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Markets Continue to Falter
Wed, 24 Feb Closing

The Indian equity markets languished in the red for a second consecutive day amid weak oil prices. Fragile global markets also dampened the domestic sentiment. BSE Sensex finished today with losses of over 321 points, while NSE-Nifty lost 91 points during today's trade. S&P BSE Mid Cap and S&P BSE Small Cap indices also underperformed the market as mid cap stocks fell about 0.8%, while small cap stocks fell about 1.2%. Barring oil & gas sector, all the sectoral indices finished below the dotted line with metal and healthcare stocks leading the losses.

The Chinese markets bucked a generally downward trend in Asia today as major indices in Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong fell. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.88%, while the Hang Seng and the Nikkei 225 fell 1.15% and 0.85% respectively. European markets are trading sharply lower today with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 1.98%, while France's CAC 40 is off 1.51% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 1.39%.

Overnight comments from Saudi Arabia's oil minister dashed hopes for a possible production cut to tackle the global supply glut and sent already low oil prices lower still. The rupee was trading at Rs 68.57 against the US$ in the afternoon session.

Selling activity continued across majority of the private sector banks with Karnataka Bank and Federal Bank leading the losses. Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMBL) has reportedly inked a share subscription and shareholders agreement with Airtel M Commerce Services (AMSL) and Bharti Airtel, wherein, KMBL has agreed to acquire 98,382,022 equity shares aggregating to Rs 983.8 million in cash, representing 19.90% of the paid-up capital of AMSL.

The new payments bank will help the fourth largest private sector bank by assets to break new ground among the unbanked and expand its reach in the huge rural market. The total cashless transactions in India amounted to Rs 1,200 billion in FY15. In the same year, cashless transactions through mobile banking amounted to Rs 1,000 billion.

AMSL, incorporated in April 2010, is a 100% subsidiary of Bharti Airtel and offers services under the 'Airtel Money' brand. Bharti Airtel recently declared results for the third quarter of FY16. The company has reported a 3.8% YoY increase in total revenues and a 22.2% YoY decrease in net profits during the quarter (Subscription Required).

Bharti Airtel finished the trading day on an encouraging note (up 1.2%) on the BSE.

Healthcare sector fell over 1.5% in today's trade. Aurobindo Pharma and Divi's Laboratories bore majority of the losses. According to a leading financial daily, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc., USA, has been granted final approval by the United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) for Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets USP, the generic version of Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo Tablets of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

According to IMS Health, sales data for the 12-month period ending December 2015, the Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo Tablets market achieved annual sales of approximately US$503.9 million.

The company's current portfolio consists of 107 products authorized for distribution in the US market and 62 ANDAs pending approval with the USFDA. In addition to these internal filings, the company continues to identify and explore external development partnerships to supplement and accelerate the growth of its existing pipeline and portfolio. The stock price of Glenmark has witnessed sharp correction quite recently. The company's performance (Subscription Required) has been severely impacted by global headwinds.

Apart from the US, Indian pharma companies have steadily expanded exports across some key emerging markets including Russia, Brazil, Romania, South Africa, and Venezuela. Improving healthcare affordability in the emerging markets, governments encouraging the expansion in healthcare, and low-cost manufacturing by Indian companies have been the key to Indian Pharma's increased presence in the emerging markets. But growth from emerging markets has come under pressure recently (Subscription Required).

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Jan 24, 2018 03:33 PM