BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares are set to open lower on Monday, with the focus on small- and mid-cap stocks after a report said the country's markets regulator was investigating allegations of "front-running" at Indian fund house Quant Mutual Fund. The GIFT Nifty was trading at 23,388 as of 07:53 a.m. IST, indicating that the Nifty 50 will open below its close of 23,501.10 on Friday.

The benchmarks ended lower on Friday, succumbing to profit booking after hitting all-time highs, although they posted a third straight week of gains powered by a rally in financials.

The broader, more domestically focussed small- and mid-caps will be in focus after local news website Money Control reported on Sunday that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was probing allegations of front running - or dealing on price-sensitive information before its general release - at Quant Mutual Fund.

While the fund house did not respond to Reuters queries on Sunday evening, it said in a statement to its investors that it is responding to the regulator's queries.

Quant Mutual Fund is the fastest-growing fund house in the country, with assets under management of 930 billion rupees (about $11 billion). It is also an active investor in small- and mid-cap stocks, which have jumped 72% and 59% over the last year, outperforming the Nifty 50's 26% rise.

Asian markets were subdued on Monday while most Wall Street equities closed lower on Friday. Investors await key U.S. inflation data as well as the first U.S. presidential debate later in the week. [MKTS/GLOB]

Foreign investors snapped a four-session buying streak on Friday, offloading shares worth 17.90 billion rupees on a net basis while domestic investors purchased stocks worth a net 12.37 billion rupees.


** Ujjivan Small Finance Bank: Lender lowers its fiscal 2025 loan growth guidance by 500 basis points.

** Cipla: Drug maker gets six observations in form 4823 after U.S. drug regulator inspects its Goa facility; separately Blackrock raises stake in the company to over 5%.

** Garden Reach Shipbuilders: Company gets order for construction of four multi-purpose cargo ships from a German company. The consideration for the order is 4.50 billion rupees.

($1 = 83.5430 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)