one reason for the rally as the rupee has been rangebound around 64-64.50 against the US Dollar during the month despite FII selling, and rising bond yields and crude oil prices.

The broader markets outperformed frontline indices, with the Nifty Midcap index, surged 4.4 percent and BSE Smallcap gained 4.5 percent. On the other side, the volatility has also gradually been reduced especially after the Gujarat elections, with India VIX falling to 11.5875 from 16.4075 in the previous week.

After big gains, the rally might continue in the coming truncated week but largely there could be volatility and rangebound trade, experts suggest.

One reason for consolidation would be the December F&O expiry on Thursday and second would be the low volumes expected at FIIs desk and lack of cues due to Christmas holidays.

Experts expect stock-specific action to continue.

Overall, 2017 is expected to end with around 28 percent gains on the Nifty, though there could be consolidation in the last week of the year.

Amar Ambani of IIFL Private Wealth feels with FIIs now in vacation mode, subdued index action is likely and the focus on broader markets is expected to stay.

Dilip Bhat, Joint MD, Prabhudas Lilladher said, “The momentum that has been built up following Gujarat Elections has been complemented by global factors as well. So, the momentum is expected to continue. However, for the Nifty to move above 10,700 and 10,800, it will need the support of strong earnings growth as well as GDP growth.”

Indian and global markets will remain shut on Monday for Christmas.

Here are 10 things to watch out for in the coming truncated week:-

F&O Expiry

The Nifty futures and options contracts will expire on Thursday and trading positions will be rolled over to January the series.

On Friday, Maximum Put open interest was seen at 10,000 strikes followed by 10,400 while maximum Call OI was at 10,500 strikes followed by 10,600 strikes.

Fresh Put writing was seen at 10,400, 10,450 and 10,500 strikes while fresh Call writing was seen at 10,550 and 10,650 strikes.

As volatility is largely expected in the coming week, the 10,400 levels on the Nifty could be key to watch out for and the expiry is likely around 10,400-10,500 levels.

Amit Gupta of ICICIdirect said, “The Nifty50 is expected to consolidate above 10,400 in the coming week. Eventually, it should be able to move towards 10,600.”

The shift in Put writing, as well as Call writing to a higher strike, suggests shifting of the support. Option band signifies a broader trading band between the range of 10,400 to 10,600 for next coming sessions, sources said in a report.

Winter Session of Parliament

The ongoing winter session of Parliament will be important to watch out for. The Rajya Sabha has been in a deadlock since the beginning of the session as the Congress is demanding that Narendra Modi apologizes for allegedly insulting his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat election campaign. So all eyes will be on how the government is able to pass the important Bills listed on its agenda.

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The Goods & Services Tax (Compensation to States) Ordinance, 2017, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, and Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 are some of the important bills expected to be taken up.

Auto Sector

Auto stocks will remain in focus in the coming week, especially on Friday ahead of December sales data due on January 1.

Sales data have been good so far and there was no disruption due to GST rollout.

The Nifty Auto index rallied more than 30 percent in 2017 and gained over 4 percent in the passing week.

Oil Sector

Oil stocks will be in focus on Tuesday as crude oil prices are near their highest levels since 2015 after comments from Saudi Arabia and Russia stating that any exit from crude output cuts would be gradual.

Oil marketing companies (HPCL, BPCL, and IOC) might be under selling pressure but oil exploration firms (ONGC and Oil India) may strengthen further.

ONGC rallied 3 percent on Friday following an increase in crude oil prices. Brent crude oil futures ended above USD 65 a barrel last week.

If crude oil rises further from here on then that will have a major impact on the fiscal deficit and economic growth as India imports around 80 percent of oil requirement.

Macro Data

On Friday, infrastructure output data for November (which was at 4.7 percent in October) and foreign debt for Q3 (USD 485.8 billion in the previous quarter) will be released.

Foreign Exchange Reserves for the week ended December 22 (which was at USD 401.39 billion in the previous week) will also be announced on Friday.

