2:43 pm CPI estimates:
Reserve Bank of India’s minutes of the monetary policy are in line with what the Monetary Policy Committee had said earlier this month. “No real surprises in the minutes as such,’’ said Ananth Narayan, Standard Chartered said.
He said that the Dalal Street investors will, however, view the policy and RBI’s stance as hawkish. Hence, the Street may choose to adopt a sell on rally approach, he added.
While the RBI had set a CPI target of 4 percent with a 2 percent variance, Standard Chartered agrees with the central bank’s assessment. A 4.5-4.6 CPI inflation target seems to be a best-case scenario, Narayan said.
He cautioned, “There is a huge amount of uncertainty around CPI projections given 46 percent depends on food and monsoon and imponderables like the House Rent Allowance (HRA) component post the Pay Commission and the impact of Goods and Services Tax (GST) whenever that comes through.”
2:30 pm SoftBank denies stake buy: Japan’s SoftBank Group denied it was in talks with Vodafone Plc’s Indian unit and Idea Cellular to pick up a stake in a potential merger between the two Indian wireless carriers.
SoftBank’s denial follows a report in The Economic Times newspaper that the Japanese firm was looking to pick up a stake in a Vodafone-Idea merged company, citing four unidentified people aware of developments.
“We would like to categorically deny SoftBank’s participation in the alleged Vodafone, Idea Cellular merger in India,” a SoftBank spokeswoman said.
“We underline that we have held no such discussions and media reports about the same are baseless and unsubstantiated.”
2:20 PM Interview: Housing finance companies are in focus today as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) allowed additional 5 percent of mutual fund investment into bonds of housing finance companies.
Commenting on the development, Gagan Banga, Vice Chairman and of Indiabulls Housing Finance told CNBC-TV18 he expected roughly Rs 60,000 crore of additional funds to come the way of the top rated housing finance companies from this move.
As mutual funds tend to invest only in the top-rated companies, which are just a handful right now, this Rs 60,000 crore could go to only three or four players, he said.
Also read – Reliance Jio Effect: Airtel buys Telenor ahead of Voda-Idea deal
2:00 pm Market Check
The market erased some gains in afternoon trade, ahead of expiry of February Nifty derivative contracts.
The Sensex was up 122.97 points at 28987.68, while the Nifty rose 40.80 points at 8967.70. The market saw some selling pressure after 1,298 shares advanced, while 1,366 shares declined. About 200 shares were unchanged.
The Bank Nifty staged a recovery as it reclaimed its 21000-mark and eyed an all-time high.
IT stocks Infosys and TCS continued to rule the charts on the Sensex, while Nifty top gainer was Idea Cellular.