* NSE index up 0.44 pct, BSE index 0.52 pct higher
* Finance Minister’s statement on bad loans lifts lenders
* Oil retailers decline
By Aby Jose Koilparambil
March 24 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose for a second consecutive session as lenders such as State Bank of India rallied after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government would soon announce new measures to tackle non-performing assets (NPAs).
The government and the Reserve Bank of India would announce the measures in “a couple of days”, Jaitley said at a CNBC-TV18 event.
Lenders also got a boost from expectation of good demand for Yes Bank’s up to $750 million share sale announced on Thursday.
But broader sentiment remained cautious, with the NSE index poised to record its first weekly loss in three, retreating from a record high hit last week.
“Yes Bank’s Qualified Institutional Placement yesterday was subscribed at almost 1,500 rupees per share and this has improved the sentiment in the sector, resulting in a rally in bank stocks. The finance minister’s statement on the NPAs issue too was a positive,” said Rakesh Tarway, head of research at Reliance Securities Ltd.
The broader NSE index was up 0.44 percent at 9,126 by 0510 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.52 percent higher at 29,484.97.
ICICI Bank and State Bank of India were among the top gainers on the Nifty 50 index, rising more than 2 percent each after Jaitley’s comments.
Yes Bank rose as much as 1.72 percent.
Bharat Petroleum Corp was the top loser as oil retailers fell after CLSA analysts forecast a weak January-March quarter for major oil marketing companies. (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan)