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Nifty, Sensex end higher as banks surge; telecom stocks jump on price hike plan

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/Files

(Reuters) - Indian shares ended higher on Tuesday, led by gains in banking stocks, while shares of telecom companies surged on the back of announcement by the country’s two major mobile network service providers that they planned to hike tariffs.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.47% at 11,940, while the S&P BSE Sensex closed 0.5% higher at 40,509.96.

The Nifty public sector bank index gained 3.9%, while the Nifty energy index rose 1.5%.

“The hope for bank investors is that many cases stuck in the insolvency and bankruptcy code may be sorted out now, taking Essar Steel verdict as precedent,” said Amit Kumar Gupta, portfolio manager at Adroit Financial Services Pvt Ltd.

The Supreme Court of India on Friday cleared the path for steelmaker ArcelorMittal SA to take over bankrupt Essar Steel, and the judgment comes as a big reprieve for banks which are struggling with bad loans worth $140 billion.

Shares of Bharti Airtel ended up 7.37% and were one of the top gainers in Nifty 50, with the stock hitting its highest since Jan. 24, 2018. Yes Bank shares fell 2.51% to end as the top loser.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea shares rose as much as 43.82% during the session.

On Monday, Airtel and Vodafone Idea said they would increase mobile tariffs from December, after posting record, multi-billion-dollar quarterly losses.

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich