Indian shares end unchanged; IT stocks extend losses

By Sethuraman N R

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares closed nearly flat on Monday as gains in financial stocks offset the losses in the information technology sector, while casino operator Delta Corp plunged 19% after receiving a notice from the tax department.

The Nifty 50 and the S&P BSE Sensex closed mostly unchanged at 19,674.55 points, and 65,958 points, respectively.

Both the Sensex and Nifty ended last week at their lowest in several months as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s hawkish stance indicated prolonged period of elevated interest rates.

IT stocks fell 0.8% on fears of a delayed demand recovery in the U.S., from where it draws the bulk of revenue, due to higher interest rates. Last week, they fell 1.4%.

HDFC Bank has been a major drag on the Nifty after it warned last week of near term weakness, while private bank stocks are not performing well, said AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital.

The heavy-weight bank index has fallen more than 3% in the past week, especially after HDFC Bank warned of a hit to key financial metrics following its merger with non-banking twin HDFC Ltd.  The bank index closed slightly higher on Monday, while realty stocks gained after Reuters reported the government was considering a $7.2 bln housing loan interest subsidy scheme.

The realty index closed up 1.5%.

More initial public offerings (IPOs) are also sucking liquidity from the markets, IDBI’s Prabhakar said. There are 11 active IPO subscriptions ongoing as per exchange data.

Shares of Delta Corp slumped after the company said on Friday it received a notice to pay 111.4 billion rupees ($1.34 billion) in tax.

Bajaj Finance rose 4.7%, after the non-banking financial company proposed to raise funds via qualified institutional placement, also lifting the financial index by 0.6%.

Shares of Religare Enterprises fell 6.9% after the Burman family made an open offer on Monday for an additional 26% stake in the company at a discounted price.

(Reporting by Sethuraman NR in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)