Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 0.27%, while the Nikkei 225 led the Shanghai Composite lower. They fell 1.28% and 0.82% respectively. European markets opened on a mixed note. The rupee was trading at 66.30 against the US$ at the time of writing.
Shares of IDBI bank, a public sector lender, rose by 2% after it was reported that the company has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with National Housing Bank (NHB). This MoU is a part of the implementation process of the credit linked interest subsidy scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The aim of the scheme is to address the funding requirements of the urban poor belonging to the Economically Weaker Section / lower income groups aspiring to acquire / construct residential houses. The subsidy at the rate of 6.5% would be available up to Rs 600,000 for the loan tenure up to a maximum period of 15 years.
Majority of the stocks in the healthcare sector traded in the green with Piramal Enterprises and Divis Labs being the leading gainers. According to a leading financial daily, Novartis India has received final approval from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to sell its OTC division to GlaxoSmithKline Consumer (GSK CPL) pursuant to the terms of the approval dated January 13, 2015. Earlier in January 2015, the company's board approved the sale of its OTC division to GlaxoSmithKline Consumer- a consumer healthcare joint venture between Novartis AG and GSK for a consideration of Rs 1.09 bn. The move followed a global deal struck in April last year, under which Switzerland-based Novartis AG had agreed with UK-based GlaxoSmithKline plc to create a global consumer healthcare joint venture, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer, as part of their global portfolio transformation. The scrip of Novartis ended the day on an optimistic note (up 1.8%) on the BSE.