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Banking Stocks Surge
Fri, 22 Jan 11:30 am

After opening the day on a positive note, the Indian Markets have added to their early gains. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the banking, auto and metal sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 434 points (up 1.8%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 137 points (up 1.9%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 1.9% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 2.2%. The rupee is trading at 67.69 to the US$.

Telecom stocks are trading on a mixed note with ITI leading the gains and Idea Cellular leading the losses. As per an article in Economic Times, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is likely to propose putting up a higher amount of spectrum for auction than last year. Further, to stimulate the auction, the regulator will consider to suggest rational pricing for these airwaves. The auction will also include the 700 MHz band used for 4G services.

At present, the telecom department is examining how much spectrum can be auctioned. This is because there could be a difference between what the regulator suggests and the quantum finally put on sale. During the last year, the department had put up 470.75 MHz of spectrum for auction in March. The same fetched Rs 1.1 billion with unsold airwaves left in some bands.

If TRAI's suggestion to include 700 MHz in the upcoming auctions is accepted by the telecom department, it will clear the decks for the biggest ever spectrum sale. This will in turn be a boon for the government. As the new spectrum rules permit the 800 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 900 MHz bands to be used to offer any telecom service with any technology, a larger quantum of airwaves becomes more profitable to acquire, again benefitting the government.

However, one should note that financially stressed telecom companies have said that the 700 MHz band should be auctioned two years from now when the 4G ecosystem has developed. Surely the auction will increase the competitive intensity and exert pressure on the profitability of the telecom companies. It would be interesting to see how these companies chart out the future course to capitalize on the growth potential in voice and data services profitably.

Stocks in the pharmaceutical sector are trading on a positive note with Dishman Pharma and Orchid Chemicals leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Sun Pharma has obtained an order from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approving the proposed transaction of the company to sell Ranbaxy's two CNS divisions to Strides Shasun. With this approval, the company has obtained all necessary regulatory approvals.

Last year in September, Sun Pharma and Strides signed an agreement related to erstwhile Ranbaxy's 'Solus' and 'Solus Care' divisions that are into central nervous system (CNS) segment in India. The agreement involved transfer of these two marketing divisions along with employees to Strides for a consideration of Rs 1,650 million.

Sun Pharma had said as per IMS July 2015 MAT report, all products of these two divisions together accounted for about Rs 920 million in sales. Further, the management of Strides India said this acquisition of Solus and Solus Care divisions is of strategic significance to the growth of company's branded business in India.

One shall note that Sun Pharma had also announced plans to sell a manufacturing facility in Ireland that was owned by Ranbaxy during the last year. The same was as part of a rationalisation programme post completion of their US$ 4 billion merger.Sun Pharma is the fifth largest specialty generic pharmaceutical company in the world. Presently its stock is trading up by 1.5%.

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