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Indian Markets Trade Flat
Thu, 21 Jan 11:30 am

After opening the day on a positive note, the Indian Markets lost initial gains, but are still trading above the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks from the banking and finance sectors leading the gains. FMCG and auto stocks are trading in the red.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 6 points (up 0.03%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up by 8 points (up 0.1%). The BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap indices are also trading positively, up by 0.5% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is trading at 67.99 to the US$.

Stocks in the pharmaceutical sector are trading on a mixed note with Natco Pharma leading the gains and Elder Pharma leading the losses. As per a leading economic daily, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is seeking views of pharma companies on simplifying the business climate for the industry. For this, the ministry has asked the industry to provide information on the permissions needed from various agencies and the time it takes to get them.

The drug controller stated that it wants the industry to come up with suggestions on how the process can be simplified for creating a promising atmosphere for growth. To support this, a holistic view of policies relating to difficulties of the pharma industry is also being considered.

As per Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA), a lobby group for domestic drug makers, around 45 approvals are required for setting up a plant. Further, the group has suggested that the time taken to approve new drugs should come down, which presently takes somewhere close to two years, depending on the product. The industry also wants regulations for clinical trials to be eased.

It remains to be seen on what steps the ministry would take further to revive this sector. Nonetheless, companies that possess a greater moat will continue to thrive.

Steel stocks are also trading mixed with Tayo Rolls and Tata Sponge leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Steel has signed an in-principle agreement with the Quebec government to develop iron ore deposits in the Canadian province. The move will aid the steelmaker reduce its raw material costs.

The undertaking will lead to a decision, before March 31, 2016, with respect to a government participation in the DSO (direct shipping ore) Project in Schefferville area, in the North Shore region.As per the agreement, both the parties will work on developing the transit for iron ore, a key raw material used in making steel, from Arnaud Junction to the multi-user dock of the Port of Sept-Iles.

One shall note that, Tata Steel, through its subsidiary- Tata Steel Minerals Canada, is also completing DSO project in Schefferville, in which the firm has invested more than US$1.5 billion. The company also plans to develop its DSO deposits in Quebec with the Government of Quebec. DSO project involves mining, crushing, washing, screening and shipping the sinter fines and pellet fines to Tata Steel's European steel making facilities.

Tata Steel is the flagship company of the Tata group. Presently its stock is trading up by nearly 1.8%.

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Feb 20, 2018 02:59 PM