Indian share markets shed early gains and fluctuated on either side of the dotted line in the post-noon trading session. Majority of the sectoral indices are trading negative with pharma, realty and metal stocks leading the pack of losers. Oil and gas, PSU and FMCG stocks are among the gainers.
Majority of the Indian pharma stocks are trading negative with Lupin and Orchid Chemicals being the biggest losers. Panacea Biotech and IPCA Labs are among the few stocks trading in the green. As per a leading financial daily, Aurobindo Pharma has won US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approval to sell generic version of anti-depressant drug Lexapro in the US markets. The company has bagged approvals for the escitalopram oxalate tablets in 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg strengths. According to IMS, Lexapro has a market size of US$ 2.8 bn. The company will be manufacturing the drug in the Unit III formulations facility in Hyderabad. Aurobindo Pharma has a total of 158 abbreviated new drug applications (ANDA) approvals from USFDA so far out of which 133 are final approvals. The stock is marginally up.
Most of the PSU banking stocks are trading negative with Union Bank and Indian Bank being the biggest losers. A leading business daily has reported India's largest bank State Bank of India (SBI) is looking at aggressively expanding its work force over the next one year. The bank is planning to add 20,000 personnel across both the officer and clerical cadres, which would increase its work force by 10%. As of June 2012, the bank had about 214,000 people on its pay roll. It is believed that SBI is targeting to open 1,200 branches this year. As such, a majority part of the staff being hired is for the same. In FY11 and FY12, the average employee per branch stood at 16 and 15 respectively. Also, this strong hiring plan is aimed towards readying itself for the future given that about 35 to 40% of the staff is expected to retire within a period of five years (across all levels).