Technical Outlook

The Nifty50 formed a robust bull candle after two bearish candles which are a bullish sign, experts said. Investors should remain long with a stop loss below 10,426 levels, they advised.

The near-term trend of Nifty is positive as per smaller and larger timeframe (like daily and weekly) and more upside could be expected in the next couple of weeks. However, due to year end, there is the possibility of gradual up move amidst range bound action for next week, sources said.

The hope is that on Tuesday the market is expected to open with a gap-up and continue with the momentum. If that happens, then 10,700-10,750 should be immediate targets.

FIIs and DIIs Flow

The money flow from foreign institutional investors could be slowed down in the coming week as FIIs generally go on leave during the last week of the year because of the Christmas holidays. However, domestic inflow is expected to continue.

Domestic institutional investors were net buyers to the tune of around Rs 3,500 crore in the passing week while FIIs have net sold nearly Rs 3,000 crore worth of shares.

Corporate Action

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Stocks in Focus

Corporation Bank will also be in focus as its board of directors has approved additional fundraising of Rs 300 crore in one or more tranches with greenshoe option.

EID Parry may react positively as the board has approved the sale of its biopesticides business as a going concern by the way of slump sale to Coromandel International for Rs 303 crore. It also approved the sale of an entire stake in Parry America Inc for Rs 35.4 crore.

Reliance Communications will be in focus as a media report indicated that Reliance Jio emerged as the highest bidder for the company’s assets.

Global Cues

The minutes of the Bank of Japan monetary policy meeting will be released on Tuesday. On Thursday, Japan’s industrial production data for November and US initial jobless claims for the week ended December 22 will be announced.


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Pragati Maidan`s IECC to diversify India`s Trade: M. Venkaiah Naidu

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Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said the International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) project at Pragati Maidan here will further strengthen and diversify the country’s trade and help promote it in different world markets.

Naidu, who laid the foundation stone for the redevelopment of the ITPO-Pragati Maidan Complex into a world-class IECC, emphasized the need for such convention and exhibition facilities in other cities as well.

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The foundation stone of the Integrated Transit Corridor Development (ITCD) along Pragati Maidan was also laid, which has been designed to decongest traffic in and around the area by making all road crossings signal-free.


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SEBI Raids Brokers as it steps up probe over Prescient WhatsApp Messages – source

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Dozens of Indian securities officials descended on the homes of brokers and others on Friday in a widespread early morning raid in Mumbai, and possibly other cities, a regulatory source said.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) raids are a sign that a probe by the regulator is gathering steam. The investigation is looking into who was responsible for circulating prescient messages about major Indian companies’ corporate announcements in social media chatrooms, according to the regulator.

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The investigation was triggered last month after reported at least 12 instances of messages that predicted results and other financial metrics about the companies had been circulated in private WhatsApp groups. These groups consisted mainly of traders and brokers.

On Friday at least 70 SEBI officials searched homes and seized property, including mobile phones and laptops, the regulatory source said.

The two reporters were on the team that reviewed transcripts from these WhatsApp groups and documented at least 12 cases where there were prescient messages about major companies’ financial information. That reporting appears to have now led to this investigation.”

The regulator did not respond to a request for comment about the raids.

The premises of more than 30 brokers and dealers were searched.

SEBI Chairman Ajay Tyagi has previously said that the regulator launched its investigation after the story was published. Last month, a person familiar with the matter said the regulator had also asked for trading data on the companies mentioned in the story.

Stock exchanges are also cooperating with SEBI and looking into the matter, Vikram Limaye, chief executive of the National Stock Exchange, India’s biggest bourse operator, said last week.

SEBI has in recent years beefed up insider trading rules and expanded what material constitutes “unpublished price-sensitive information”.


