Indian stocks rose for a fourth day, led by metal producers, after the International Monetary Fund said the nation will be world’s fastest-growing major economy in the year through March 2017.

Tata Steel Ltd. (TATA) had the biggest advance in three months, helping a gauge of metalmakers gain the most among 13 sector indexes complied by the BSE Ltd. State Bank of India increased for the first time in three days, while Axis Bank Ltd. (AXSB) rallied to a record. Oil & Natural Gas Corp., the largest explorer, was set for a fifth day of increases, the longest run since March.

The S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX) rose 0.7 percent to 28,469.74 at 12:26 p.m. in Mumbai, set for its highest close since Dec. 5. India’s economy will grow 6.5 percent in year through March 2017, the IMF said yesterday. The world economy will expand 3.5 percent in 2015, down from the 3.8 percent pace projected in October, the lender said. The Sensex has risen every day after the central bank cut interest rates for the first time in 20 months on Jan. 15 as oil’s rout reduced the concern on inflation.

“We are at the start of a multi-year cycle in India of higher growth, lower inflation and much higher equity prices,” Madhav Dhar, a Delhi-based managing partner at GTI Capital Group, an India-focused investment firm, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV India today. “The world is getting more turbulent and complex, but India is about as well positioned as it can be as a major investment destination.”

Earnings Scorecard

Tata Steel gained 3.1 percent, while Hindalco Industries Ltd. (HNDL) climbed 2.4 percent. Copper maker Sesa Sterlite Ltd. rose 3.4 percent, the most since Dec. 29. Hindustan Zinc Ltd. (HZ) added 1 percent after the company’s third-quarter profit climbed 38 percent to 23.8 billion rupees ($ 386 million), beating the 21.7 billion-rupee median estimate of analysts. Earnings were posted after markets closed yesterday.

Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (KMB) today reported third-quarter net income rose 21 percent to 7.17 billion rupees. That missed the 7.6 billion rupees estimated by analysts. The shares traded little changed.

Axis Bank increased 2.1 percent to an all-time high. The stock soared 93 percent last year and was the top performer on the Sensex. Third-quarter net income climbed 18 percent to 19 billion rupees, beating the 18.7 billion estimated by analysts, the company reported Jan. 15.

Five out of six Sensex members that have so far announced results for the December quarter have beaten or matched analyst estimates. Profits at 67 percent of the 30 Sensex firms beat or matched estimates in the September quarter, versus 46 percent in the three months ended June and 60 percent in March, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

State Bank of India (SBIN) added 1.4 percent, adding to last year’s 77 percent rally. Housing Development Finance Corp. (HDFC), the biggest mortgage lender, soared 3.7 percent to an all-time high.

Oil & Natural Gas added 0.5 percent. ITC Ltd., India’s biggest cigarette company, increased 1.1 percent.

Foreigners have bought a net $ 156 million of Indian shares so far this year. The Sensex has gained 3.3 percent this month and trades at 15.8 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s multiple of 10.6.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rajhkumar K Shaaw in Mumbai at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at Ravil Shirodkar, Phani Varahabhotla