Markets up 0.7%; Reliance, Infosys lead

Markets up 0.7%; Reliance, Infosys lead

Mumbai: Indian shares climbed 0.7% on Wednesday, led by gains in energy major Reliance Industries and IT bellwether Infosys, as a rise in Asian shares boosted investor sentiment.

D.D. Sharma, senior vice president at Anand Rathi Securities, said a pick up in fund raisings by companies through placement of shares with qualified institutions, was boosting confidence.

“Such investment is pointing to investor confidence in the long-term India story," he said.

Hindalco Industries, the country’s largest aluminium maker, raised $600 million through a sale of shares to institutions this week.

By 11:53am, the 30-share BSE Index was trading up 0.65% at 17,243.27, with 24 of its components gaining. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.7% at 5,127.20.

Reliance Industries, which has the heaviest weight in the index, gained 1.8% to Rs2,214.25, after it said it had reopened 900 gas stations.

The stock also got a boost as it neared the record date on Friday for its 1:1 bonus issue, traders said.

Asia’s top oil refiner China Petroleum and Chemical Corp and US private equity firm TPG are not considering a bid to buy bankrupt chemical company LyondellBasell Industries, for which Reliance has made an offer, a source close to the situation said.

Infosys, India’s No. 2 outsourcer, climbed to all-time high of Rs2,453. Its chief financial officer told Reuters it was looking to acquire companies with revenue of $400 million to $500 million.

Smaller rival Wipro rose 0.6% after its co-CEO told Reuters it would be able to sustain its operating margins and the pipeline looked better than that at the end of fiscal year 2009.

Cigarette and hotel major ITC climbed 1.4% to Rs267.25 on better outlook, dealers said.

In the broader market, gainers were nearly double the number of losers on volume of 140 million shares.