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Sensex Trades in Green; Lupin up 4%
Thu, 24 Aug 01:30 pm

After opening the day flat, share markets in India remained rangebound and are presently trading marginally above the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note, with stocks in the IT sector and the healthcare sector witnessing maximum buying interest. Stocks in the realty sector are trading in the red.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 65 points (up 0.2%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 17 points (up 0.2%). Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.6%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.5%. The rupee is trading at 64.07 to the US$.

Moving on to news from the pharma sector. Lupin's share price is in focus today.

Lupin announced that it launched quetiapine fumarate extended-release tablets in the US markets. The pharma major had earlier received final ANDA (abbreviated new drug application) approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for the tablets.

The tablets are a generic version of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals' Seroquel XR tablets and is used for the treatment of schizophrenia.

As per IMS Health sales data for the 12 months to June 2017, Seroquel XR tablets achieved annual sales of US$ 1.1 billion in the US markets.

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Lupin's Aurangabad facility had earlier received an Establishment Investigation report (EIR), ending all investigations at the site.

At the time of writing, Lupin share price was trading up by 3.9%.

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 IT sector. Infosys share price is among the top gainers today amid speculation of co-founder Nandan Nilekani's return to the helm.

Infosys share price was down over 14% the last 4 days after its CEO and MD Vishal Sikka announced his resignation. Even news of a buyback at a significant premium failed to enthuse market participants. However, investors' nerves seemed to be calmed after speculations of the co-founder returning to the Infosys fold.

Nilekani, who quit Infosys as its chief executive officer in 2007 to head the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), had been maintaining his distance from Infosys, repeatedly stating he had no role to play at a company he built along with six other founders.

But he was involved in calling a truce after last week's public spat between the board and Murthy following the resignation of CEO Vishal Sikka.

The turmoil for Infosys began after allegations of corporate governance lapses by co-founder Narayana Murthy.

This has attracted the lens of the stock market regulator, which plans to conduct a fresh probe into corporate governance complaints against Infosys in connection with the Panaya acquisition.

In June, the regulator had conducted a preliminary probe into the allegations levelled by an anonymous whistle-blower on the acquisition of the Israel-based Panaya, which Infosys bought in February 2015 for $200 million. However, the regulator had closed the probe saying there was no merit in the charges made.

Moving forward, Infosys has a lot to do if it has to avoid a corporate governance issue on the lines of the Tata vs Mistry saga.

At the time of writing, Infosys share price was trading up by 2.3%.

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