Indian shares log weekly gains after Adani investment boost

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares logged weekly gains on Friday after U.S. boutique investment firm GQG Partners' $1.87 billion investment in Adani stocks spurred a broad-based rally and helped markets look past rate-hike worries for the moment.

The Nifty 50 index rose 1.57% to 17,594.35, while the S&P BSE Sensex closed 1.53% higher at 59,808.97.

Both benchmarks posted their best day since Nov. 11.

Nifty 50 posts best day in four months

Forty-two of the Nifty 50 constituents advanced, with Adani Enterprises climbing 16.94%. The firm, which has a more-than-10% weightage on metals, helped the index gain 3.55%.

All Adani stocks surged after GQG bought shares worth $1.87 billion in four of the group companies, the first major investment in the Indian conglomerate since a short-seller's critical report sparked a stock rout.

"The funding will assuage concerns about the Adani Group's ability to raise funding for loan repayment," said Aditya Mongia and Teena Virmani of Kotak Institutional Equities.

All the 13 major sectoral indexes rose. High weightage financials added nearly 2%.

The investment in Adani group stocks "should support the banks, especially public sector banks, which were hammered earlier due to the fear of their exposure to the conglomerate," said Naveen Kulkarni, Chief Investment Officer, Axis Securities.

India's largest public sector lender State Bank of India climbed over 5% on Friday. SBI was among the top Nifty 50 gainers.

Reliance Industries, the company with the highest market capitalisation in India and weightage in the Nifty 50, rose 2.55% on Friday.

Tata Steel gained over 2% on multiple block deals while NTPC jumped to a three-month high after global brokerage firm Morgan Stanley's positive commentary on the company's growth prospects.

Also aiding sentiment was the growth in services activity. India's services sector expanded at the fastest pace in 12 years in February on strong demand and easing price pressures, a private business survey showed.

($1 = 82.4900 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Eileen Soreng, Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Janane Venkatraman)