Markets feel the heat
Markets spiralled lower for the second straight day on Friday as banking shares slumped after the Supreme Court took a strong note of telcos not complying with its order to pay Rs 1.47 lakh crore in statutory dues.
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 202.05 points, or 0.49 per cent, to end at 41257.74, with 22 of its constituents closing with losses.
The broader NSE Nifty shed 61.20 points, or 0.50 per cent, to settle at 12113.50 as banking, auto, FMCG and energy counters retreated.
IndusInd Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, dropping 4.38 per cent, followed by PowerGrid, SBI, Hero MotoCorp and NTPC.
On the other hand, Bharti Airtel was the top gainer, spurting 4.69 per cent, with analysts saying the Indian telecom sector could turn into a duopoly.
Vodafone Idea, which is staring at statutory dues worth Rs 53,000 crore, plummeted 23.21 per cent to close at Rs 3.44 on the BSE. During the day, it dropped 27.45 per cent to Rs 3.25.
On the NSE, it tanked 22.22 per cent to close at Rs 3.50. The company’s market valuation also fell Rs 2,988.03 crore to Rs 9,884.97 crore on the BSE.
Vodafone Idea on Thursday reported widening of losses to Rs 6,438.8 crore in the third quarter of 2019-20 against Rs 5,004.6 crore a year ago, as the telco continued to sound out warnings on “material uncertainty” casting “significant doubt” on its ability to continue as a going concern
“The Supreme Court ruling will impact the asset quality of banks having exposure to the telecom sector. Bank stocks will be under pressure given the high inflation and the RBI being unlikely to cut rates in the near term. The Indian market is also affected by the fall in the global markets following the increase in coronavirus cases,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.
Rate-sensitive auto stocks dropped as official data showed wholesale inflation rising to 3.1 per cent in January, further reducing prospects of a rate cut by RBI.