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Sensex Hits Ninth Straight Life-High; IDFC Surges

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The BSE Sensex was down 0.23 per cent while the broader Nifty lost 0.28 per cent after earlier hitting a ninth consecutive record high.

The BSE rose as much as 0.31 per cent to a record 22,620.65, while the Nifty rose as much as 0.36 per cent to a life-high of 6.776.75 points, crossing Wednesday's highest 6.763.50.

Shares in IDFC Ltd rise after the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday (02 April) granted preliminary licence to the infrastructure sector lender to set up a new bank. IDFC shares were up 1.1 per cent at 11:18 am.

The approval of licences for IDFC Ltd and Bandhan Financial Services marks the start of a cautious experiment for a sector dominated by lethargic state lenders, many of which are reluctant to expand into rural areas or towns where banking penetration is low. No new Indian bank has been formed since Yes Bank in 2004.

Applicants who failed to win a licence at this stage slumped: LIC Housing Finance Ltd fell 6.8 per cent, while L&T Finance Holdings Ltd lost 9.4 per cent.

Investors also booked profits in some blue chips, with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd down 1.1 per cent.

Overseas investors bought Indian shares worth 5.95 billion rupees on Wednesday, provisional exchange data show.

(Reuters)


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