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Assurance on tax sops sends HDFC stock racing

Mumbai, Dec. 13: Shares of home-loan major Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) flared up on bourses today, boosted by finance minister Jaswant Singh’s statement in Parliament that tax incentives available for dwellings would stay. LIC Housing Finance, another player with a large share of business, also had a great day in the trading ring.

HDFC, considered the leader in the pack, zoomed to a calendar year high of Rs 386.30 in a spurt of 12 per cent over its previous close. The share started the day at Rs 341, but came off its intra-day peak to end at Rs 364.55. LIC Housing Finance was also a big draw, racing to a peak Rs 67 after opening at Rs 64.75 before closing at Rs 64.10.

Market watchers said the surge was fuelled also by optimism that a probable victory for the BJP in Gujarat would strengthen the government’s resolve to forge ahead with sale of key public sector undertakings. Exit polls conducted on Thursday predicted the party would retain power. “The markets should look up on Monday if the polls are right,” a broker added.

State-owned firms like HPCL, BPCL and BEML sizzled amid reports the Cabinet Committee on Disinvestment will meet soon to decide who can bid for Hind Petro, and just how much government will sell. The sensex opened at 3335.28, rallied to an intra-day high at 3349.94 before ending at 3342.97 against Thursday’s close of 3324.48, racking up a gain of 18.49 points.

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