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Indian Indices Trade in Red; Metal Stocks Drag
Thu, 3 Aug 01:30 pm

After opening the day marginally lower, share markets in India have continued the downtrend and are currently trading below the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks in the metal sector and stocks in the banking sector leading the losses, while stocks in the oil and gas sector and stocks in the pharma sector are trading in green.

The BSE Sensex is trading down by 121 points (down 0.4%), and the NSE Nifty is trading down by 30 points (down 0.3%). Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.4%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading down by 0.1% The rupee is trading at 63.67 to the US$.

In news from stocks in the banking sector. Public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) announced plans to raise over Rs 20 billion by issuing bonds.

The bank aims to raise funds by allotting Basel-III compliant bonds worth over Rs 20 billion to various investors.

The bank in a statement announced that the bank will allot 20,000 AT1 Basel-III compliant non-convertible, perpetual, subordinated bonds in the nature of debentures. The bonds will carry a coupon rate of 8.15% with a call option after 5 years.

With this development, SBI joins the increasing list of companies opting to raise funds via bond issues.

Increasing Bond Issues by Indian Companies

Indian companies raised a record US$ 46.5 in debt and equity in 2017, the highest amount in the last decade. 64% of these funds are from the financial sector. What is interesting is that the energy and power sector was the second highest in raising funds. Also, amongst the financial sector companies, Power finance corp. Ltd (PFC) which raised US$ 3.5 billion was one of the largest fundraisers.

Recently, the SBI had cut interest rates on savings deposits up to Rs 1 crore by 0.5% to 3.5%, lowest in six years, a decision that will impact 90% of its customers.

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At the time of writing, SBI share price was trading down by 1.5%.

Moving on to news from the pharmaceuticals sector. In an attempt to speed up availability of medicines, the government is mulling a move to abolish clinical trials for drugs already approved in the overseas markets.

According to the proposed rules, the government suggested waiving local clinical trials for drugs that have not had any major adverse effects on patients. These drugs should have been approved and marketed for at least two years in the European Union, UK, US, Australia, Canada and Japan.

The move is expected to reduce the time taken by a company to introduce new drugs in the market from 5-6 years to as few as 45 days. According to the drug regulator, the move will also lower the cost of drugs.

These new rules will make it easier for pharma companies to introduce drugs in India, which are already in use in regulated countries, without going through the lengthy clinical trial process.

This move, once approved stands to improve ease of business for healthcare companies looking to introduce drugs in the Indian market.

At the time of writing, the pharma sector was among the top gainers in the market, up 0.5%.

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Aug 23, 2017 (Close)

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