Post-results gains in Axis Bank, Nestle boost Indian shares

A woman walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai

By Bharath Rajeswaran and Manvi Pant

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares gained for a fifth consecutive session on Thursday, led by post-earnings gains in key benchmark constituents like Axis Bank and Nestle India, while Kotak Mahindra Bank tanked after the central bank banned the private lender from adding clients digitally.

The NSE Nifty 50 rose 0.75% to 22,570.35, while the S&P BSE Sensex added 0.66% to 74,339.44. Both the benchmarks fell about 0.4% at the open, before reversing losses.

High-weightage financial services gained 0.48%.

Axis Bank surged 6%, its highest single-day percentage gain in 18 months, after the private lender beat quarterly profit estimates.

"Better-than-expected results, especially from lenders like Axis Bank have triggered hopes of a healthy earnings season and boosted investor sentiment," Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets said.

Nestle India gained 2.5% after it reported a bigger-than-expected increase in quarterly profit.

The consumer company also announced a joint venture with drugmaker Dr. Reddy's Laboratories to make products such as nutraceuticals and supplements. Dr. Reddy's climbed 5%.

Axis Bank, Dr. Reddy's and Nestle were among the top five gainers on the Nifty 50, and overpowered the 10.87% plunge in the top loser, Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) late Wednesday barred Kotak Mahindra Bank from taking on new customers through its online and mobile banking channels and restricted the lender from issuing new credit cards.

RBI's decision was due to a failure in the bank's tech system to manage a surge in transactions through its digital banking platform, Reuters reported citing sources.

Axis Bank powered past Kotak Mahindra Bank in market capitalisation to the third place among private banks, after HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank.

The public sector bank index rose 3.77%, led by State Bank of India, which surged 5.12% to a record high.

Hindustan Unilever dropped 1.3% after missing quarterly profit estimates.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Manvi Pant in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema and Mrigank Dhaniwala)