The Bombay Stock Exchange closed at a record high of 20,893.57 on Thursday, powered by a cracker of a debut by public sector Coal India Ltd (CIL), whose stocks zoomed 40% on listing following the country’s largest initial public offer.
This benchmark BSE Sensex is still 313 points shy of the all-time intra-day high of 21,206.77 points, scaled on January 10, 2008. But investors and analysts expect it to zoom past that peak in the auspicious Mahurat trading on Diwali.
The Sensex had earlier hit an all-time closing high of 20,873.33 on January 8, 2008.
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty closed at 6,281.80 points, just six points shy of its record close of 6,287.85 on January 8, 2008.
The upbeat mood — aided by a sound monsoon, forecast of high economic growth and surging foreign portfolio investments in Indian stocks — was further hoisted by a $600-billion (R27 lakh crore) stimulus in the US to boost the world’s largest economy, thus, easing concerns about worldwide growth.
“The inflows that are coming into the country are large but still not at a level where we should be worried,” the government’s chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu said.
The primary markets celebrated, too. CIL made a big-bang debut and closed 40% higher than its IPO issue price of R245 per share, leapfrogging its way up the market capitalisation ladder to end Thursday as India’s fourth-most valuable company.
At R2.16 lakh crore, CIL’s market capitalisation has left behind the IT bellwethers TCS and Infosys Technologies, power utility NTPC, the country’s largest private lender ICICI Bank, and engineering giant L&T (see graphic on Page 1).
“India seems to be going through a structural bull run,” Sundeep Sikka, CEO, Reliance Mutual Fund, said. “This rally is also being driven by surging foreign inflows.”
Experts advised retail investors to exercise caution. “Retail investors should not over-expose their investments in equity markets and should follow experts’ advice before investing,” said Ranjeet S. Mudholkar, director and principal advisor, Financial Planning Standard Board of India.