After witnessing a strong start, the Indian stock markets had a volatile session during the previous two hours of trade. However, the indices managed to trade in the positive territory on account of buying activity being witnessed across sectors with auto, metal, realty, and IT gaining the most. However, oil and gas stocks are unable to garner investors' favor.
The BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty are trading in the positive, up by 62 points and 21 points respectively. Midcap and small cap stocks are also finding favour, with the BSE-Midcap and the BSE-Smallcap trading higher by 1.21% and 1.45% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.49 to the dollar.
According to a leading business daily, Bajaj Auto witnessed an 85% YoY surge in two-wheeler sales in the month of December 2009. The automaker sold 220,429 units of two wheelers as against 119,215 units sold in December 2008. The major boost came from the motorcycle segment which grew by 86% YoY in December. It may be noted that in December, Bajaj launched its new Pulsar 135 LS with the aim of making it a million units per year brand. The overall sales growth for motorcycles and three-wheelers from April to December 2009 has been 17% each. The company saw a decent 9% YoY growth in exports over the same period. The growth in sales during the period was driven by both higher volumes as well as an improved product mix. Motorcycles, which account for nearly 90% of all the vehicles sold by the company, grew both in the domestic market as well as the exports market. The growth in domestic sales for three wheelers can be attributed to marketing initiatives geared towards the in-city segment.
As per a leading business daily, Indian drug makers had a decent year in 2009 in terms of drug approvals in the US, the world's largest health-care market. About 25 Indian generic drug makers bagged around 200 approvals from the US drug regulator (USFDA) in 2009. This is slightly more than the numbers registered in 2008. It may be worth noting that this is a decent performance given the tightening of regulations and aggressive competition in the US market which resulted in a dip in sales there. Dr Reddy's topped the list with 32 final and tentative approvals in 2009. The second in the list was Aurobindo (26) which was closely followed by Wockhardt (23). Sun Pharma and Cadila Healthcare bagged 18 approvals each. It may be noted that Indian drug majors have realised that in order to survive and grow in markets like the US, they need to have a large basket of products with a niche focus. We believe this strategy of concentrating on niche and specialised products rather than trying to market and sell all products that go off-patent will aid established drug majors like Ranbaxy and Dr. Reddy's in strengthening their position there.