HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries Lead India Sensex to Record High

Updated on
  • Reliance at all-time high on back of 4G feature phone plan
  • NSE Nifty 50 Index closes within a whisker of 10,000 level

Key Takeaways From HDFC's Earnings

India’s benchmark stock index climbed to a record, with HDFC Bank and Reliance Industries Ltd. contributing most to the advance.

The S&P BSE Sensex Index added 0.7 percent to 32,245.87 in Mumbai as both Reliance and HDFC Bank surged to an all-time high. Software exporter Wipro Ltd. rose 1.9 percent, adding to its biggest rally in four years Friday, after the company said it plans to buy back shares. Bharti Airtel climbed 2.1 percent. The NSE Nifty 50 Index came within a whisker of hitting 10,000, closing the day at 9,966.4, an all-time high.

Foreign inflows have picked up pace as emerging markets continue to benefit from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s paced rate increases, while Indian savers are shifting more money to financial assets as prices of gold and property have cooled after the government’s ban on high-value currency notes. Indian shares have hit multiple records this year amid optimism about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies, with the economy expanding at about seven times the pace of Japan’s.

“It is the liquidity that is driving the market,” said Devam Modi, research director at Equirus Securities Pvt. Ltd. “India’s growth prospects and government efforts to improve fundamentals provides it an upside for investment. Inflows both domestic and foreign flows remain strong, which has stretched valuations. However, we aren’t in bubble territory.”

Reliance Jio Infocomm, the wireless unit of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s retail-to-refining conglomerate will offer a data-enabled feature phone for 1,500 rupees ($23) starting Aug. 15, he told shareholders in Mumbai on Friday. The handset, or JioPhone, will come with tariff plans as low as 23 rupees for two days or 153 rupees monthly. The unit will also start giving separate earnings statement from the September quarter along with the parent’s results.

“The company has disrupted again by launch of 4G feature phone ‘Jio’ aimed to capture the feature phone market,” Nitin Tiwari, analyst at Antique Stock Broking Ltd. wrote in a note. “We expect launch of feature phones to increase Jio’s subscriber base faster than estimated earlier.”

HDFC Bank surged after the company’s April-June net income came in line with analyst estimated. The bank’s head Aditya Puri said the long-term valuations for the financial industry are set to improve on the back of government’s efforts to deal with bad loans.


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