Shares of IRCTC, the catering and e-ticketing arm of Indian Railways, jumped nearly 7 per cent to hit all-time high of Rs 2,014.60 on the BSE amid spurt in volume trade. The PSU railway stock breached its previous high of Rs 1,995, touched on February 25, 2020. The stock has rallied 32 per cent over one month period as compared to less than 1 per cent gain in the BSE benchmark Sensex. The recent rally in the stock is attributed to the Offer for Sale (OFS) offered by the company in December 2020. The investors also remained bullish on the stock on roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is likely to improve sentiment for the travel industry.
On Thursday, IRCTC share price opened flat at Rs 1,884.35 in an otherwise weak broader market. During the day's trade, the stock gained as much as 6.91 per cent to hit fresh high of Rs 2,014.60. The stock has rallied 160 per cent against its 52-week low of Rs 774.85, touched on March 26, 2020. The market cap of this stock surged to Rs 31,309.60 crore. In contrast, the BSE Sensex was trading at 51,162, down 282 points or 0.55 per cent.
On the volume front, there was surge in selling as 3.88 lakh shares changed hands over the counter as compared to two-week average of 2.04 lakh shares.
In a fresh development, the Railways has allowed zonal authorities to decide on reopening station retiring rooms subject to local conditions including COVID-related government protocols. These services were discontinued after the announcement of coronavirus lockdown in March last tear.
The Railway Board has already permitted restarting the operations of retiring rooms, Rail Yatri Niwas and hotels which are managed by the IRCTC.
At present, the Railways is running more than 65 per cent of its trains including various special and express/passenger services.
"Considering the convenience of passengers, the Railways has decided to allow operation of retiring rooms at stations subject to fulfilment of protocols issued by the government. These conveniences were discontinued post announcement of lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID 19," the statement said.