Sensex witnesses choppy trade, Bharti Airtel rises (Lead)

February 3rd, 2012 - 3:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Sensex Mumbai, Feb 3 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities witnessed choppy trade Friday afternoon, moving in a narrow range of less than 100 points even as Bharti Airtel rose sharply for the second day after the Supreme Court order cancel 122 licences of eight telecom firms.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened in the positive at 17,444.25 points, slipped into the negative in early trade and was ruling at 17,441.31 points in the afternoon, up 0.05 percent or 9.46 points from its previous close at 17,431.85 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 17,474.38 points and low of 17,382.70 points in the intra-day trade.

The 50-scrip S&P; CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange was ruling 0.12 percent higher at 5,276.20 points.

The country’s largest telecom firm, Bharti Airtel, rallied for the second day after the Supreme Court Thursday ordered the cancellation of all the 122 licences for 2G spectrum allocated in 2008 during the tenure of then telecom minister A. Raja, who is in jail and faces trial in what is being considered India’s biggest scam.

Bharti Airtel seem to be the biggest gainer of the move as major portion of the subscribers of the affected companies are expected to shift to it.

Bharti Airtlel was ruling 2.63 percent higher at Rs.396.10 in the afternoon, after surging by 6.88 percent in the previous session.

However, the stocks of firms that face cancellation of telecom licences after the Supreme Court order continued to rule in the red, with investors expecting their subscribers to switch to older players not affected by the verdict.

The sharpest fall among the affected companies was seen in the Idea Cellular scrip, which was quoting at Rs.94.5 — a loss of 1.41 percent over the previous close.

DB Realty, which floated Swan Telecom — also a beneficiary of the tainted licences and whose promoter Shahid Balwa is a co-accused in the case — saw its scrip ruling at Rs.61.55 with a loss of 1.2 percent over the previous close.

The shares of Videocon, another beneficiary of the licences, were down 0.15 percent at Rs.171.70, while that of Unitech was quoting at Rs.25.05 with a loss of 0.2 percent over the previous close.

Unitech had clarified that it was an entity separate from Uninor, which operates the telecom licences, and that it will continue to focus on the real estate business, which was its core area of operation.

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