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Sensex Snaps 2-day Fall; RIL Gains

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BSE Sensex recouped early losses to end higher on Tuesday, snapping a two-day fall, led by a recovery in blue-chip shares such as Reliance Industries while bank shares such as State Bank of India gained on hopes of government capital infusion.

Banking shares led the gains after RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said the government needs to infuse Rs 90,000 crore into state-run banks to maintain majority shareholding under Basel III regulations.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's remarks on Monday that India will clamp down on tax evasion and is on track to meet its 2012/13 tax collection target despite a sharp economic slowdown, aided investor sentiment.

"Chidambaram's assurances have somewhat brought confidence back in the market," said Deven Choksey, Managing Director, K R Choksey Securities

"There is a renewed hope of a possible increase in diesel prices which would be positive as far as fiscal deficit is concerned," he said. 

The benchmark BSE Sensex rose 0.32 per cent to end at 17,440.87 points, while the 50-share NSE Nifty ended up 0.39 per cent at 5,274.00 points.

Earlier in the day, Goldman Sachs upgraded Indian banks to "neutral" from "cautious" citing favorable risk/reward in public sector bank stock prices, as the gap between state-owned and private banks widens to a 10-year high.

The investment bank upgraded Punjab National Bank to "buy" from "neutral", and Bank of India and Union Bank of India to "neutral" from "sell", citing attractive valuations.

State Bank of India added 1.31 per cent, PNB rose 1.2 per cent, Bank of India gained 2.64 per cent.

Shares in energy conglomerate Reliance Industries gained 2.17 per cent on value buying, after having fallen 2.6 per cent in the previous two sessions.

Oil marketers rose on reports that government may raise diesel prices by 4-5 rupees/litre, after the
monsoon parliament session ends on September 7 as oil firms' revenue loss has soared to almost half the retail price.

Hindustan Petroleum Corp advanced 2.33 percent, while Bharat Petroleum Corp added 1.77 per cent.

UBS maintained its positive view on India's media sector, mainly on increasing digitisation. It expected TV industry's subscription revenues to grow at a CAGR of 16 per cent during 2012-17, led by growth in the number of cable and satellite homes and rise in average revenue per user.

Shares of Zee Entertainment gained 4.9 percent, Sun TV added 0.82 percent and Dish TV shares ended 6.3 per cent higher.

Reliance Communications Ltd, India's second-biggest telecoms carrier by customers, will next year
explore options to reduce debt, including the possible sale of a stake in its mobile tower arm, its chairman said.

The firm's shares ended 4.7 per cent higher.

Indian software services provider Tech Mahindra Ltd rose 1.31 per cent, after it said on Tuesday it has bought Hutchison Whampoa Ltd's back-office call center business in the country for $87.1 million.

(Reuters)