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Sensex up 447 Points
Fri, 22 Jan 01:30 pm

Continuing their momentum, the Indian Indices are trading in the green during the post noon trading session. Barring telecom stocks, sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the metal, banking and auto sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 447 points (up 1.9%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 135 points (up 1.9%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up nearly 2% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 2.1%. Gold prices, per 10 grams, are trading at Rs 26,173 levels. Silver price, per kilogram is trading at Rs 34,305 levels. Crude oil is trading at Rs 2,101 per barrel. The rupee is trading at 67.71 to the US$.

Stocks in the banking space are trading on a positive note with IDFC Bank and Lakshmi Vilas Bank leading the gains. As per an article in Reuters, the government has stated that it will pay banks a 2.5% commission to unlock the country's massive reserves of gold under a new monetization scheme. This is undertaken as the Gold Monetisation Scheme announced last year received a poor response from the banks and customers. The scheme was launched with the government's ambiguous plan to attract an estimated 20,000 tonnes of gold in households and temples into the banking system. However, only a few kilograms trickled in over the last two months. Most of this dull performance came in as banks showed little interest in popularising the scheme because of negligible returns for them.

To turn this around, the government has now decided to pay the participating banks a total commission of 2.5%, including 1.5% handling charges, for the first year. Banks are allowed to accept gold under medium and long-term deposit schemes. For the medium-term deposit, the tenure is 5 to 7 years and customers can earn 2.25% interest per annum. For long-term deposits, the tenure is 12 to 15 years and customers can earn 2.5% interest per annum.

One of the reasons why the response for the launched scheme was lackluster is Indians' penchant for gold. And they would not part with their gold, which is seen as a safe haven for financial security, unless they are offered incentives such as higher interest rates. With the abovementioned new plan of the government, banks will now be able to offer attractive rates to customers. It will make the scheme attractive for both, the banks and customers.

Pharmaceutical stocks are witnessing buying interest with the sector trading up by nearly 2.3%. Orchid Chemicals and Dishman Pharma are the top gainers. As per a leading financial daily, Cipla has announced that it has received approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over the proposed investment by Mauritius-based FIL Capital Investments in its consumer healthcare business vertical. However, the company added that the investment is still subject to, amongst other conditions precedent, approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board and the transfer of company's consumer healthcare business to Cipla Health Ltd.

The development comes as Cipla, during last year, had inked an investment agreement with FIL Capital Investments (Mauritius) II Limited for its consumer healthcare business. Also, earlier the company's board had approved divestment of its consumer healthcare business to Cipla Health, a wholly- owned subsidiary, by way of a slump sale for a consideration of Rs 105 million.

In another news, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has been granted final approval by the US Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) to manufacture and market Potassium Chloride extended release capsules and oral contraceptive Norethindrone Acetate and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets in the American market.

The company said that the approved product has an estimated market size of US$ 74 million for the 12 months ended November 2015. The approvals will definitely aid the company in expanding its product portfolio and boost its profitability. Glenmark's current portfolio consists of 106 products authorized for distribution in the US marketplace and 62 ANDA's (abbreviated new drug application) pending approval with the USFDA. Presently its stock is trading up by 2.3%.

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