Banking stocks were under pressure on Monday with BSE Bankex index emering as top loser, falling 2.67 per cent amid report that operations across the country were impacted due to two-day nationwide strike. The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has given a call for a two-day nationwide strike on March 15 and 16 to protest against the Centre's proposal to privatise two public sector banks.
At 12:30 PM, the BSE Bankex index was trading at 38,927.62, down by 1,067.96 points or by 2.67 per cent, while Nifty PSU Bank index was quoting at 2,260.40, down 2.23 per cent, led by decline in SBI, Indian Bank, Bank of India, PNB, J&K Bank. Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was trading 804.14 points or 1.58 per cent lower at 49,987, and the NSE Nifty was quoting at 14,775, down by 265 points or by 1.77 per cent.
State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, was trading 2.69 per cent lower at Rs 370.95. The stock opened marginally higher at Rs 382 against previous close price of 381.20. During the day's trade, the stock hit intraday high and low of Rs 383 and Rs 369.30. The market cap of the PSU lender fell to Rs 3,31,058.46 crore.
Among others, Indian Bank, Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, J&K Bank, Union Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of Baroda fell between 2-5 per cent.
As per the UFBU and All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), 10 lakh bank employees are likely to participate in the strike. Banking services are likely to be hit at several public sector banks (PSBs) like State Bank of India (SBI), Canara Bank and Bank of Maharashtra (BoM). Bank of Maharashtra has already warned its customers about the same.