Banking stocks surged, with the Bank Nifty Index hitting a record high on hopes of faster reforms in the sector ahead of a two-day industry meet that starts on Friday.

The one-of-a-kind retreat, spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with central bank Governor Raghuram Rajan and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, will include all top bankers to address issues such as consolidation, bad loans, financial inclusion and capital needs.

The Bank Nifty index surged as much as 1.4 per cent to a record high of 19,010.60, surpassing the previous peak of 18,923.60 on December 23.

State Bank of India gained 1.1 per cent, ICICI Bank added 2.03 per cent and HDFC Bank rose 1.3 per cent.

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