Indian equity markets began the day's proceedings on a positive note and traded firm for most of the morning and afternoon session. However, selling pressure intensified in the later hours across index heavyweights pushing the indices into the red. There was no respite in the final trading hour and the indices closed below the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex closed lower by 54 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 37 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap were not spared either and closed lower by 0.3% and 1% respectively. Losses were largely seen in metals, banking and auto stocks .
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.16 to the dollar at the time of writing.
As per reports, Cyprus has been bailed out by a last minute package of rescue loans. According to this, 17 countries that use the euro currency approved the EUR 10 bn bailout plan. It must be noted that earlier the European Central Bank had threatened to cut emergency funds to the country's banks unless an agreement was reached. However, Cyprus will have to raise EUR 5.8 bn on its own to receive this aid. To do this, the country's second-largest bank, Laiki, will be restructured and holders of bank deposits of more than EUR 100,000 will have to take losses. These developments prove that the European crisis is far from over. What is more, a dangerous trend is developing, wherein the government in Cyprus is contemplating charging a levy on deposits which would help it raise funds required to meet the bailout conditions. This is a double whammy for depositors because not only do they lose money to bail out the bankrupt bank, but they would lose whatever deposit they have with the bank.
As per a leading business daily, both Aurobindo Pharma and Lupin have received final approval from the US FDA to manufacture and market Valsartan Hydrochlorothiazide tablets in various strengths. Valsartan is the generic equivalent to Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.'s Diovan. The drug is indicated for the treatment of hypertension and for lowering blood pressure. The market size of the product is approximately US$ 1.7 bn for the twelve months ending September 2012 according to IMS. Further, Ranbaxy is also awaiting approval for this drug. If Ranbaxy gets the US FDA nod, then it will be entitled to the 180-days exclusivity for the same. It must be noted that Ranbaxy was expected to secure approval for the Diovan generic in September last year. However, the company missed the deadline. Mylan subsequently sued the FDA claiming that Ranbaxy forfeited its right to the exclusivity window for not getting the US FDA approval. However, a US district court ruled in favour of Ranbaxy.