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Indian share markets open firm
Mon, 25 Mar 09:30 am

Barring China (down 0.1%), all major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Japan (up 1.7%) and South Korea (up 1.4%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets indices have also opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the oil and gas, realty and power space are leading the gains.

The Sensex today is up by around 137 points (0.7%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 45 point (0.8%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.9% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.35 to the US dollar.

Auto stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Maruti Suzuki, Escorts and Tube Investments leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, India's leading passenger vehicle maker Maruti Suzuki is now aiming to increase its presence and market share in the fast growing utility vehicle market. Ertiga MPV, its latest offering in the utility vehicle space has become India's largest selling model in the segment. It is also being exported to Indonesia. Maruti is now planning to launch new products and variants in the utility vehicle space. It must be noted that Maruti is a leader in the small car market. It enjoys a hefty 50% market share in the domestic car market. However, competition in the small car segment has been increasing. For instance, companies such as General Motors that have traditionally manufactured big cars have forayed into the hatchback segment.

Indian pharma stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Orchid Chemicals, Fresenius Kabi Oncology and Panacea Biotech leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Dr Reddy's Laboratories has received US$ 22.5 m (Rs 1,222.7 m) from Canadian pharmaceutical firm Nordion Inc (formerly known as MDS Inc) as damages from the contract research organization (CRO). Dr Reddy's had filed a suit against the Canadian company in April 2009. It had sought US$ 80 m as damages on account of an alleged breach by the CRO in a laboratory service agreement. It must be noted that the CRO provided lab services related to bio-equivalency studies to support Dr Reddy's regulatory applications for generic drug approvals. The settlement was concluded on March 20, 2013 with the receipt of the settlement funds by Dr Reddy's.

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