Private banks weigh on Indian shares as RBL tanks 20%


Indian shares were weighed down on Monday by private-sector lenders after RBL Bank’s top boss went on medical leave and the central bank appointed an executive to the bank’s board. 

The NSE Nifty 50 index was almost unchanged at 17,014 by 0514 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.12% at 57,191.72. Earlier in the session, they fell nearly 1% amid concerns over a surge in Omicron variant cases across the globe. 

Shares of RBL Bank fell more than 20% after the lender’s board accepted a request from Vishwavir Ahuja, managing director and chief executive officer, to proceed on medical leave with immediate effect. 

The bank Nifty index and the private bank index were down 0.4% and 0.94%, respectively. 

“There was a sell-off in the entire banking space (as an effect of RBL Bank) and some kind of sanity is coming back. There is always a problem with some tier-2 banks. It is better to stick with larger banks,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president at SMC Securities in New Delhi. 

“Omicron cases and a sudden change in the stance of U.S. Federal Reserve on rolling back of liquidity are two major worries for the markets.” 

U.S. airlines have cancelled or delayed thousands of flights over the past three days due to COVID-19-related staff shortages, while several cruise ships had to cancel stops after outbreaks on-board. 

Meanwhile, India will start administering COVID-19 booster shots as a precautionary measure to healthcare and frontline workers from Jan. 10, as Omicron cases rose across the country. 

Shares of Adhesives Ltd rose 20.7% in their market debut against the initial public offering price of Rs 274. 

Categories: Private Equity

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