* BSE index gains 0.72 pct; NSE ends 0.78 pct higher
* Private banks gain on value buying
* Retail, aviation stocks surge
By Abhishek Vishnoi
MUMBAI, Nov 21 Indian shares posted their
biggest daily percentage gain in almost three weeks on Wednesday
as private sector banks such as ICICI Bank rose on value-buying,
while a weaker rupee bolstered software services exporters such
Investors seem to be pinning their hopes on the government
being able to gain some traction on bills to liberalise the
insurance, pension and banking sectors during the winter session
of parliament which begins on Thursday.
"Going into the winter session, except the retail sector
where there is a question mark, people are quite bullish on the
market and a rally in December is expected," said Hitash Dang,
vice president at Jaypee Capital.
Foreign portfolio flows continue to remain strong for the
near term, added Dang.
However, the Indian government, reduced to a minority for
the first time since coming to power in 2004, is scrambling for
support and its chances of success look bleak.
The benchmark BSE index rose 0.72 percent, or
131.06 points, to end at 18,460.38.
The broader NSE index rose 0.78 percent, or 43.25
points, to end at 5614.80, closing above the psychologically
important 5,600 level.
Private banks such as ICICI Bank Ltd gained 2
percent after falling 2.5 percent in November as of Tuesday's
close, while HDFC Bank Ltd ended 1.5 percent higher.
Shares in software services exporters rose, tracking the
weakening Indian rupee, which has fallen 2.4 percent
against the U.S. dollar this month as of Tuesday's close.
Tata Consultancy Services gained 0.7 percent, while
Infosys Ltd was up 1.1 percent.
Retail stocks rose on hopes that the FDI issue would be
taken up in the winter session of parliament.
Pantaloon Retail India Ltd rose 4.7 percent while
Shoppers Stop Ltd gained 2.3 percent.
Cipla Ltd shares rose 2.5 percent after the
company offered to buy an about 51 percent stake in South
Africa's Cipla Medpro, to strengthen its position in
the fast-growing African drugs market.
SpiceJet Ltd gained 7 percent after The Financial
Express newspaper reported a couple of key stakeholders in the
company had resigned from the board of directors of Kal Airways,
an investment vehicle that is the carrier's single largest
The report sparked speculation that the resignations by
Kalanithi Maran and his wife from Kal's board of directors could
signal a potential change of ownership of SpiceJet.
Shares in Kingfisher Airlines Ltd rose 1.9
percent, after The Economic Times newspaper reported Blackstone
Group offered to buy a prime office and retail real
estate property from investment holding company UB Holdings,
citing two people familiar with the developments.
A spokeswoman for Blackstone declined to comment on the
report, calling it "a pure speculation story." A UB Group
spokesman also declined comment.
Speculation over a potential cut in fuel taxes also helped
Jet Airways gain 9.1 percent for the day.
However among stocks that fell, Honeywell Automation India
shares closed at the maximum daily fall limit of 20
percent after Honeywell Asia Pacific said it plans to cut its
stake in the domestic unit.
Honeywell Asia Pacific plans to sell shares in its Indian
unit to meet market regulator requirements mandating listed
companies must have at least 25 percent public shareholding by
Shares in Indian software and back office provider MphasiS
Ltd fell 0.9 percent after majority owner
Hewlett-Packard Co took a $8.8 billion writedown after
alleging a massive accounting scandal at its British software
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FACTORS TO WATCH
* Euro rises to 6-1/2 month high against yen
* Oil gains on unresolved Gaza conflict
* Shares, euro fall as Greek deal proves elusive
* Foreign institutional investor flows
* For closing rates of Indian ADRs
ASIA-PACIFIC STOCK MARKETS:
Pan-Asia........ Japan....... S.Korea...
S.E. Asia....... Hong Kong... Taiwan....
Australia/NZ.... India....... China.....
Wall Street .... Gold ....... Currency..
Eurostocks..... Oil ........ JP bonds...
ADR Report ..... LME metals. US bonds..
Stocks News US.. Stocks News Europe
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(Additional reporting by Manoj Dharra; Editing by Anupama