Indian shares end higher; Reliance gains

Last Updated: Tue, Sep 04, 2012 11:43 hrs

Indian shares 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 900 billion rupees 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

India's benchmark BSE index rose 0.32 percent to end at 17,440.87 points, while the 50-share NSE index ended up 0.39 percent 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 percent, PNB rose 1.2 percent, Bank of India gained 2.64 percent.

Shares in energy conglomerate Reliance Industries gained 2.17 percent on value buying, after having fallen 2.6 percent 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 Sept. 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 percent.

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 percent 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 percent 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 percent higher.

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

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