The Indian markets have started today's session on a choppy note. The benchmark indices opened below the breakeven mark and have just managed to break into the positive territory. Other key Asian markets are trading in the red with Indonesia (down 1%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed lower by 1% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the NSE-Nifty are trading a mixed bag with metal and software stocks witnessing buyers' interest. However, banking heavyweights are in the red. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 20 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 10 points. Marginal buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.3% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.73 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note. Gainers here include Eicher Motor and M&M. However, Hero Honda is in the red. As per a leading business daily, M&M and UK's BAE Systems will invest more than US$ 21 m in three years into their joint venture (JV) company, Defence Land Systems India. The foreign investment promotion board has approved the investment. M&M holds 74% stake in the JV. It will be headquartered in New Delhi and will have a manufacturing facility near Faridabad in the National Capital Region. It will manufacture Axe high mobility vehicle, up-armoured and bulletproof Scorpios, Boleros, Rakshak, rapid intervention vehicles and the Marksman light-armoured vehicle. The JV will also develop a mine-protected vehicle specifically for the Indian defense forces. In our view, the JV must be viewed as M&M's progression towards being a complete auto player from being a predominantly utility vehicle and tractor manufacturer.
Pharma stocks have opened the day on a mixed note. Gainers here include Ranbaxy and Panacea Biotech. However, Dr. Reddy's is in the red. As per the data from drug sales tracking agency, ORG-IMS, Cipla was the leading pharma company in the domestic market during 2009 with a market share of 5.4%. It is followed by Ranbaxy (4.9%) and GSK Pharma (4.4%). Cipla has a basket of 924 products as compared to Ranbaxy's 565 and GSK's 177 products. They are followed by Piramal Healthcare (4.1% market share, 750 products), Zydus Cadila (3.7%, 735) and Sun Pharma (3.6%, 516). The domestic pharma market grew by 17% YoY during 2009. Cipla posted a growth rate of 18%, while Ranbaxy and GSK grew by 14% and 18% respectively.