Mumbai: Indian shares lacked momentum on Wednesday, inching down on caution after a five-day run of gains that took the market to 16-month highs, with Bharti Airtel hit by uncertainty about its tie-up with MTN.
Bharti was down 2.4% at Rs417.80 after changes to Indian takeover rules created confusion about the outlook for its tie-up talks with South Africa’s MTN, even though the amendments would not apply retrospectively.
Bharti said its deal with MTN would comply with the laws in both countries and any required waivers would be sought when appropriate.
“Some hiccups are still there. We need more clarity from the regulator over the open offer norms. We still need to read the fine print,” said K.K. Mital, head of portfolio management services at Globe Capital.
Jaiprakash Associates tumbled 5.2% to Rs236.90 after the engineering and construction firm sold 50 million shares to raise about $250 million.
Shares in Suzlon Energy were down 3.5% after its founders sold 70 million shares to raise about $140 million.
At 12:35am, the 30-share BSE index was down 47.65 points at 16838.78 , with 21 components declining. The 50-share NSE index was down 14.15 points at 5006.05.
“There are no big positive or negative events to provide a direction for the market. The flow of liquidity is driving it up, and seems like the fund flow will continue,” said Deven Choksey, MD and CEO at KR Choksey Shares.
The main index has risen around 75% in 2009, driven by net buying of more than $10 billion of stock by foreign funds, and some analysts think prices have moved ahead of valuations.
In the broader market, 1,349 losers outnumbered 963 gainers on volume of 270 million shares.
MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was up 0.4%. Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.