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Telecom, Pharma Stocks in Favour
Mon, 22 Feb 01:30 pm

After opening the day on a flattish note, the Indian indices registered some gains later on and are presently trading on a positive note. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the telecom, healthcare and energy sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 78 points (up 0.3%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 12 points (up 0.2%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up 0.6% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.4%. Gold prices, per 10 grams, are trading at Rs 29,080 levels. Silver price, per kilogram is trading at Rs 37,056 levels. Crude oi is trading at Rs 2,235 per barrel. The rupee is trading at 68.58 to the US$.

As per a leading financial daily, government is considering a proposal to permit 49% FDI (foreign direct investment) through automatic approval route in the insurance sector. The same is being done with a view to attract more overseas inflows (subscription required). Many are expecting that the government will announce this decision in the forthcoming Budget as the move would also help in improving ease of doing business.

Presently, FDI up to 26% is permitted through automatic approval route for the insurance sector. In order to raise it to 49%, the approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board is required. As of now, as many as 10 proposals, including that of ICICI Prudential Life, ICICI Lombard General Insurance and Aviva Life Insurance, are pending at different stages of clearances.

There are 52 insurance companies operating in India. Of this, 24 are in the life insurance business and 28 in the general insurance. State-owned General Insurance Corporation (GIC), in addition, is the sole national reinsurer. It should be noted that, in order to deepen the re-insurance market, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) permitted UK-based Lloyds to set up business in India.

On the subject of FDI, the month of December saw FDI in India more than doubled to about US$ 4.5 billion. The major sectors that attracted foreign inflows were computer software and hardware, trading, services, automobile and telecommunications. It should be noted that India receives maximum FDI from Singapore, Mauritius, the Netherlands and Japan.

Majority of the stocks in the pharmaceutical space are trading on a positive note with Panacea Biotech and Elder Pharma witnessing maximum buying interest. As per a leading financial daily, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has laid some conditions to clear Lupin's acquisition of Gavis announced during 2015. Since FTC feels that the acquisition will be anti-competitive and to preserve competition, it has ordered divestment of two brands as a prerequisite to clear the acquisition.

Consequently, as the part of prerequisite by FTC, the companies have agreed to sell rights and assets for two generic drugs to New Jersey based G&W Laboratories. One of the drugs, doxycycline monohydrate capsules. It is used to treat bacterial infections. The other, generic mesalamine extended release capsules, and is prescribed for treating ulcerative colitis.

Under the terms, Lupin is required to transfer to G&W Laboratories all of Gavis's rights and assets related to generic doxycycline monohydrate capsules no later than ten days after the acquisition is completed. The transfer includes Gavis's manufacturing technology, which Lupin will help G&W set up at the latter's facilities. Meanwhile, Lupin will supply G&W with the finished product for two years.

It must be noted that, in July last year, Lupin had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Gavis Pharmaceuticals LLC and Novel Laboratories Inc (GAVIS) in a transaction valued at US$ 880 million. This was recorded as the largest buyout by an Indian pharma firm in the US. The acquisition will give Lupin access to 66 generic drugs as well as additional drugs which are under various stages of development. This includes drugs in dermatology, controlled substance products along with other high- value and niche generics.

Presently the scrip of Lupin is trading up by 1.2%.

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