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Sensex Opens Higher as GST Council Clears All Draft Bills
Fri, 17 Mar 09:30 am

Asian equity markets are lower today as Japanese and Hong Kong shares fall. The Nikkei 225 is off 0.34%, while the Hang Seng is down 0.33%. The Shanghai Composite is trading down by 0.15%. European & the US stock markets closed higher in their previous trading session.

Meanwhile, Indian share markets have opened the day on a firm note after the goods and services tax (GST) council cleared the two supporting Bills - State GST Bill and Union Territory GST (UTGST) Bill, thereby setting the stage for implementing the landmark tax reform by 1 July 2017.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 138 points while the NSE Nifty is trading up by 54 points, hitting a fresh record high to open above 9,200-mark for the first time ever. The BSE Mid Cap index opened up by 0.5%, while BSE Small Cap index opened up by 0.3%.

Sectoral indices have opened the day on a mixed note with fast moving consumer goods sector and metal sector leading the pack of gainers. While, consumer durable stocks and information technology stocks are witnessing maximum selling pressure. The rupee is trading at 65.38 to the US$.

ITC share price surged 6.7% in early trade after GST (goods and services tax) panel has said that the cess levied, in the case of cigarettes and chewing tobacco, could be either 290% or Rs4,170 per thousand sticks or a combination of both.

Pharma stocks are trading mixed with Elder Pharma and Dishman Pharma being the most active stocks in this space. As per an article in a leading financial daily, Lupin Limited (Lupin) announced the launch of Mibelas 24 Fe (Norethindrone Acetate and Ethinyl Estradiol Chewable Tablets, 1 mg/0.02 mg and Ferrous Fumarate Tablets, 75 mg) having received an approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) earlier.

The tablet is the AB-rated generic equivalent of Allergan Pharmaceuticals International Limited's Minastrin 24 Fe Tablets. It is indicated for use by females of reproductive age to prevent pregnancy. Further, the company has a 180-day marketing exclusivity for the product. This means no other generic versions of Minastrin 24 Fe tablets, can be launched during this period.

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In fact, this product is likely to add US$49 million to sales and US$22 million to profit in FY18. Further, the product has a market size of US$361 million and will provide Lupin significant profit opportunity, the reports noted.

This is the fifth product launch by the company in the last 15 days and the ninth one since its Goa plant got a final approval from the USFDA in November. These product launches come at a time when Indian generic makers are facing pricing pressure in US markets.

However, the US continues to be the principal growth engine for the company. Lupin's US business has grown at CAGR of 24% (Subscription Required) over the last five years.

United States: Lupin's Largest Market

Notably, the US business contributed over 40% (subscription required) of the company's Rs 129.6-billion revenue in the first nine months of this financial year (FY17).

Lupin share price opened the day up by 0.7%.

Moving on to the news from stocks in engineering sector. According to a leading financial daily, Larsen & Toubro's electrical and automation unit has bagged an order worth Rs 5 billion from the Qatar Rail Company (QRAIL) for Phase 1 of Doha Metro.

The scope of the order encompasses supply, installation, testing, integration, commissioning and five-year maintenance of network-wide building automation and control systems (BACS) for 37 stations.

Reportedly, the frame agreement is through nine contracts with design & build contractors for the stations and tunnels along multiple lines.

Diversification continues to help L&T (Subscription Required) negotiate and get better terms and margins for projects. Apparently, this is because it is less desperate to win orders as compared to a company which are present in only a couple of sectors. Its reputation, extensive technical prowess, and large skilled workforce have enabled L&T to command a certain premium from customers and vendors alike.

Whether, a further addition to these new projects provides a cushion to its profitability will be an interesting thing to watch out for going forward. Subscribers can access to L&T's latest result analysis and L&T stock analysis on our website.

In another development, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) commenced commercial operations of its first 800 MW unit, supercritical thermal plant. It marks Bhel's foray as a developer into the field of power generation.

The milestone was achieved for the first unit of the 2x800 MW Yeramarus thermal power station of Raichur Power Corporation Limited (RPCL), in Raichur district of Karnataka. Further, Bhel has completed the state-of-the-art supercritical project on a turnkey basis, the reports noted.

L&T share price & Bhel share price opened the day down by 0.3% & 0.1% respectively.

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