As regards to major global markets, European shares dropped for a seventh straight session to trade near a 3-1/2 month low. Asian markets finished broadly lower today with shares in Hong Kong bearing majority of the brunt. The Hang Seng is down 1.09%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 is off 0.25% and China's Shanghai Composite is lower by 0.15%. The rupee was trading strong at RS 63.88 against the American dollar in the afternoon session.
According to a leading financial daily, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries has marked its entry into the branded Ophthalmology segment in the US. Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company (SPARC) has licensed out Xelpros (Latanoprost BAK-free eye drops) to a subsidiary of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries for the US market. This is a part of Sun Pharma's strategy to strengthen its presence in the US specialty segment. In addition to the up-front payment of US$ 3 m, SPARC will receive certain other milestone payments, both totaling to US$ 16 m from Sun Pharma. It is also eligible for certain defined royalties and additional milestone payments linked to the actual sales performance of Xelpros. In December 2014, the USFDA had issued a Complete Response letter to SPARC for its New Drug Application (NDA) for Latanoprost BAK-free eye drops.
Shares of Punjab National Bank (PNB) surged over 1.2% after it was reported that the company has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Army for Defence Salary Package. The first MoU between PNB and the Indian Army was signed in 2011 and was valid for a period of three years. The MoU is custom made to suit the requirements of serving soldiers, pensioners and families. Besides, number of additional facilities have been incorporated in the revised MoU after due consultation between Bank & Army authorities. Some features which have been improved from the previous MoU are that the Personal Accidental Insurance cover has been extended to Rs 200,000 and Rs 500,000 from Rs 50,000 and Rs 200,000 respectively.