Indian shares ticked lower on Monday, dragged down by banking stocks exposed to telecom operators after the government ordered mobile carriers to immediately pay billions of dollars in dues.
The broader NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.23% at 12,086.15 by 0356 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.17% to 41,186.70.
The banking sector dominated the losses, with the Nifty bank index falling 0.5%. The Nifty PSU bank index dropped 1.4% and Nifty private bank index slid 0.4%.
No.2 telco Bharti Airtel fell as much as 1.5% as the government on Friday after market close ordered mobile carriers to immediately pay 920 billion Indian rupees ($12.88 billion) in overdue levies and interest.
The move came after the country’s top court threatened the companies and officials with contempt proceedings for failing to implement an earlier ruling.
Vodafone Idea’s shares were up nearly 12% on Monday after dropping 24% on Friday.
Vodafone Idea is saddled with about $3.9 billion in overdue payments and said last week there was still material uncertainty about its ability to continue as a going concern.New D
Indian banks are burdened with nearly $140 billion of bad loans and face another huge hit if Vodafone Idea is forced into bankruptcy.
Banks in India are owed roughly 300 billion rupees by Vodafone Idea, according to a Macquarie report from last year.
Punjab National Bank fell 1.9%, Bank of India slipped 2%, while State Bank of India edged down 0.8%.
Shares of India’s top oil explorer, Oil and Natural Gas Corp , fell as much as 3.9% after it reported a near 50% drop in Dec-qtr profit on Friday. ($1 = 71.4530 Indian rupees).