Majority of the food stocks are trading firm led by United Spirits and Agro Tech Foods. As per a leading financial daily, Britannia wants to increase the proportion of in-house manufacturing of products from the present level of 50% to 60%. For this the company plans to invest Rs 4 bn over the next 18 months in 12 new lines across the country. The company presently has 35 contract manufacturers across the country and this is getting difficult for it to control. The company does not intend to go for 100% in-house manufacturing as it will result in higher freight costs. Apart from Tamil Nadu and Gujarat plants, the company will open three new lines at its upcoming Bengaluru plant in Bidadi. Another new line is likely to come up at its Odisha plant. Britannia stock is presently trading down 0.5%.
Most of the foreign pharma stocks are trading in the green with Novartis and Pfizer being the biggest gainers. As per a leading financial daily, the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has given approval for Novartis AG's injectable drug, Cosentyx. The drug is used for the treatment of moderate to severe form of skin disease called plaque psoriasis. Novartis' drug will face competition from rival IL-17 inhibitors when Eli Lily & Co begins marketing its IL-17 inhibitor drug ixekizumab in the first half of 2015. Novartis stock is presently trading up 2.1%.