Markets rise 0.4% early, Reliance rallies

Markets rise 0.4% early, Reliance rallies

Mumbai: Indian shares rose 0.4% on Monday morning, led by energy giant Reliance Industries after it made an offer to buy a controlling interest in US-based bankrupt petrochemicals company LyondellBasell Industries.

Reliance, which has the largest weighting in the index, was up 1.4% at Rs2,154.50.

“The difference between any other large acquisition and this one is that this deal is being pursued at the time of a downcycle in petchem space, making valuations cheap," said Vaibhav Sanghavi, director of Ambit Capital.

“Also, Reliance has always had a comfortable balance sheet. That, along with the synergies and existing liquidity is helping the stock," added Sanghavi.

Reliance, the country’s largest-listed firm, is offering about $12 billion for control of LyondellBasell, according to sources, and if successful it would be one of the largest overseas acquisitions by an Indian company.

At 10:22am, the 30-share BSE Index was up 0.41% at 17,091.75, with 22 components gaining. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.5% at 5,079.05.

“I think we can hold on to the gains in the day as dollar is weak for now. We should close in the green today," said Gajendra Nagpal, CEO of Unicon Financial.

Positive Asian markets also helped sentiment, with MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan rising 0.6%. Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.

Telecom stocks declined as the tariff war in the sector intensified after Tata Teleservices extending its per-second billing scheme to roaming calls.

Top mobile operator Bharti Airtel dropped 2.7% to Rs280.85, while rival Reliance Communications shed 0.9% to Rs172.25.

In the broader market, gainers were more than double the number of losers on a volume of 51 million shares.