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Nifty, Sensex Flat As Banks, Telecom Stocks Weigh

The Nifty settled 0.03% lower at 12,352.35, while the Sensex closed up 0.03% at 41,945.37. Both indexes finished the week 0.8% higher.

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Indian shares ended little changed on Friday as losses in telecom and banking stocks offset strength in conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd ahead of its quarterly earnings.

The Nifty settled 0.03% lower at 12,352.35, while the Sensex closed up 0.03% at 41,945.37. Both indexes finished the week 0.8% higher.

Vodafone Idea Ltd plunged 25.8% on its worst day since July last year, while telecom tower company Bharti Infratel Ltd sank 11.1% and was the worst performer on the Nifty.

Analysts said Vodafone Idea's chances of survival were getting slimmer after the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected petitions by wireless carriers for relief from paying nearly $13 billion in dues to the government.

Banks with exposure to the vulnerable telecom companies also took a hit, with Yes Bank Ltd, IndusInd Bank Ltd and State Bank of India slipping between 1.6% and 2.5%.

Separately, Moody's also placed Yes Bank's ratings under review on Thursday, citing delays in capital raising.

However, Bharti Airtel Ltd, which must pay roughly $3 billion under the ruling, rose 5.5% and was the top gainer across the indexes on hopes of benefiting from further consolidation in the telecom sector.

Credit Suisse raised Bharti's target price by 9%.

Reliance Industries rose 2.8% ahead of its quarterly results, which are scheduled to be announced later in the day.

(Reuters)


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