India’s Sensex Heads for Record Close as Bharti, ICICI Rally

Indian (SENSEX) stocks rose for the second day, with the benchmark index headed for a record close. Bharti Airtel Ltd. (BHARTI) led the gain after its sales beat estimates.

Bharti Airtel, the nation’s largest mobile-phone operator, rallied the most in five weeks. ICICI Bank Ltd. (ICICIBC), the country’s second-biggest lender, rose to a four-month high. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) surged 2.6 percent.

The S&P BSE Sensex added 0.3 percent to 21,001.17 at 9:47 a.m. in Mumbai, poised for a record close. The Sensex has risen 8.5 percent this month, set for the biggest gain since January 2012, as the Federal Reserve’s decision to maintain stimulus spurred inflows from global funds and as more companies in the gauge posted earnings that beat estimates.

The Sensex jumped the most in Asia yesterday after the Reserve Bank of India took steps to boost cash supply for banks while raising its benchmark interest rate to fight inflation. International investors were net buyers of Indian stocks for a 17th straight day on Oct. 28, data showed yesterday. Quarterly net incomes at 14 of 16 companies in the gauge that have posted earnings so far this season beat or matched estimates.

Asian stocks gained today, sending the benchmark MSCI Asia Pacific Index toward its first back-to-back monthly gain since April, amid improving company earnings and with the Fed projected to maintain the pace of its monetary stimulus today.

Global funds bought a net $107 million of local shares on Oct. 28, taking this year’s inflow to $15.7 billion, data from the market regulator show. Foreign funds have purchased $2.27 billion of local shares this month, adding to inflows of $2 billion in September.

The Sensex has climbed 8.1 percent this year and trades at 14.2 times projected 12-month profits, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s 10.7 times.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rajhkumar K Shaaw in Mumbai at rshaaw@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at mpatterson10@bloomberg.net

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