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Indian Markets Fall Further
Wed, 20 Jan 01:30 pm

Following a negative trend since the opening of the trading day, the Indian indices have continued to remain under pressure in the post noon trading session. Sectoral indices are trading on a negative note with stocks from the metal, realty and energy sectors bearing the maximum brunt.

The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 438 (down 1.8%) and the NSE Nifty is trading down by 134 points (down 1.8%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading lower by 2.3% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading down by nearly 2%. Gold prices, per 10 grams, are trading at Rs 26,273 levels. Silver price, per kilogram, is trading at Rs 34,520 levels. Crude oil is trading at Rs 1,977 per barrel. The rupee is trading at 68.05 to the US$.

Stocks in the power space are trading on a negative note with GVK Power and Infra and JSW Energy leading the losses. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has opined that India's power sector is at a turning point. The belief is supported by the government's view that electricity is a critical enabler for economic growth.

The WEF report stated that India can do much to improve the efficiency of the existing power infrastructure. However, the report pointed that India's plan to add 175 GW of capacity from renewables by 2022 can succeed only if the relevant stakeholders act in ways that encourage investment in the segment.

The anticipation was also fueled by the fact that non-Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries would have to double their annual investments in electricity from about US$ 240 billion to US$ 495 billion between 2015 and 2040 which would amount to a requirement of US$13 trillion to meet energy policy objectives. This could mean a centre stage for India to bag more investments.

On the flip side, the report also pointed that in order to fix the viability in the distribution system and address fuel supply challenges, tariffs and rates for fuel pricing and peak power policies should be made transparent and consistent across states. Also, there should be alignment between federal and state government as India entrusts significant power to the states.

We believe that broader look at the regulatory factors and the trends would be a better way to gauge the prospects and opportunity in the sector.

Pharmaceutical stocks are also trading in the red with Panacea Biotech and Elder Pharma witnessing maximum selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, the government is likely to cap the trading margin on medicines at 35%. This can mean drug prices coming down sharply in the coming days.

The decision comes as there is a huge difference between the cost of medicine to retailer and its selling price. At present, reports suggest that chemists and wholesalers are charging very high margins in some medicines. To check these levels, the government is considering to put a cap on margins. For this, the committee under Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has proposed to cap the margin at 35%.

Out of a total of 680 medicines under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has already fixed the ceiling prices in respect of 530 medicines. Out of these 530 scheduled formulations, the price reduction was above 40% in 126 drugs compared with the highest prevailing price prior to announcement of DPCO (drug prices control order). Further, above 40% reduction in prices of non-scheduled medicines was also effected for 19 formulations with respect to highest prevailing MRP prior to price capping.

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