Indian Stocks Climb to Record as Infrastructure Companies Gain

Indian stocks climbed to all-time highs as engineering companies and cement makers advanced amid speculation the government will boost spending and accelerate approvals for roads, ports and power projects.

Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. rallied to the highest level since January 2011 after the company’s Mumbai Metro rail began service yesterday. Larsen & Toubro Ltd. increased to a record. Cement producer Grasim Industries Ltd. jumped the most in five years. Coal India Ltd. was the best performer on the S&P BSE Sensex, which increased 0.7 percent to a record 25,580.21.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party secured the strongest electoral mandate in 30 years on a pledge to spur an economy where $230 billion of projects have been stalled for want of state clearances. The new government has pledged to build 100 new cities, run high-speed trains, cut red tape to ease doing business and cool inflation to boost economic growth, President Pranab Mukherjee told lawmakers in New Delhi today.

“There’s so much hope and optimism in the market that whatever has not happened in the last five years will happen now,” Daljeet Kohli, head of research at IndiaNivesh Securities Pvt., said in an interview to Bloomberg TV India. “The President’s address, which reiterated what was said earlier, gave the market confidence to keep moving.”

Reliance Infrastructure rose 2.8 percent to 808.75 rupees. The company owns a 69 percent stake in Mumbai Metro One Pvt., the builder and operator of the metro rail that was meant to commence service at the end of 2011.

Coal India, the world’s biggest miner of the fuel, climbed to the highest level since June 2011. Tata Power Co., India’s largest non-state generator, added 2.5 percent, extending last month’s 33 percent surge. Natural-gas supplier GAIL India Ltd. rallied to a 32-month high.

New Orders

Larsen & Toubro climbed 3.6 percent, extending this year’s gain to 64 percent. The S&P BSE Capital Goods Index has soared 61 percent this year, pushing up its valuation to 28.4 times projected 12-month profits, the most expensive in seven years, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“If economy growth is going to revive then infrastructure will be a major reason for that revival and Larsen would be the first company that would benefit,” IndiaNivesh Securities’ Kohli said. The company is likely to win a bulk of the projects to be approved by the new government, he said.

Grasim soared 12 percent to a record. Rival ACC Ltd. rose 4.7 percent, while India Cements Ltd. jumped 10 percent to its highest level since April 2010. UltraTech Cement Ltd. advanced to a life-time high of 2,800.75 rupees.

Modi’s Policies

Modi’s government will ease investment processes, abolish obsolete laws and revamp defense procurement rules, Mukherjee said today, outlining the two-week-old government’s policies. Modi has pledged to revive economic growth from near a decade low while containing consumer-price inflation, which exceeds 8 percent, the fastest pace in Asia.

“We’re set for five years to macroeconomic healing, which will be followed by progress,” Dipen Sheth, head of institutional research at HDFC Securities Ltd. in Mumbai, told Bloomberg TV India today.

Foreigners have bought a net $16.1 billion of local shares since Sept. 13, when the BJP named Modi its candidate for prime minister. The inflows have helped lift the Sensex 30 percent in the period, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The gauge trades at 15.7 times projected 12-month profits, the most expensive in more than three years, and compares with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s multiple of 10.9. The rally pushed the Sensex’s 14-day relative strength index to 79.6, a two-week high, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Some investors see readings above 70 as a signal to sell.

“The market is slightly overbought and we could see some correction,” K. Subramanyam, assistant vice-president for institutional clients at Asit C Mehta Investment Intermediates Ltd., told Bloomberg TV India today. “We are closing at all-time highs on a daily basis.”

The 50-stock CNX Nifty Index rose 0.9 to a record 7,654.60 amid volume that was 17 percent above the 30-day average.

The Sensex rose 4.9 percent last week as energy companies jumped on optimism Modi will agree to raise natural-gas prices by the month-end.

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