Indian equity markets continued to trade in the red during the last two hours of trade. Sectoral indices represented a mixed performance with IT and auto stocks leading the losses while healthcare and banking stocks managed some gains.
Steel stocks are trading weak led by Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and JSW Steel. According to a leading financial daily, Tata Steel has raised its stake in Tata Sponge Iron to 51%. The steel company bought 11.26% stake through a voluntary open offer thereby increasing the stake from 39.74% to 51%. Total public shareholding in Tata Sponge iron is now 45.5% as compared to the previous 56.7%. We may recollect here that Tata Sponge Iron was set up as a joint venture between Tata Steel and the Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Orissa Limited (IPICOL). However, in 1991, Tata Steel made it an associate company by buying out IPICOL's stake. In July this year, Tata Steel had launched a voluntary open offer at Rs 375 per share. The Tata company however has no plans to merge Tata Sponge with itself.
Pharma stocks are trading strong led by Glenmark Pharma and Ipca Labs. According to a leading financial daily, Wockhardt has received approval from US health regulator to sell generic ropinirole hydrochloride, which is used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. The company has received US FDA approval for extended-release tablets in multiple strengths of 2mg, 4mg, 6mg, 8mg and 12mg containing ropinirole hydrochloride. Ropinirole's extended release tablet is the generic name for the brand Requip XL, marketed in the US by Glaxo SmithKline. Wockhardt will manufacture the extended release tablets of ropinirole at its facility in Aurangabad. The technology for the tablets was developed in-house. This is the sixth US FDA approval for Wockhardt in the past two weeks. Three of these have been for extended-release products.