Mumbai: Markets roared back to life on Thursday after two days of declines as Reliance Industries ratcheted higher on reports that the company is offering to sell a substantial stake in its retail arm to Amazon.
The 30-share BSE Sensex soared 646.40 points or 1.69 per cent to finish at 38,840.32. The broader NSE Nifty rallied 171.25 points or 1.52 per cent to close at 11,449.25.
Market heavyweight Reliance Industries surged to its lifetime high during the session after reports said the company has held discussions with Amazon for the retail arm stake sale.
The Mukesh Ambani-led firm is reportedly offering as much as 40 per cent stake in its retail subsidiary to Amazon, which is seeking to expand its presence in the Indian market.
On Wednesday, Reliance had announced that US private equity firm Silver Lake Partners would buy 1.75 per cent stake in its retail arm for Rs 7,500 crore.
RIL stock jumped 8.45 per cent to a record high of Rs 2,343.90 on the BSE on Thursday. The company’s market valuation rose to Rs 14,66,589.53 crore (USD 199.64 billion) in late afternoon trade.
The stock finally ended 7.10 per cent higher, accounting for most of the Sensex’s gains. Asian Paints, Axis Bank, UltraTech Cement, IndusInd Bank and Bajaj Finance were among the other index gainers, spurting up to 4.25 per cent.
On the other hand, Tata Steel, Bharti Airtel, Kotak Bank, Titan and HDFC Bank closed in the red, shedding up to 2.24 per cent.
“Indian indices again had a strong showing today backed by strong gains in the shares of RIL, which alone contributed to more than half of the gains seen on Nifty. Suitors lining up for potential stake sale in Reliance Retail drove its gains today. Positive global cues also palyed a part in the broader positivity seen in the markets.
“European markets have turned cautious ahead of the ECB policy meeting happening today. Investors seems to have kept the simmering border tensions on the backburner for now and, in the absence of fresh triggers, will look at global markets and stock specific news for direction,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
BSE energy index rallied 6.26 per cent, followed by oil and gas, basic materials, industrials, finance and capital goods. On the other hand, telecom and metal fell up to 1.42 per cent.
Broader BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices surged up to 1.27 per cent. In rest of Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong ended in the red, while Seoul and Tokyo closed higher.
Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a mixed note ahead of the European Central Bank’s policy decision. Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.27 per cent lower at USD 40.27 per barrel. In the forex market, the rupee strengthened by 9 paise to end at 73.46 against the US dollar.