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Negative Finish to the Week
Fri, 23 Sep Closing

Indian equity markets witnessed selling pressure in the final hours of trade and finished on a negative note amid weak European markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 105 points, while the NSE Nifty finished down by 36 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap finished up by 0.3%, while the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 0.1%. Losses were largely seen in power and banking stocks.

Asian markets finished lower today with shares in Japan leading the region. The Nikkei 225 is down 0.32%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is off 0.31% and China's Shanghai Composite is lower by 0.28%. European markets are also trading lower. The DAX & the FTSE 100 are down 0.2% each. The CAC 40 is off 0.43%.

The rupee was trading at 66.65 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 46.38 at the time of writing.

According to an article in Business Standard, Bharti Airtel will invest around Rs 146.7 billion in the Indian and south Asian markets in the current financial year in order to strengthen its network capabilities.

Airtel had a capex outflow of Rs 153 billion in India and South Asia and Rs 51 billion in Africa in FY16. For FY17, it has given a guidance of around Rs 146.7 billion capex in India and South Asia and around Rs 46.7 billion in Africa.

Reportedly, the firm made a capital expenditure of Rs 41 billion in the first quarter of FY17. Airtel had last year invested Rs 600 billion in three years to upgrade its network to provide better quality services to customers.

In another news update, Airtel has unveiled a special 4G data pack that offers free data for 90 days to combat Reliance Jio's free data offers. In the Delhi circle, the pack is priced at Rs 1,495 for existing prepaid users, and Rs 1,494 for new users on their first recharge.

With this pack these customers can stay online for a longer duration without having to worry about exhausting their data limits or going for frequent recharges.

The pack is currently available in Delhi and will be launched across other circles over the next few days.

The offerings have prompted competition including incumbent telecom companies to drop data rates by up to 67%. However, the new plan of free data is a fresh response by the market leader to the new entrant, with the intent of retaining its massive customer base (Subscription Required).

Moving on to the news from the pharma sector. According to an article in The Economic Times, Sun Pharmaceuticals is among the several bidders for Bayer Cropscience's dermatology brands.

Reportedly, Bayer AG's dermatology unit is attracting interest from a number of healthcare and private equity firms. This move is foreseen by the company to raise funds for its proposed acquisition of Monsanto Company amounting to US$66 billion. Other pharmaceutical companies that are also interested in the sale include Perrigo and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

In September 2014, Bayer had agreed to buy Monsanto to create the world's biggest supplier of seeds and pesticides. Bayer will fund the transaction with a combination of debt and equity.

Moreover, Sun Pharma is steadily building a dermatology portfolio as part of its specialty focus in the US. Sun Pharma has also quoted IMS data to claim its dermatology prescription volumes, along with its subsidiaries.

Further, if Sun Pharma successfully progresses into the next stages of development and clinches Bayer's portfolio, it will help accelerate its growth plans in the US.

As per the reports, the dermatology market is presently growing at 14% and is valued at Rs 60 billion. Sun Pharma's entrance into the re-pigmentation segment will give it an edge in this space.

Sun Pharma finished the day down by 1% on the BSE.

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Mar 23, 2018 (Close)