Shares rise 1.2%; Bharti tumbles again

Shares rise 1.2%; Bharti tumbles again

Mumbai: Indian shares rose 1.2% on Tuesday as world markets pushed higher, but investors were wary and Bharti Airtel fell sharply for a second day on its $10.7 billion bid for Kuwaiti Zain’s African assets.

Financials led the gainers on optimistic long-term outlook in a fast-expanding economy. Top lender State Bank of India climbed 1.4% and rival ICICI Bank rose nearly 2%, while Housing Development Finance Corp firmed 1.8%.

Tata Steel, the world’s eighth-largest steelmaker, firmed 2.2% to Rs549.85 ahead of its consolidated third-quarter results due after market hours.

Traders said money managers would, however, await the national budget on 26 February for direction, and would keep an eye on the debt problems in Europe.

“The market is taking cues from the global markets today," said Sanjeev Patkar, director of research at Almondz Global. “Investors will, however, wait for more certain signals."

Leading mobile operator Bharti shed 4.5% to Rs272.45, its lowest close in 16 months, a day after tumbling 9.2% on concerns a huge debt burden for the Zain offer could stretch its balance sheet.

Bharti, which is looking to buy Zain’s telecoms operations in 15 African countries, is likely to finance the majority of the deal’s purchase price with foreign currency loans, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Around 8.2 million shares changed hands, making them the most traded among the benchmark index components. The company’s market value has plunged more than 13% in two days to $22.4 billion.

The 30-share BSE index closed up 1.17%, or 188.33 points, at 16,226.68. Twenty-seven of its components advanced.

World stocks edged higher with European shares gaining after UK bank Barclays beat profit forecasts. Europe’s FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.6% by 1042 GMT.

Non-ferrous metals producer Sterlite Industries rose 2.3% to Rs761.70 as a softer dollar boosted copper prices.

Aluminium producer Hindalco climbed 3.2% to Rs145.25.

Tata Motors closed 3% higher at Rs703, after the top vehicles maker said it had bid to supply 1,000 bullet-proof vehicles to the Indian army for a total value of Rs350 crore.

In the broader market, gainers outweighed losers in the ratio of 1.2:1, on volume of 376 million shares, higher than last week’s daily average of 351 million shares.

The 50-share NSE index closed 1.1% higher at 4,855.75.