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Sensex, Nifty largely flat; Kotak Mahindra drags

By Krishna V Kurup

(Reuters) - The Sensex and the Nifty were subdued on Friday amid declines in broader Asia triggered by a worsening global growth outlook, while Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd sank to a three-week low after reports of a stake sale by ING Group.

ING Group is looking to sell a 1.21 percent stake in the private-sector lender for over 28 billion rupees ($393.43 mln) via a block deal, BloombergQuint reported, citing bankers involved in the deal.

Kotak Mahindra Bank shares posted their worst intraday fall since Dec. 10, giving up nearly 5 percent.

Shares in broader Asia slipped on Friday as a deteriorating global economic outlook outweighed further signs of progress in trade talks between China and the United States.

Market participants shrugged off the dovish comments from the Indian central bank.

Most of the six-member monetary policy committee of the Reserve Bank of India were in favour of spurring growth in Asia's third-largest economy amid a soft inflation outlook on a sustained fall in food prices, the minutes of the February monetary policy meeting released on Thursday showed.

The Nifty was flat with a negative bias at 10,785.40 as of 0620 GMT, while the Sensex was down 0.1 percent at 35,863.45.

The two-day rally was just a pull-back and now the downtrend is back. It is more of a stock-specific movement on Friday as there are no fixed triggers now, said A.K. Prabhakar, head of research, IDBI Capital in Mumbai.

Financials accounted for half the losses on the NSE index due to a plunge in Kotak Mahindra shares, while energy shares also lost some momentum.

Reliance Industries Ltd was among the top laggards on the index, declining as much as 1.5 percent.

Bucking the broader trend, shares of Anil Ambani-owned Reliance group companies rose, with Reliance Communications Ltd surging as much as 20.5 percent.

Anil Ambani is planning to use a payment from his elder brother's company and the sale of real estate assets to pay what he owes to Sweden's Ericsson following a court ruling this week, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

(Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)