1. Sensex jumps over 150 points as Infosys, HDFC twins, ICICI Bank steer gains; PSU banks soar on merger approval

Sensex jumps over 150 points as Infosys, HDFC twins, ICICI Bank steer gains; PSU banks soar on merger approval

Indian stock markets extended the morning gains on Wednesday fuelled by an increased buying in the shares of heavyweight companies such as Infosys, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC, and Airtel.

By: | Published: August 23, 2017 1:25 PM
Indian equities are on track for a second straight gain but were confined to a narrow range for want of fresh triggers after a tepid results season. (Image: BSE)

Indian stock markets extended the morning gains on Wednesday fuelled by an increased buying in the shares of heavyweight companies such as Infosys, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC, and Airtel. BSE Sensex rose 151 points to 31,443.44 points and NSE Nifty gained 32 points to trade at 9,797.65 points. Indian equities are on track for a second straight gain but were confined to a narrow range for want of fresh triggers after a tepid results season.

Shares of Dr Reddy’s (up 2.45%), Infosys (up 2.03%), Bharti Airtel (up 1.79%), Adani Ports (up 1.56%) and NTPC (up 1.13%) were among the lead gainers on the benchmark Sensex while Hindustan Unilever (down 1.1%), TCS (down 0.4%), and Reliance Industries (down 0.39%) drag the index. The stocks of blue-chip companies are flagging the rally in BSE Sensex are Infosys, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Bharti Airtel and State Bank of India. Collectively these shares alone contributed 120 points in the Sensex upsurge of about 150 points.

The Union Cabinet has reportedly given an in-principle approval for the merger of PSU banks, paving the way for the government’s ambitious plan for consolidation among state-run lenders to help them gain efficiency and scale. Public sector bank shares surged on the news, with the Nifty PSU Bank index gaining as much as 1.8% to 3,290.4 points. Allahabad Bank was the top gainer, up 4.9%, while Bank of India shares jumped 3.8%; Punjab National Bank rose 3.44%; Bank of Baroda gained 1.6%, and India’s largest lender SBI was up 1.37%.

Shares of India’s largest telecom operator advanced more than 2% in the early trade on Wednesday after the company has added 6 lakh new users in July 2017, according to the data published by industry body COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India). The heavyweight stock of Bharti Airtel rose as much as 2.85% to the day’s high of Rs 433.7 and was the top gainer on the benchmark Sensex today.

Shares of the real estate major rose over 7% on Wednesday after the company said it will hold a board meeting on 25 August to decide on promoters’ proposal to sell their 40% stake in its rental arm to investment firm GIC in a deal estimated at around Rs 13,000 crore. The stock of the blue-chip company gained as much as 7.87% to the day’s high of Rs 189.1 on NSE. Realty stocks also gained with DLF Ltd climbing nearly 8% after it said an audit committee would review the status of the proposed sale of compulsorily convertible preference shares to an affiliate of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.

Shares of Fortis Healthcare Ltd rose as much as 7.3% following a block deal worth 605.9 million rupees on Tuesday, while Goldman Sachs initiated coverage with a “buy” rating. IT stocks were among the day’s decliners with Tech Mahindra Ltd falling over 1.5 percent, though Infosys Ltd was on track for its first gain in four sessions. However, institutional interest has been steadily rising with domestic buyers picking up shares worth a net 4.35 billion rupees on Tuesday, data on the NSE showed.

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