November 20, 2019 / 4:48 AM / a month ago

Indian shares rise; Reliance, PSU energy stocks gain

* NSE index climbs 0.6%, BSE index gains 0.4%

* Reliance hits record high after Jio rate hike plan

By Sethuraman N R

Nov 20 (Reuters) - Indian shares marched ahead on Wednesday with Reliance Industries and state-run energy companies leading the pack, while investors waited for a cabinet meeting that will likely discuss stake sales in some government-owned companies.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.6% to 12,014, while the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.4% to 40,638.7.

Telecom stocks advanced further after Reliance Jio, owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, said it planned to hike tariffs in the next few weeks.

Rivals Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Idea Ltd have already announced their plans to raise rates from next month.

Shares of Reliance Industries rose 3.75% to a record high of 1,571 rupees and were the top gainers in the Nifty 50 index.

“Reliance is the major driver (of markets). Once they raise tariffs, the valuation of Jio as well as Reliance also goes up,” said Rusmik Oza, head of Fundamental Research, Kotak Securities.

“Also, there is some interest in private sector banks. The oil PSUs are also getting double benefit from a fall in crude prices as well as the cabinet committee meeting to discuss strategic divestment of some of the companies.”

A surge in U.S. stockpiles weighed on crude oil prices, sending refiner stocks higher, with Nifty’s energy index adding 1.53%.

Meanwhile, shares of Vodafone Idea surged as much as 34.71%, while those of Airtel gained 3.1%. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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