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Sensex, Nifty close flat after hitting record high; Airtel, RIL top gainers

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Mumbai: India’s benchmark equity indices Sensex and Nifty ended flat on Friday as losses in bank stocks offset gains in heavyweights Bharti AIrtel and Reliance Industries.

After hitting record high of 42,063.93 points in the session, Sensex closed 12.81 points or 0.03% higher at 41,945.37. The Nifty 50 index lost 3.15 points or 0.03% to close at 12,352.35.

Shares of Vodafone Idea and Bharti Infratel fell 25.21% and 10.11% respectively, a day after the Supreme Court dismissed the review petition filed by Airtel and Vodafone challenging the apex court’s 24 October order on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. Bharti Infratel is in the process of merging with Indus Towers, which has exposure in Vodafone Idea.

Reliance Industries and Bharti Airtel gained 2.79% and 5.47% each. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm added 5.6 million mobile subscribers in November, replacing Vodafone Idea as the country’s largest mobile services provider. Bharti Airtel too increased its market share, adding 1.65 million mobile users in the month to end with 327.30 million users that gave it a 28.35% market share.

On the BSE, 1329 shares rose, 1211 shares fell and 175 shares were unchanged. In Nifty 50 index, 21 stocks gained, while 28 declined and one remained unchanged.

BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap index rose 0.54% and 0.42% respectively.

Among sectoral indices, BSE Energy was the biggest gainer, rising 1.79%, followed by BSE Telecom with 1.49% and BSE Healthcare index with 1.26%. BSE Bankex on the other hand lost 0.78% on concerns over lenders asset quality following the unfavourable AGR verdict.

“IndusInd, YES, SBI appears to have relatively high exposure to Vodafone Idea,” according to a note by UBS Group AG analysts. For the banking system, loans outstanding to the telecom sector were 1.1 trillion or 1.3% of total loans in September, the note added.

Piramal Enterprises surged 5.2% to close at 1627.05 after the company said its fully-owned arm, PEL DRG Dutch HoldCo BV, would sell its healthcare insights and analytics business to NYSE-listed Clarivate Analytics Plc for $950 million. The deal includes $900 million on closing and $50 million to be received at the end of 12 months thereon.

Rallis India advanced 14.16% to close at 220.45 after consolidated net profit surged 176.52% to 38.05 crore on 27.85% rise in net sales to 533.60 crore in Q3 December 2019 as against Q3 December 2018.

Asian markets closed higher. Japan’s Nikkei225 index gained 0.45%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.60% and China’s Shanghai Composite index was up 0.05%.

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