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Mid & Small Caps Continue to be Weak
Wed, 17 Feb 01:30 pm

The Indian Equity markets continued to trade lower in the afternoon session amid weak Asian markets. Barring Capital goods, all the sectoral indices were trading in the red with consumer durables and metal stocks leading the losses.

The BSE Sensex and NSE-Nifty are trading down by 136 and 40 points respectively. BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index are faring the worst and were trading lower by 1.3% and 1.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at 68.34 to the US dollar.

Shares of Larsen and Toubro are trading on an optimistic note (up 0.8%) after it was reported that an association of infra majors L&T, Japan-based Sojitz and Gayatri may bag a project of over Rs 47 billion for civil construction work of the Iqbalgarh-Vadodara stretch of the Western rail freight corridor. The other bidder for this project was a consortium of Tata Projects, Ircon, GMR and Mitsui. Incidentally, in 2013, the L&T-Sojitz consortium has won a project to implement the 639-km stretch of civil work between Rewari and Iqbalgarh at Rs 67 billion.

In another development, L&T has reportedly said that it sees huge opportunities in the engineering sector as the government looks to double the length of the country's highways to 200,000 km. In the last two weeks alone, the government has bid out 31 projects worth Rs. 280 billion, of which nearly half were under the EPC mode (engineering, procurement and construction). L&T's road and bridges portfolio currently has 16 projects for 1,721 km worth Rs. 178 billion.

As of the September 2015 quarter, L&T had a total of Rs 983 billion of debt. Meanwhile, it had only about Rs 482 billion of equity financing. In our recent edition of The 5 Minute WrapUp Premium, we have talked about the equity and debt numbers of L&T's various business lines (Subscription Required) and whether the company is being too aggressive with leverage (Subscription Required).

According to a leading financial daily, the government has approved an investment by Mauritius-based FIL Capital Investments in Cipla Health Ltd. Cipla Health Ltd is a direct subsidiary of Cipla Limited. In November last year, Cipla announced that Cipla Health Ltd and FIL Capital Investments (Mauritius) II Ltd have signed an investment agreement for its consumer healthcare business.

Through the consumer healthcare business, Cipla has entered the over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare market in India. In July last year, Cipla's board had approved an investment by Fidelity Growth Partners India and US-based Fidelity Biosciences, through FIL Capital Investments (Mauritius) II or its affiliates in the consumer healthcare business.

The government yesterday approved 10 foreign investment proposals involving an inflow of Rs 6.07 billion, including Cipla's proposal of Rs 1.45 billion. The company recently reported 27.8% YoY growth in sales and 44.3% YoY in the net profits (Subscription Required).

Majority of the healthcare stocks are trading with a negative bias with Indoco Remedies and Divi's Laboratories bearing majority of the brunt. While the stock price of Cipla is currently trading lower by 1.2%.

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