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Sensex Trades on a Dull Note; Pharma Stocks Biggest Losers
Fri, 4 Aug 01:30 pm

After opening the day flat, share markets in India had a tepid session of trading and are currently trading in the red. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks in the consumer durables sector and the metals sector trading in green, while stocks in the pharma sector are leading the losses.

The BSE Sensex is trading down by 90 points (down 0.3%), and the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 5 points (down 0.1%). Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.1%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading down by 0.1% The rupee is trading at 63.66 to the US$.

In news from the pharma sector, Glenmark Pharma is in focus.

Glenmark Pharma announced that it had received final ANDA (abbreviated new drug application) approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for its Acyclovir Ointment.

Acyclovir Ointment, the generic version of Zovirax Ointment, of Valeant International Bermuda, is used for treatment of herpes virus.

As per IMS Health sales data for the 12 months to June 2017, Zovirax Ointment achieved annual sales of approximately US$ 110.3 million.The company's current portfolio consists of 121 products authorised for distribution in the US marketplace and 64 ANDAs pending approval with the USFDA.

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At the time of writing, Glenmark Pharma was trading down by 1.5%.

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

The list of pharma sector woes is long. So, is there light at the end of the tunnel? Girish Shetty, our research analyst thinks there is.

Is the Worst Over for all the Pharma Stocks?

As per him, it doesn't make sense to paint all pharma stocks with the same brush. The leaders of the industry will certainly survive this phase. There are interesting, niche pharma stocks that are worth your attention.

Facing pricing pressures in the domestic and export markets, currency fluctuations, as well as manufacturing issues related to their plants, there is a transformation happening in the overall sector as to how business is done and will be done in the future.

Moving on to news from the oil and gas sector. Petroleum major Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) announced diversification plans with a focus on venturing into gas business.

The company also announced plans to diversify resources for sourcing fuels as a part of its five-year plan.

BPCL has set a target of a capital expenditure of Rs 1 trillion to be spent on all expansion activities including marketing and refining over the next five years.

As a part of the plan to diversify its procurement and sourcing and to reduce geopolitical risk, the company bought one million barrels each of oil from the US - in two consignments. In a first, the company which is largely dependent on OPEC nations for oil imports, purchased crude from the US.

At the time of writing, BPCL share price was trading up by 1.8%.

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