Indian share markets continued to languish below the dotted line in the post-noon trading session. Barring pharma, all the sectoral indices are trading in the red with realty and metal stocks being the biggest losers.
Food stocks are trading mixed with Agro Tech and Godfrey Philips being the major gainers whereas Britannia and Ruchi Soya Industries are trading in the red. As per a leading financial daily, ITC is making plans to become a pan-India player in the dairy industry. The company would be setting up plants in six states namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Reportedly, the company through its Integrated Rural Development programme has access to at least one million breedable cattle for sourcing milk across seven states. ITC has set up 261 cattle development centres in Karnataka, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. The company also has a strong relationship with rural farmers for procurement of wheat for its Aashirvaad brand as well as agri-linkages through e-choupal initiative. This move is part of the company's strategy to reduce its dependence on the tobacco business. Currently non-cigarette FMCG business has a 17% sales share whereas cigarette sales account for 62% of overall sales. ITC stock is trading up by 0.5%.
Most Indian Pharma stocks are trading on a negative note today. While JB Chemicals and Orchid Chemicals are leading the pack of losers, Glenmark Pharma is among the few stocks trading higher. As per a leading business daily, pharma major Cipla Ltd has announced that it will invest about Rs 6 bn in research & development during this year. The investment is directed towards implementing new research oriented projects. The company's R&D expense has increased by 0.3% YoY to 5.4% of revenue in FY14. It has undertaken R&D expansion in its Mumbai centre. In FY14, the company had over 90 filings for formulations in Europe and North America, while over 1,000 filings in other international markets. It has also received more than 50 approvals in Europe and North America and more than 800 approvals in other international markets. Currently, there are over 200 development projects underway indicating a robust pipeline. This move comes at a time when Piramal Enterprises announced recently that it plans to shut its Mumbai R&D division on account of fall in new drug approvals.