India In-Focus — Shares fall; Factory explosion kills 10; UniCredit considering India as it widens search for buyers

MUMBAI: Indian shares fell on Monday dragged by technology and metal stocks, while global investor mood turned cautious ahead of key US economic growth data and central bank rate decisions in Europe and India this week.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.65 percent at 16,475.65, as of 0404 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.68 percent to 55,384.47.

Both indexes saw volatile moves last week, but still clocked their third straight week of advances with gains of around 1.5 percent each.

10 people killed in India factory explosion

At least 10 people were killed and 22 injured in an explosion at an electronics factory in northern India’s Hapur district on Saturday, a police official said.

The accident happened at an industrial facility in Dhaulana, about 60 km from the capital, New Delhi, police spokesman Surendra Singh said.

“The firm was registered to manufacture electronic equipment and what chemicals were being used is now being investigated,” Singh said.

Industrial accidents are common in India and often blamed on people flouting safety norms, as well as lax inspection by government officials.

UniCredit widens search for buyers

Italian bank UniCredit has widened its search for a buyer for its Russian business beyond local investors, as it steps up efforts to leave the country, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

UniCredit held talks with local bidders, but escalating western sanctions have hampered those efforts, prompting an extension of the search to include countries such as China and India where one of the sources said buyers could be open to a bargain.

The second source said that discussions with potential investors were taking place but did not name them.

UniCredit CEO Andrea Orcel told analysts in May that the sanctions had progressively reduced the chances of a deal with a Russian buyer, and “the window has become quite small.”

Investors in China, India or Turkey — countries that have not backed sanctions against Russia — could be interested in assets whose price has been lowered by the flight of western firms following the war in Ukraine.

UniCredit is among Europe’s banks with the largest exposure to Russia, where it runs the country’s 14th-largest lender 

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