March 11, 2019 / 5:38 AM / 3 months ago

India's NSE index hits near 6-month high as poll bugles blare

* NSE index up 0.89 pct, BSE index 0.77 pct higher

* Election to begin on Apr 11 - Commission

* Financials gain

By Tanvi Mehta

March 11 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Monday, with the NSE index reaching its highest level since Sept. 26, as investors pinned their hopes on a win for the incumbent party in the next election.

India will hold a general election in seven stages starting April 11, the election commission said on Sunday, in what will be the world’s biggest democratic exercise with Prime Minister Narendra Modi likely to benefit from tensions with Pakistan.

“This is part of an election rally and FII (foreign insitutional investor) data has been positive... There were lot of policy changes by the current government. If there is stability in policies, it is good even from a global investor’s perspective,” said Anita Gandhi, whole time director, Arihant Capital Markets.

The broader NSE index was trading up 0.89 percent at 11,133.65 as of 515 GMT, after rising as much as 0.94 percent to the highest since Sept. 26. The benchmark BSE index was 0.77 percent higher at 36,952.75.

Shares of State Bank of India jumped 2.8 percent to the highest in over a month, after the state-run lender said on Friday it would link savings bank deposits and short-term loans to the repo rate of the Reserve Bank of India from May.

Other state-run lenders also rose, with the Nifty PSU bank index up 2.3 percent.

Gains were also seen across the energy sector. Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd were the top percentage gainers on the NSE index, up 4.5 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.

Shares of Jet Airways Ltd rose as much as 4.8 percent to 255 rupees, the highest in over a month, after a report said the debt-laden carrier has secured a loan of 20.50 billion rupees ($293.07 million) from Punjab National Bank . (Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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