Rupee rises ahead of NTPC share sale

Rupee rises ahead of NTPC share sale

Mumbai: The rupee rose on Tuesday, supported by expectations of foreign interest in a share sale by a state-run firm and dollar selling by exporters as the euro edged up against the dollar.

The partially convertible rupee ended at 46.22/23 per dollar, after touching an intraday peak of 46.17, to end about 0.3% stronger than Monday’s close of 46.37/38.

The euro rose against the dollar as Greece’s government bond spread narrowed. The dollar index against six majors was down about 0.1%.

“The euro’s rise in cross-currency trade helped sentiment for the rupee, though most traders are now looking at inflows on account of NTPC’s share issue," said a senior trader with a foreign bank.

State-run NTPC Ltd, India’s largest power producer, opens a follow-on share sale on Wednesday to raise at least $1.8 billion. The issue closes on 5 February.

“Many other public sector companies are looking to raise funds via public issues, and this is a positive factor for the rupee," the trader said, adding foreign demand for the share sale could have a big influence on the rupee.

The rupee gained despite the BSE benchmark share index Sensex shedding 1.2% to end at its lowest in three months.

Foreign flows in and out of the domestic stock markets are usually a key driver of the rupee. Foreign investors were net sellers of about $1.8 billion over the last 10 sessions of January.

One-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were quoted at 46.245/31, close to the onshore spot closing rate.

In the currency futures market, the most traded near-month contracts on the National Stock Exchange and MCX-SX closed at 46.2950 and 46.30 respectively.