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India In-Focus — Shares close at month high; Vivo pleads to lift bank account freeze

RIYADH: Indian shares gained for a third straight week to close at a one-month high on Friday as inflation concerns ebbed, while IT major Tata Consultancy Services slipped ahead of its quarterly earnings report.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.54 percent higher at 16,220.6, while the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.56 percent to 54,481.84, advancing in line with Asian peers. The indexes were up about 3 percent for the week.

China’s Vivo asks court to lift Indian bank account freeze

Chinese smartphone maker Vivo has asked an Indian court to quash a decision by the country’s financial crime agency to freeze its bank accounts, saying the move was “bad in law” and would harm business operations.

In a filing to the Delhi High Court in the capital, Vivo India said it would not be able to pay statutory dues and salaries, listing 10 affected bank accounts and saying it needed to make monthly payments of 28.26 billion rupees ($357 million).

Friday’s brief court hearing came after Vivo had asked the agency, the Enforcement Directorate, to allow it to use the accounts.

The court gave the agency until July 13 to decide on that request, and set its next hearing on that date.

On Thursday, the agency said it had blocked funds of 4.65 billion rupees in 119 bank accounts linked to Vivo’s India business and its associates, as it investigates alleged money laundering by the smartphone maker.

News of the agency’s raids on Vivo had prompted China’s embassy in India to call for a fair business environment for its firms, saying multiple investigations of the companies damaged the confidence of foreign entities.

Vivo has said it was cooperating with authorities and was committed to fully complying with Indian laws.

India to investigate phone tapping of NSE employees

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation will probe a case against former senior officials of the National Stock Exchange and others for alleged illegal tapping of the telephones of exchange employees, the agency said on Friday.

The CBI conducted searches at 18 premises of the accused, it said in a statement.

(With input from Reuters)