Indian equity markets languished in the red throughout the trading session today on the back of persistent selling pressure across index heavyweights. With the indices gaining new highs last week, investors chose to book profits in today's session. The indices began the day's proceedings on a cautious note and subsequent hours only saw them move deeper into the red. There was no respite in the final trading hour either. While the Sensex today closed lower by 229 points (down 1.2%), the NSE-Nifty today closed lower by 71 points (down 1.2%). The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap were not spared either as they closed lower by 0.4% and 0.2% respectively. Barring healthcare stocks, losses were seen across sectors.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have also opened on a mixed note. The rupee was trading at Rs 52.54 to the dollar at the time of writing.
MNC pharma stocks closed in the red today with the key losers being Sanofi India and Abbott India. As per a leading business daily, the new drug pricing policy which aims to control prices of 348 essential drugs is likely to hurt the fortunes of pharma companies in the Indian market. However, MNC pharma companies are likely to be impacted much more than their domestic counterparts since the domestic market accounts for a larger share of overall revenues. In September, a Group of Ministers (GoM) approved the proposal to control prices of these drugs, which have significant share in the domestic market. The ceiling price formula is based on weighted average price of all brands with more than 1% market share based on volume. The prices used for calculating the reference or ceiling prices will be taken as of March 31, 2012. Companies will be allowed to take price increases each year to the extent of change in the wholesale price index (WPI) during the year. The ceiling price will be reset once in five years. Drugs by MNC pharma companies typically enjoyed a premium in pricing over those of its domestic counterparts. Hence the extent of price reduction post the policy coming into place will also be higher.
As per a leading business daily, Sintex Industries aims to end FY13 with a single digit growth in revenues. The company is positive about its custom moulding segment, which at present contributes around 32% to its total turnover and which the management believes will grow in double digits during the period. It must be noted that in 1QFY13, the company's consolidated sales had declined by 2.8% YoY and this was largely due to the subdued performance from the plastics segment. The plastics business, which formed around 89% of the company's consolidated sales, declined by 3.2% YoY during the quarter. This was primarily due to non conducive growth environment in the monolithic business. However, despite tough conditions the momentum in the domestic custom molding business and prefabricated structures was healthy. In terms of segmental breakdown, revenues from both building materials and custom molding declined 4.6% and 2.1% YoY respectively during the quarter. The stock closed lower by 2% today.