Sensex opens firm at 17,910.30 pts, up by 297 pts

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Mumbai, Oct 23 (UNI) The BSE sensitive index today resumed firm at 17,910.30 points with a massive gain of around 297 points from its last close of 17,613.99 points on fresh speculative demand from FIIs and some mutual fund operators.

''The market opened on upbeat note after market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) after trading hours on yesterday, provided partial breather with respect to proposed restrictions on use of participatory notes and said it would speed up regulatory clearance for foreigners keen to invest transparently.

Firm global markets aided the early surge, with the benchmark index BSE Sensex moving past 18,000 mark. Market breath was strong on BSE, brokers said.

Later, the current BSE 30-share Sensex is sharply up by 583.78 points, or 3.31 per cent(pc), to 18,197.77 points. It opened 296.31 points higher at 17,910.30 and rallied further to strike an intra-day high of 18,266.38 so far during the day.

The present broader based S&P CNX Nifty index of NSE also jumped by 205.15 points, or 3.95 pc, to 5,389.00 points. from it last close of 5184.00 points. It was opened high at 5185.30 points. It recorded a high at 5390.35 points in intra day trade.

After market hours on yesterday, SEBI Chairman, M Damodaran said that proprietary sub-accounts (through which FIIs handle participatory notes) wishing to apply for FII status must send SEBI their letter of intent within 24 hours indicating their intent. The application itself must be submitted within a week. Although Sebi will go ahead with its proposed restrictions on FII investments through participatory notes, p-notes as instrument are here to stay, provided the anonymity behind them is lifted.

Damodaran further added that currently there is no limit to the number of sub-accounts that may register for FII status. As of now, Sebi is comfortable with the numbers, at present 3000-plus.

The SEBI board meets on October 25, 2007 to finalise the proposals.

After trading hours on October 16 2007, SEBI issued draft proposals wherein the market regulator proposed restriction on use of the popular participatory notes (PNs) route of FII inflow and it also recommended unwinding of some PNs within 18 months. PNs are financial instruments used by foreign investors that are not registered with Sebi, to invest in Indian shares. FIIs and their sub-accounts buy Indian securities and then issue PNs to foreign investors with these securities as the underlying.

Reliance Energy, the country's second largest power utility company in terms of sales, surged by 6.43 pc to Rs 1458.05 on 4.27 lakh shares.

India's largest listed cellular services provider by sales, Bharti Airtel gained by 6.10 pc to Rs 987. The stock had slipped 16.41 pc to Rs 927.65 in the past one week to October 22 2007, hit by on concerns that the launch of nationwide GSM services by rival Reliance Communications would eat into its market share.

Meanwhile, Reliance Communications rose by 3 pc to Rs 742. On October 19 2007, it got nod to launch nationwide GSM-based cellular services from Department of Telecom (DoT).

Bharat Heavy Electricals was up by 5.30 to Rs 2165.95 followed by NTPC by 4 pc to Rs 207.70, and HDFC Bank by 2.89 pc to Rs 1412.05.

India's largest private sector entity by market capitalisation and oil refiner Reliance Industries (RIL) jumped by 3.33 pc to Rs 2493 on 1.80 lakh shares. As a part of a restructuring exercise, RIL has reportedly decided to hive off Reliance Fresh into a separate company, Ranger Farm, for single point accountability. Reliance Fresh sells food, fruits and vegetables and consumer products.

India's largest private sector mortgage financer in terms of net profit Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) was the lone loser from Sensex pack. It shed by 1.11 pc to Rs 2544 on 12989 shares. The company declares its Q2 September 2007 results on October 29, 2007 Unitech soared by 6 pc to Rs 324.45 after a block deal of 12.40 lakh shares was executed on the counter at 10:07 hrs on BSE at Rs 321 per share.

Meanwhile, under pressure from the Left parties to make clear whether the Indo-US nuclear deal is on or off, government on October 22 2007, after market hours said the operationalisation of the deal will take place in accordance with the UPA-Left committee's findings. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee made this clear after a meeting between leaders of the Left parties and the UPA coalition formed to go into the concerns of the allies on the nuclear deal. The committee would meet again on 16 November 2007.

Asian markets were higher today, as Hang Seng was up by 2.78 pc at 29,162.68,followed by Taiwan's Taiwan Weighted by 1.51% at 9,501.89, Nikkei by 0.70 pc at 16,553.27, South Korea's Seoul Composite by 2.08 pc at 1,943.88 and Singapore's Straits Times by 0.94 pc at 3,676.81.

US markets ended higher yesterday, as investors overcame some of their nervousness about the credit markets and uneven earnings and found solace in the technology sector. The S&P 500 index rose by 5.70 points, or 0.38 pc, to 1,506.33, while the technology-dominated Nasdaq Composite Index rose by 28.77 points, or 1.06 pc, to 2,753.93, which its helped to upward trend in Indian bources, brokers added.


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