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Bulls add to Festive Cheer, Nifty touches Peak of 10,500

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The stock market rose to a record close on Friday, the second time it did so during the week, but Christmas-eve celebrations were restrained as investors weighed the continued rise in already-rich share valuations against the so-far uninterrupted flows into equities.Benchmark indices rose roughly 0.5%, with the Nifty crossing 10,500 points for the first time, albeit briefly, after a late surge in tech shares provided an impetus to the market.

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Dalal Street also achieved another milestone with the BSE’s market capitalization crossing Rs 150 lakh crore for the first time. At 49% so far in 2017, the growth in India’s market value is the fastest worldwide.

The BSE Sensex rose 0.55% to close at 33,940.30 points after touching an all-time high of 33,964.28. NSE’s Nifty gained 0.50% to close at 10,493 after touching a new record of 10,501.10. Advances outnumbered declines 1,576 to 1,168 across share categories on the BSE. Tech stocks were the best performers with TCSBSE 1.76 %, Infosys, and WiproBSE 1.16 % gaining 1-2% after Accenture raised its revenue forecast.

If the Nifty finishes past 10,500 early next week, it could touch 10,600 by the weekend, traders said. The financial markets will be shut on Monday on account of Christmas.


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Cryptocurrency Stocks Holding Gains Despite Bitcoin Pullback

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Stocks that surged in recent weeks because of the cryptocurrency mania have managed to hold onto most of their gains despite the recent retreat in the price of bitcoin and skepticism from market participants.

Analysis of 17 stocks of companies that have made blockchain or cryptocurrency announcements showed an average gain of 224 percent through Thursday’s close from they released those statements.

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For example, shares of Long Island Iced Tea Corp jumped nearly 300 percent on Thursday after the beverage maker said it would rename itself, Long Blockchain Corp, to reflect a new focus on blockchain technology.

The moves are reminiscent of the tech boom when the market value of companies such as Zapata and Books-A-Million rose sharply after they announced an internet business or an updated website. After the dot-com bubble burst, many of the companies went out of business or became much less valuable.

Many of the crypto stocks came under pressure on Friday, as the price of bitcoin tumbled below $12,000 to put it on track for its worst week since 2013. Riot Blockchain dropped 15.3 percent to $23.36, and Overstock, which announced in August that it would accept major alt-coins as payment, was down 6.5 percent at $63.05.

Even with the declines on Friday, Bitcoin itself is still more than double from its price at the start of November while the stocks are still well above their prices before the companies made cryptocurrency announcements.

While the stocks are susceptible to price moves in bitcoin itself, analysts caution investors should make sure the company has a credible business model.

“It is a buyer beware time,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.


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Some unknown Facts Why Wall Street Slips Heading into Holiday

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 28.23 points, or 0.11 percent, to 24,754.06, the S&P 500 lost 1.23 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,683.34 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.40 points, or 0.08 percent, to 6,959.96.


Wall Street’s major indexes dipped on Friday in low trading volume before the holiday weekend as several blue-chip stocks slipped, including Nike.

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Nike Inc shares fell 2.3 percent after the company forecast muted growth in current-quarter revenue, reflecting its struggles in the North American market.

UnitedHealth Group Inc was down 0.8 percent after the health insurer agreed to buy Chilean healthcare company Banmedica SA for USD 2.8 billion.

Investors are winding down ahead of Christmas on Monday when the market will be closed.

“It’s been a strong week,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia. “Whether the market is up a little bit or down a little bit is not indicative of larger trends. It’s easy to push things around when not many people are trading.”

Indeed, major Wall Street indexes were on track to end the week higher, buoyed by a historic overhaul of the US tax code.

President Donald Trump signed Republicans’ massive USD 1.5-trillion tax overhaul into law on Friday and also approved a short-term spending bill that averts a possible government shutdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 28.23 points, or 0.11 percent, to 24,754.06, the S&P 500 lost 1.23 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,683.34 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.40 points, or 0.08 percent, to 6,959.96.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.42 percent, the S&P gained 0.29 percent and the Nasdaq added 0.34 percent.

