The BSE-Sensex is trading up by 270 points and NSE-Nifty is trading up by 85 points. BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices are trading higher by 1.4% and 1.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 49.26 to the US dollar.
Food stocks are trading firm led by Ruchi Soya, VST Industries. According to a leading financial daily, Britannia is now looking beyond its biscuit business and is seeking to expand into the food and beverages industry. As per the management they would be interested in anything that people eat or drink. It is looking at options in dairy, baked snacks, and ready-to-cook breakfast segments. At present, biscuits make up for four-fifth of the company's total sales. It may be noted here that Britannia's sales have been growing at 22% every year already, but the company feels that a sales number of Rs 46 bn is too low for a company like theirs. In January, Britannia had launched its "Healthy Start" range of ready-to-cook breakfast foods.
Pharma stocks are trading firm today. Zandu Realty and JB Chemicals are leading the pack of gainers. As per a recent announcement, the Finance Ministry is not in favour of putting any sort of foreign direct investment (FDI) limits in the pharmaceutical sector. However, this brings it at odds with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). DIPP wants the FDI limit to be capped to 49%. This is being advised by DIPP in the wake of recent price hikes of drugs which it feels is a result of the rising ownership of foreign companies. On the other hand, Ministry feels that it would act as detrimental to the country's image of investment destination. It would scare off foreign participants and result in lower investments in the sector. At present, foreign companies are allowed to invest up to 100% in India without any approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).