Home Economy Sensex continues to bleed on loan scandal

Sensex continues to bleed on loan scandal


Mumbai : A benchmark index of Indian equities markets shed 449 points this week, taking the last three weeks’ loss to 1,868 points as 2G spectrum allocation scan and housing loan bribery scandal dampened sentiments and weighed heavy on the markets.

The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) declined 2.29 percent or 448.83 points to 19,136.61 points in the weekly trade.

Indian equity markets have closed deep in the red for the third straight week. The benchmark Sensex shed 1,868 points from its all-time closing high of 21,004.96 points reached on special Diwali trading session Nov 5.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the 50-share S&P CNX Nifty ended at 5,751.95 points, down 2.63 percent in this week’s trade.

Nifty has declined 560 points from its all-time closing high of 6,312.45 points touched on Muhurat trading (a special session meant to pay obeisance to Goddess Lakshmi – the Hindu deity of wealth and prosperity) Nov 5.

A series of scams weighed heavy on the markets. The country’s official audit agency Comptroller and Audit General said early this month the telecom minister arbitrarily allocated 2G spectrum licences, resulting in a loss of thousands of crores of rupees to the government exchequer.

The CBI Wednesday arrested senior officials from LIC Housing Finance, LIC, Bank of India, Central Bank of India and Punjab National Bank for allegedly accepting bribes to extend loans to realty companies.

Also on the CBI’s scanner are a number of realty companies which were beneficiaries of such loans.

As a result, realty stocks were hammered this week.

All the sectoral indices also closed deep in the red this week, led by a sharp plunge in realty stocks. The BSE Realty index dived nearly five percent Friday after the country’s top investigative agenc, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), arrested senior officials of financial institutions and some real estate developers on bribary charges.

Selling pressure was across the board as 2,508 scrips closed in the red Friday, compared to only 485 stocks advancing, while 79 stocks were unchanged.

Major Sensex losers on the last trading day of the week, included Jaiprakash Associates, down 8.04 percent at Rs.105.75; Reliance Infra, down 6.59 percent at Rs.850.25; Reliance Com, down 5.51 percent at Rs.130.30; and Sterlite Industries, down 3.62 percent at Rs.161.

According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth $116.6 million Friday.