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Sensex Ends Day in Green; IT Stocks Lead Gains
Fri, 20 Jul Closing | Parth Parekh, TM Team

After opening the day in green, share markets in India witnessed positive trading activity throughout the day and ended the day in above the dotted line. All sectoral indices traded in green, with stocks in the IT sector and stocks in the pharma sector, leading the gains.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 145 points (up 0.4%) and the NSE Nifty closed up by 53 points (up 0.5%). The BSE Mid Cap index ended the day up 0.7% while the BSE Small Cap index ended the day up by 0.4%.

The rupee was trading at Rs 68.93 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 73.17 at the time of writing.

Asian stock markets finished mixed. As of the most recent closing prices, the Hang Seng was up by 0.7% and the Shanghai Composite was up by 2.5%. The Nikkei 225 was down by 0.3%. Meanwhile, European markets too were trading on a mixeds note. The FTSE 100 was down by 0.4%. The DAX, was up by 0.6% while the CAC 40 was up by 0.1%

Moving on to news from stocks in the banking sector. IDBI Bank share price is in focus today after it was reported that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given an in-principle nod to Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) for acquiring a majority stake in IDBI Bank.

The RBI's approval comes right after LIC's board approved the deal for the buyout of the state-owned IDBI Bank Ltd.

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The LIC board approved the acquisition of up to 51% stake in IDBI Bank.

The government owns over 81% stake in IDBI Bank, while LIC already holds a 7.98% stake in IDBI Bank as of end June this year; the latest approval will enable it to acquire another 43% stake in the bank.

A stake sale of 40-43% in the lender could net the government over Rs 100-110 billion.

Notably, the government had announced that it would bring its stake in IDBI Bank below 50% in the Union Budget 2016.

The IDBI Bank board is scheduled to meet soon to draw capital raising plan for the next five years.

IDBI Bank share price ended the day up by 3.1%.

LIC - The Default Bad Bank?

Ask an average Indian investor about the next best thing after safe bank deposits. I can bet they would tell you about LIC policies. For generations Indians have treasured LIC policies in their safe deposit lockers like their gold and fixed deposit receipts. Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC) meanwhile, has been acting like the government's ATM for years. It has bailed out public issues of scores of PSUs. And helped the government milk by buying a majority stake in several state-owned lenders. The latest attempt to bail out the troubled IDBI Bank is a classic case of the state insurer buying toxic assets.

In fact, given the high stakes that LIC owns in the most troubled banks, the government needn't even consider the proposal of setting up a 'Bad Bank'. It could just turn LIC into one. At least then the investors owning investments in LIC policies, would know the real risk they carry.

Moving on to news from stocks in the pharma sector. Alembic Pharma share price is in focus today after, has received an inspection report from the US drug regulator.

In news from stocks in the pharma sector. Alembic Pharma share price is among top gainers today as the company received an establishment inspection report (EIR) from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).

The company received the establishment inspection report (EIR) for its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facility at Karakhadi, Gujarat indicating a closure of inspection.

As per USFDA, after the completion of an inspection of a facility, an EIR is issued to a company detailing inspection findings.

The USFDA carried out inspection of the company's Karakhadi facility from 14-18 May.

Alembic Pharma share price ended the day up by 3.7%.

Indian pharma companies catering to the US markets are breathing a sigh of relief. After being adversely affected by import bans and the suspension of new drug approvals from manufacturing facilities in the past three years, there has been a sharp pick-up in new drug approvals in FY17.

With an aim to lower the overall healthcare costs in the country, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a record 763 generic drugs for the financial year ending 30th September. As per Mint Analysis, Indian pharma companies received 295 approvals accounting for 40% of the overall approvals during the year.

Even the total filings of abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) for generic drugs rose to 1,292 in FY17 from 852 in the previous year. While, faster approvals expedite the commercialisation of product pipelines of domestic pharma companies spurring growth. At the same time however, it has raised the intensity of competition resulting in pricing pressures. The price erosion has been further compounded by a consolidation among US distributors and the decline in the number of products going off-patent over the past few years.

In other words, acceleration in generic drug approvals is like a double-edged sword. The growth boost can be quickly offset by the ensuing pricing pressures. Pharma companies that invest in creating a pipeline of complex generics or building competencies in alternative dosage forms are better equipped to tackle the changing dynamics in the US generics market.

Therefore, despite a lot of pessimism surrounding pharma stocks on regulatory uncertainty, we have stocks in open positions in StockSelect and have remained bullish on pharma stocks in our long term service, ValuePro.

You can listen to this week's stock market updates in our brand new podcast below. Tune in!

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Stock Market Updates

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JK LAKSHMI CEMENT Share Price Up by 11%; BSE 500 Index Up 1.0% (Today's Market)

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JK LAKSHMI CEMENT share price is trading up by 11% and its current market price is Rs 438. The BSE 500 is up by 1.0%. The top gainers in the BSE 500 Index are JK LAKSHMI CEMENT (up 11.0%) and TTK PRESTIGE (up 11.1%). The top losers are CROMPTON GREAVES CONSUMER ELEC. and RAYMOND .

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