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Indian Share Markets Open Firm; Tata Motors Soars 3%
Thu, 2 Mar 09:30 am

Asian equity markets are higher today as Chinese and Hong Kong shares show gains. The Shanghai Composite is up 0.13% while the Hang Seng is up 0.34%. The Nikkei 225 is trading up by 1.27%. Stock markets in the US and Europe finished their previous session on a firm note.

In the meanwhile, Indian share markets have opened the day on a positive note. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 138 points while the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 42 points. The BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index both have opened the day up by 0.3%.

Barring realty stocks, all the sectoral indices have opened the day in green with automobile stocks and metal stocks being the top gainers on the BSE. The rupee is trading at 66.85 to the US$.

Tata motors share price surged 3.1% in morning trade after the company reported 1.93 per cent increase in total sales in February at 47,573 units compared to 46,674 in the same month last year.

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Domestic sales of Tata Motors' commercial and passenger vehicles were at 42,679 units in February as against 41,532 units in the same month last year.

Pharma stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Elder Pharma and Panacea Biotech being the most active stocks in this space. Wockhardt share price plunged 5.1% after it was reported that the company's US business has suffered another jolt with the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) issuing a warning letter to the company's Morton Grove manufacturing plant facility in Illinois.

While the current product portfolio of the firm will be available in the US, new approvals will be withheld until compliance issues are resolved.

One must note that Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Wockhardt in October 2007 to expand its product line in the US. Since 1995, Morton Grove has been manufacturing and marketing oral liquid and topical pharmaceuticals.

The warning letter comes as a blow to the company which was struggling with issues of regulatory non-compliance. Moreover, three plants of Wockhardt in India are already under an import ban in the US. The company's formulation units at Chikalthana and Waluj in Maharashtra have been under the USFDA's import alert since 2013 (Subscription Required). While its bulk drug plant at Ankleshwar in Gujarat was issued an import alert in August.

Reportedly, non-compliance has resulted in a 66% fall in US revenue over the last four years. In 2012-13 US business accounted 52% of its operating revenue and in FY16 it fell to 22%. In an edition of The 5 Minute WrapUp, we wrote about the USFDA crackdowns faced by the Indian Pharma in the recent times and how they have been constantly investing towards R&D. We believe pharma companies that are upgrading and keeping facilities compliant, and have niche product pipelines in place will see sustained revenue growth going forward.

In another development, Lupin Ltd has launched Clobetasol Propionate topical solution in the US market. This is used for providing relief in various skin conditions of the scalp. The cream was successfully approved by the USFDA.

The product is a generic version of Fougera Pharmaceuticals' Temovate scalp application, 0.05%. Further, as per IMS MAT December 2016 data, the cream had US sales of US$64.1 million.

Lupin share price began trading up by 0.6%.

Moving on to the news from power stocks. According to an article in a leading financial daily, NTPC has kicked off the process to expand operations at its Pakri Barwadih coal mine in Jharkhand.

The company has planned to mine 18 million tonnes of coal per annum. In short term, about 2-3 million tonnes of annual coal production capacity is planned to be achieved by next year.

Reportedly, the coal mined from Pakri Barwadih will be supplied to different power stations of NTPC as basket source. Initially, Barh Power Station of NTPC will be supplied one coal rake daily.

NTPC is playing a major role in meeting the power needs of the country and contributing nearly 24% of electricity generation. The company has a vision to be the world's leading power company, energising India's growth and plans to become 130GW company by 2032, the reports noted.

Moreover, reforms to improve generation capacity, bring down transmission and distribution losses and improve project viability with better tariffs, have been in the works for long. As per the Central Electricity Authority, by March 2017, when the Twelfth Plan ends, capacity addition will hit the mark. The draft Twelfth Five-Year Plan had set a target of adding 100,000 Mw of capacity.

Finally Hitting the Mark...

Finally Hitting the Mark...

Also, coal availability for power projects has hit a historic high and gas supply has also been brought to order through auctions. What remains to be seen is whether the power producers get the advantage of the additional capacity with better tariffs and minimal distribution losses.

Meanwhile, Vivek Kaul has explained the anomaly in the power sector in an in interesting piece in his Diary - In Power-Surplus India, Why Power-Cuts are Still the Norm.

NTPC share price opened the day up by 0.2%.

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Feb 26, 2021 (Close)