* Rupee ends at 54.26/27 per dollar vs 54.49/50 on Monday
* Bharti Infratel, NMDC share sale related inflows to
* November trade gap still high at $19.3 billion
By Subhadip Sircar
MUMBAI, Dec 11 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee rose on Tuesday
on the back of inflows from Bharti Infratel's initial public
offering and expected dollar sales from a share sale by state
miner NDMC, but data showing a high trade deficit weighed on
The rupee will likely continue to be supported by share
flows in the near term as the government looks to raise $5.5
billion by next March as part of its plans to bridge its current
account deficit by selling stakes in companies.
The success of that programme and the government's fiscal
discipline are seen as essential to the rupee's outlook, amidst
concerns about slowing economic growth.
"The bigger driver for the rupee in the near term is going
to be inflows. I expect the rupee to move towards 53.20 levels
to the dollar in the January-March quarter," said Subramanian
Sharma, director at Greenback Forex.
The partially convertible rupee closed at 54.26/27
per dollar, stronger than its close of 54.49/50 on Monday.
Traders attributed the rupee's gains to the IPO from Bharti
Infratel, the telecommunications tower unit of top Indian phone
carrier Bharti Airtel Ltd, which is set to raise up to
$832 million in what would be the country's biggest initial
share offering in two years.
The share sale opened for retail investors on Tuesday.
Bharti on Monday said it had allotted shares worth $120 million
to cornerstone investors.
The IPO is likely to be followed by the government's up to
$1.1 billion stake sale in NMDC Ltd.
However, investors remain worried about the country's
current account deficit, a continued source of concern for the
rupee's outlook, after data showed the November trade gap
remained high at $19.3 billion.
"Overall, India's external sector remains in a precarious
state," Nomura said in a note after the data.
In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the
one-month contract was at 54.58, while the three-month was at
In the currency futures market, the most-traded
near-month dollar/rupee contracts on the National Stock
Exchange, the MCX-SX and the United Stock Exchange all closed at
around 54.47, with total traded volume of $4.5 billion.
(Editing by Rafael Nam and Anand Basu)