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Following a negative trend since the opening of the trading day, the Indian indices have continued to remain under pressure in the post-noon trading session. Sectoral indices are trading on a negative note with stocks from the realty and banking sectors bearing the maximum brunt.
The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 266 points (down 1%) and the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 72 points (down 0.9%). The BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index are also trading in the red, both down by 0.7%. Gold prices, per 10 grams, are trading at Rs 30,319 levels. Silver price, per kilogram, is trading at Rs 41,078 levels. Crude oil is trading at Rs 3,261 per barrel. The rupee is trading at 67.06 to the US$.
Stocks in the telecom sector are trading in red with MTNL and Idea Cellular leading the losses. As per an article in Business Standard, Indian telecom operators have committed to invest around Rs 120 billion to improve the prevailing call drop situation. To address the call drop issue, the telcos will install over 60,000 towers in the next three months at the projected cost of Rs 120 billion.
Further, to check call drops, Trai has proposed to impose a penalty up to Rs 1 billion on operators and jail term of up to two years for their executives on not complying with the laws.
The investment in the towers comes at a time wherein the telcos have already spent huge sums of money in acquiring the 2G and 3G spectrums. The additional investments on the towers may put some stress on their balance sheets.
Moving on to the news from pharmaceuticals space. One of India's largest drug makers Dr Reddy's Laboratories has entered into a conclusive agreement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and Allergan Plc to acquire a portfolio of eight abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) in the US.
The deal is for US$350 million and is aimed at strengthening the company's US business. Presently, US business contributes to about half of Dr. Reddy's revenues.
Dr. Reddy's said that it is acquiring the portfolio on a cash-free, debt-free basis. The company is looking to finance the transaction using a combination of cash on hand and available borrowings under existing credit facilities.
Teva is selling the drugs to Dr. Reddy's as part of its planned US$4.2 billion acquisition of Allergan PLC's generics business. The US Federal Trade Commission has yet to approve the purchase of the drugs which is apparently contingent on completion of its deal with Allergan.
The deal comes at a time when Dr. Reddy's is facing a slow growth in its largest US market. Hence, the company, with this deal, will seek to gain a foothold in the US market by selling more sophisticated treatments. According to IMS health, the combined sales of the branded versions of the products in the US is approximately US$3.5 billion for the year ending in April 2016.
Moreover, Dr. Reddy's competitors Lupin and Cipla are also growing their US business in an inorganic way with two recent acquisitions. Evidently, the deal on these attractive ANDAs by Dr. Reddy's will intensify the competition in this segment.
The stock is currently trading up by 0.7%.
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