Mumbai– Major Indian equity indices ended higher on Friday led by index heavyweights. The Sensex closed 70.21 points higher at 40,356.69, while the Nifty ended 23.20 points higher at 11,895.30.

Beaten down telecom stocks — Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea — recovered sharply on Friday on reports that a committee has sought recommendations from the Department of Telecom (DoT) on setting a minimum charge for all tariffs for telecom players.

Both Vodafone Idea and Airtel took hits on their balance sheet, as well as in the bourses after the Supreme Court upheld the government’s definition of adjusted gross revenue (ADR) on which it calculates levies on telecom operators, resulting in dues of over Rs 92,000 crore payable by the industry.

“Signals on further progress on US-China trade deal improved sentiment across global markets but weakening macros and a muted end to Q2 results induced investors to book profits at higher levels,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

Reports of the government planning to set minimum price for mobile calls and data to revive the telecom sector boosted telecom stocks. Besides, public sector (PSU) banks gained some ground on account of a likely reduction in non-performing assets (NPAs or bad loans) post the favourable verdict from the Supreme Court.

State-run enders of bankrupt Essar Steel like SBI, PNB, and IDBI Bank, as well private banks like ICICI Bank closed higher after the Supreme Court order has opened the doors for recoveries from borrowers under the insolvency resolution process. (IANS)