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Indian share markets extended further selling activity in the afternoon session and finished in the red tracking a weak trend in global markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 349 points, while the NSE Nifty finished down by 112 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 1.8% respectively. Losses were largely seen in oil & gas, realty and pharma stocks.
Asian markets finished broadly lower today with shares in Japan leading the region as a new poll showing Republican candidate Donald Trump leading the U.S. presidential race spooked investors. The Nikkei 225 is down 1.67% while China's Shanghai Composite is off 0.63% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng is lower by 0.50%. European markets are lower today with shares in London off the most. The FTSE 100 is down 0.90% while Germany's DAX is off 0.73% and France's CAC 40 is lower by 0.63%.
The rupee was trading at 66.83 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 45.99 at the time of writing.
According to an article in The Economic Times, Bharti Airtel has awarded a US$60 million (4.02 billion) pan-India deal to Nokia to implement voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) calling technology which may be launched for subscribers within this year.
Airtel may be in an advantageous position if it launches VoLTE services any time soon, considering that Jio hasn't been able to publicize the benefits of this technology due to the interconnection issue. Reliance Jio claimed it is facing massive call failures.
As per the reports, Airtel will use VoLTE as a complimentary service to its existing voice offering. In case VoLTE is not available in an area, Airtel users would be able to fall back within the network to lower technologies, which are 2G and 3G.
Consumer demand in smartphones that support the VoLTE feature has nearly doubled since Jio Infocomm's 4G launch early September. Reportedly, more than 14 million VoLTE-enabled smartphones are estimated to have been shipped into India in the September quarter, nearly twice the number in the previous quarter.
Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, having bolstered their 4G spectrum holdings in the recently-concluded auctions could also join the VoLTE race soon. Vodafone is already trialing VoLTE in select areas using Nokia's IMS solution, while Idea Cellular is reportedly in advanced talks with both Ericsson and Nokia, and is likely to award the deal in coming days.
In another development, as per an article in The Economic Times, the Indian government and three state firms will jointly step up an equity fund of up to US$ 2 billion for renewable energy companies. India's government hopes the Clean Energy Equity Fund (CEEF) will attract pension and insurance funds from Canada and Europe.
As per the reports, around US$600 million of the initial pool will come from the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, under the finance ministry, and the rest from state entities NTPC Ltd, Rural Electrification Corp and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of raising India's renewable energy target to 175 gigawatts by 2022. This five times more than the current usage. It is also part of the fight against climate change by the world's third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter and to supply power to all of the country's 1.3 billion people.
Reportedly, the program will depend on getting as much as US$175 billion in funding with 70% (Subscription Required) of that likely in bank loans and the rest as equity.
India's clean energy push was set back earlier this year when U.S. solar company SunEdison filed for bankruptcy. The company is now looking to secure partners to see through its planned India projects.
Japan's Softbank Corp, Taiwan's Foxconn and India's Bharti Enterprises have reportedly pledged to invest about $20 billion in India's renewable sector. Global solar giants like First Solar Inc, Trina Solar Ltd and Fortum are also expanding their presence.
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