October 10, 2019 / 5:14 AM / 8 days ago

Indian shares retreat as banks fall; Indiabulls dips 9%

* NSE index down 0.35%, BSE index weaker 0.31%

* RBL Bank top loser on Nifty bank index

* TCS reports September-quarter earnings

BENGALURU, Oct 10 (Reuters) - A slide in banking stocks dragged Indian shares lower on Thursday following a sharp rise in the previous session, as markets awaited earnings reports from major IT services companies.

Shares in Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd fell 9% after the central bank blocked its proposed merger with Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd.

It was the latest in a series of negative headlines surrounding the banking industry, which is saddled with a mountain of soured debt.

The broader NSE index was down 0.35% at 11,273.60 by 0437 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was weaker by 0.31% at 38,060.12.

All 12 stocks on the Nifty bank index were in the red, and RBL Bank Ltd was the biggest decliner with a drop of 4.1%.

IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) will report its financial results later in the day, marking the start of the September-quarter earnings season. Industry peer Infosys Ltd is scheduled to report its results on Friday. Shares in both TCS and Infosys were each up roughly 1%.

Meanwhile, telecom stocks rose after Reliance Jio said it would start charging customers for calls made through its network to other operators.

The move could signal a rise in industry prices and revenues if more operators follow Jio’s lead, analysts say.

Jio’s rivals Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Idea Ltd gained 3.8% and 4.3%, respectively. Shares in Grasim Industries Ltd, the top shareholder in Vodafone Idea, rose 4.5%. (Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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