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Indian Markets Trade in the Green
Mon, 25 Jan 11:30 am

After opening the day on a positive note, the Indian Markets have continued to trade in the green. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the metal, pharma, and consumer durables sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 130 points (up 0.5%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 37 points (up 0.5%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 1.1% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 1.4%. The rupee is trading at 67.64 to the US$.

Stocks in the pharma space are trading on a positive note with Elder Pharma and Piramal Enterprises witnessing maximum buying interest. As per an article in Economic Times, five Indian drug companies are in initial discussions to bid for Sagent Pharmaceuticals, a Nasdaq-listed specialty injectable maker. The five Indian companies are Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Aurobindo Pharma, Cipla, and Lupin. Even Sun Pharma was interested in the bid and had initiated the due diligence process, but then backed out, mainly over valuations.

This trend was seen after Sagent mandated New York based investment banker Perella Weinberg Partners to scout for potential opportunities as part of its strategic alternatives. The valuation is expected to be upwards of US$ 500 million, for which large generic drug makers and financial investors may also be interested.

Sagent recently forecasted sales of US$ 325-365 million for 2016, representing a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% since 2013. It expects adjusted EBITDA of US$ 35-50 million for the year.

Indian drug makers are interested in Sagent because it presents an ideal opportunity for companies that have an injectables manufacturing platform with a focus on hospital-based medicines. Furthermore, for Indian drug makers, the most sought-after market is the US, where as much as 86% of the total dispensed prescriptions are for generic drugs. This has encouraged many Indian drug companies to take up M&A (mergers and acquisition) activity in the US.

Majority of the stocks in automobile space are trading on a positive note with Force Motors and Maharashtra Scooters leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Maruti Suzuki has maintained its leadership position in the domestic passenger vehicle (PV) market in December. This comes as six of its models have featured in the top ten brands last month.

As per the latest data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), in the top ten passenger vehicles, Maruti's Alto retained the top position last month, with sales of 22,589 units, as against 22,296 units in December, 2014. The company's compact hatchback Wagon R was the second best-selling model with 14,645 units compared with 12,329 units in the same month last year. Premium hatchback Swift was the third, selling 14,548 units, as against 17,410 units in the year ago month. Further, the company's compact sedan DZire was fourth with 13,176 units, as compared to 15,526 units a year ago. Newly-launched Baleno made it to the sixth rank with sale of 10,572 units. Lastly, Celerio was at eighth position, selling 8,019 units.

Going forward, Maruti Suzuki aims to reach sales volume target of 2 million units over the next five years and plans to launch 20 new models in the same period. The company has also outlined a capex of Rs 35 billion in FY16, which will be towards new product launches, R&D, marketing expenses and maintenance. If you are interested in the stock, do read our result analysis report of the company (subscription required). Presently the stock of the company is up 0.3%.

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