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US drives Lupin's growth 
(Fri, 7 May 11:30 am) 
 
The benchmark indices languished in the red during the last two hours of trade on the back of negative cues in global markets. Barring stocks in the oil & gas space, all heavyweights are seen trading deep in the red. Stocks from the power, banking and realty space are the biggest losers in early trades.

BSE-Sensex is trading lower by 198 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 71 points below the dotted line. BSE-Midcap Index is trading lower by 1.8%. BSE-Smallcap index is trading 2.1% below yesterday's closing. The rupee is trading at 45.69 to the US dollar.

Pharma major Lupin announced its FY10 results. The company's topline grew by 26% YoY as a result of strong growth in all business segments specially the US. The US market registered a strong 39% YoY growth on the back of branded generics business. Lupin's Japanese subsidiary grew by 21% YoY, while the company's South African business grew by a robust 57% YoY. On the other hand, the company's domestic business increased by 18% YoY driven by sales in the therapeutic areas of CVS, diabetes, CNS, asthma and gastrointestinal. Lupin's operating margins expanded by 1.1% during the year as a result of fall in raw material costs and lower staff costs as a percentage of sales. Net profit for the company grew by 36% YoY on the back of higher operating income and lower interest costs.

During the year, Lupin acquired the brand 'AllerNaze' an intranasal steroid and Antara, an anti-cholesterol drug. We believe that in the coming years, Lupin's growth is going to be driven by sales from US on the back of the generic market and from new geographies like Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

As per a leading financial daily, the joint venture between state-owned SAIL and South Korean steelmaker POSCO is likely to be finalized by the end of this month. As per reports, SAIL officials are going to visit South Korea next week to complete negotiations for a new plant. POSCO will be holding 74% stake in this JV and this new plant is to be built in Bokaro on land owned by SAIL. The capacity of this plant will be of 1.5 m tonne per annum and will require an investment of Rs 150 bn.

The proposed plant will be built using POSCO's patented FINEX technology. This technology will enable the use of iron ore fines and thermal coal for the production of high-grade steel. The new plant is expected to help SAIL increase its production capacity to cater to future demand and at the same time benefit from POSCO's technologies and operational practices.

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