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Sensex Remains Buoyant; Pharma Stocks Lead Gains
Fri, 2 Jun 01:30 pm

After opening the day on a positive note, share markets in India have continued the momentum are trading near all-time highs. Apart from stocks in the oil and gas sector, all sectoral indices are trading on a positive note. Stocks in the pharma sector and stocks in the realty sector are leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 140 points (up 0.4%), and the NSE Nifty is trading up by 42 points (up 0.4%). Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.7%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.6%. The rupee is trading at 64.44 to the US$.

In news from stocks in the telecom sector. The country's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel announced that it received approvals from the Securities & Exchange Board of India, BSE and the National Stock Exchange of India for its proposed merger with Telenor India.

Airtel and Telenor have also filed a joint application before the New Delhi bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for approval of the merger. In a statement, the firm said the merger also requires approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

In February this year, Airtel had entered into an agreement with Telenor South Asia Investments Pte in February to buy Telenor India's operations in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam. These seven circles contribute about 35% to Airtel's total revenue.

These circles represent a high population concentration and therefore offer a high potential for growth.

Airtel will also take on some of the Nordic telecom operator's local liabilities.

The acquisition is slated to bolster Airtel's 4G spectrum holdings and revenue market share, strengthening its hand in the battle against Reliance Jio Infocomm. Airtel will pocket 43.4 units of 4G spectrum in the 1800 MHz band once the Telenor deal is concluded.

Debt Levels of Telecom Players on an Uptrend

Airtel will also take over Telenor India's outstanding spectrum payments of some Rs 16.5 billion and other operational contracts, including tower leases with Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers, besides employees and 44 million customers. This stands to add to the telecom major's already growing debt.

At the time of writing, Bharti Airtel share price was trading up by 2.2%.

Moving on to news from stocks in the pharma sector. Cadila Healthcare share price hit a record high, and was among the top gainers on the bourses, up by 7% intraday.

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The up move was triggered as Cadila Healthcare announced that it had received final approval form the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approval to market Levofloxacin Injection.

Levofloxacin is used in the treatment of bacterial infections and will be produced at the group's formulations manufacturing plant at Moraiya, Ahmedabad.

This is a significant development for the company as it is the first drug approval from the company's Moraiya plant since successfully completing the USFDA audit with zero observations, in February this year.

Earlier this week, the company received final approval from USFDA to market oral drug Felbamate tablets, which is used to treat epilepsy. The drugmaker has over 115 approvals and 300 ANDAs since the commencement of the filing process in FY04.

At the time of writing, Cadila Healthcare share price was trading up by 5%.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry has come under a lot of regulatory pressure in the past few years.

The sector has faced great volatility over the years.

We had written about the current predicament of Indian pharma companies in one of the premium editions of the 5 Minute WrapUp:

  • Over the past few years, risk in the US markets has increased. The US Food and Drug Administration has become stricter on products entering US borders. Surprise inspections have increased and companies are being issued warning letters. This has impacted the business and earnings of Indian pharma players, causing major volatility for the sector.

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Nov 24, 2017 (Close)