Nifty Bank hits fresh high as ArcelorMittal to close Essar Steel deal today

Essar Steel
Nifty Bank index held its gains above the crucial 32,000-mark, and hit a record high of 32,186.95 in the opening deals on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) on expectations that ArcelorMittal could complete payment worth Rs 42,000-crore in the Essar Steel case to the lenders. For the world’s largest steel maker, the timeline of one month for the full payment ends on Monday. 

Individually, State Bank of India (SBI) gained 1.4 per cent to hit a high of Rs 337.55 apiece on the NSE in the early deals. According to lenders, the funds (from ArcelorMittal) are in a SBI account which will be distributed to financial creditors and operational creditors today. 

"After reporting a sub-optimal performance over the last few years, SBI appears well positioned to report a strong uptick in earnings. With the overhang on Essar resolution getting clear, recoveries for the bank are expected to be robust at nearly Rs 12,000 crore (90 per cent of exposure). This will enable it to further improve upon the provision coverage ratio (PCR) and provide toward a few other residual stressed accounts. Even at the core earnings level, we estimate the bank to report a 19 per cent CAGR in PPoP over FY19-21," wrote analysts at Motilal Oswal in a recent report. The brokerage maintains 'Buy' call on the stock with a revised target price of Rs 425. 

On December 15, the Supreme Court set aside a National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order that had put different classes of creditors — financial and operational — on a par. The apex court ruling paved the way for ArcelorMittal to implement the resolution plan. 

Last month, in a statement, ArcelorMittal had said it hoped to close the transaction by the end of the year. “Monday would be one month from the Supreme Court order,” pointed out one of the lenders. READ REPORT

Investors, however, booked profit at most banking counters with shares of SBI, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, YES Bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda, and The Federal Bank down in the range of 0.3 to 2.7 per cent at 9:50 am. In comparison, the NIfty Bank index was trading 0.05 per cent higher. 

On Friday, banking counters had gained on reports the government is considering increasing the government bond investment limit of foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to at least 10 per cent of the outstanding, from 6 per cent now, with an aim to incorporate local bonds into global bond indices.


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