Rupee falls; Bharti Infratel inflows watched

MUMBAI Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:46pm IST

A cashier counts currency notes inside a bank in Lucknow July 16, 2009. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar/Files

A cashier counts currency notes inside a bank in Lucknow July 16, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Pawan Kumar/Files

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - The rupee fell marginally on Monday on continued dollar demand from oil importers, but the losses were capped by expectations of inflows from a spate of share sales.

Bharti Infratel, the telecommunications tower unit of top Indian phone carrier Bharti Airtel Ltd (BRTI.NS), is set to raise up to $825 million in what would be the country's biggest initial share offering in two years.

The share sale will begin on Tuesday and close on Friday.

This is likely to be followed by a stake sale by the government in NMDC Ltd (NMDC.NS). The government expects to raise roughly $1.2 billion by selling a stake in the state-run miner.

The government has also raised the limit in government and corporate bonds for foreigners by $5 billion each, resulting in more inflows once the limits are auctioned.

"I expect about $500 million of inflows between the two IPOs. However, there is continuous dollar demand from oil and gold importers which is not letting the rupee appreciate," said Param Sarma, chief executive at NSP Forex.

The partially convertible rupee closed at 54.49/50 per dollar, weaker than its close of 54.47/48 on Friday.

Globally, the rupee's gains were capped as the euro flirted with two-week lows against the dollar on Monday after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti offered to resign, raising political uncertainty over who will lead the euro zone's third-biggest economy out of the debt crisis.

The rupee faces resistance at 54.07, its 200-day moving average, charts showed.

In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the one-month contract was at 54.71, while the three-month was at 55.23.

In the currency futures market, the most-traded near-month dollar/rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange, the MCX-SX and the United Stock Exchange all closed at around 54.69, with total traded volume of $4.5 billion.

(Editing by Jijo Jacob)

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