Wildly volatile bitcoin plunged below USD 12,000, losing around a third of its market value in five days, before rebounding to above USD 14,000. Companies that have been riding the bitcoin wave were hit hard by the cryptocurrency’s slump.

Long Blockchain Corp, Overstock.com Inc, Riot Blockchain Inc and Marathon Patent Group Inc tumbled between 2 percent and 15 percent. But even with Friday’s losses, their share prices are higher now than before the companies ventured into bitcoin.

Data on Friday showed US consumer spending went up in November and shipments of key capital goods orders increased for the 10th straight month, confirming strong economic momentum.

The benchmark S&P has climbed about 20 percent this year and is on track for its best performance since 2013 on solid corporate earnings, strong economic fundamentals, upcoming cuts to corporate tax rates and hopes of looser regulations.

Real estate led the S&P 500 in gains, with a 0.7 percent rise. Health was the biggest decliner, falling 0.3 percent.

Celgene Corp shares fell 1.4 percent after the company’s follicular lymphoma regimen failed in a clinical trial.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.04-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.30-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

Volume on US exchanges was 4.81 billion shares, compared to the 6.98 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.


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Nifty above 10,450, Sensex mildly higher; Midcap hits Record High

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TCS was up nearly a percent after a report indicated that the company renewed USD 2.25 billion deal with Nielsen till 2020 and also after Accenture earnings.


10:05 am Nifty Bank flat after RBI’s Financial Stability Report: The Reserve Bank has said gross non-performing assets in the system shot up to 10.2 percent as of the September quarter, primarily led by private sector lenders, and has warned that the situation will only aggravate from there, “elevating” the systemic risks.

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In the half-yearly Financial Stability Report (FSR) put out late this evening, the central bank, however, said the financial system remains “stable” overall though it has pegged the bad loans spiking to 10.8 percent by the March quarter and to 11.1 percent by September 2018.

“The banking stability indicator (BSI) shows that the risks remain at an elevated level weighed down by further asset quality deterioration,” the FSR notes.

Overall, the stressed assets, including restructured loans and dud loans increased marginally to 12.2 percent during the same period from 12.1 percent.


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Sensex, Nifty Trade Flat; IT, Metals, Pharma Stocks Gain

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Reliance Nippon, Pidilite Industries, PVR, Ajanta Pharma, Reliance Communications, Monnet Ispat, Gokaldas Exports, Videocon Industries, Wockhardt, and Unitech rallied 1-6 percent while Bank of India and Motherson Sumi were down 1 percent each.

 

2:26 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks continued to trade around flatline in afternoon due to lack of domestic and global cues, but the broader markets continued their outperformance.

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The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 4.89 points at 33,772.49 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 3.50 points at 10,447.70 while the Nifty Midcap extended gains to 0.9 percent.

About two shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

2:20 pm Bond Yields: Indian bond prices fell to their lowest in nearly 1-1/2 years after minutes from the last Reserve Bank of India meeting showed some members issuing sharp warnings on inflation, though shares were largely flat after setting records in the previous session.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year bond rose 6 basis points to 7.28 percent.

Minutes from the RBI’s December 6 meeting showed two members, both central bank officials, specifically warning that India could no longer afford to be accommodative on inflation, which analysts saw as raising the prospect of rate hikes.

2:10 pm Buzzing: Global brokerage house CLSA has initiated coverage with the buy rating on Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management and set a target price at Rs 325 per share as mutual funds are in a sweet spot with rising penetration.

The stock price rallied 5.4 percent intraday to hit a fresh 52-week high of Rs 287.95.

Robust earnings growth and high dividend payouts will aid investor returns, the investment bank feels.

CLSA expects company’s AUM/revenue/net profit to grow at a CAGR of 23/28/26 percent over FY17-20 and dividend yield to rise to 3.1 percent by FY20 (against 1.6 percent in FY17).

Reliance Nippon is expected to leverage the retail strength and topline growth is largely driven by rising in the share of equity, the research house said.


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