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Share Markets Open Firm; Banking Stocks Rally
Thu, 17 Nov 09:30 am

Asian markets were lower on Thursday, as crude oil prices extended declines. The Shanghai Composite is off 0.54% while the Hang Seng is down 0.13%. The Nikkei 225 is trading flat. Stock markets in Europe and America also ended their previous session on a negative note. The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a seven-session winning streak to finish lower by 0.29%

Meanwhile, Indian share markets have opened the day on a positive note. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 128 points (up 0.5%) while the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 31 points (up 0.4%). The BSE Mid Cap index opened up by 0.6% and BSE Small Cap index opened higher by 0.3%. The rupee is trading at 67.91 to the US$.

Barring realty and Information Technology stocks, all the sectoral indices have opened in the green with banking & capital goods stocks leading the pack of gainers.

Pharma stocks are trading positive with Elder Pharma and Indoco Remedies leading the gains. As per an article in The Economic Times, Sun Pharma's arm Taro Pharmaceuticals USA Inc is recalling 17,100 kits of Kamedis Bio-Herbal Dandruff Care System in the US. The drug has been recalled on account of being sub-potent drug, out of specification assay values on stability for the active ingredient, zinc pyrithione.

According to US FDA (Food & Drug Administration), the voluntary nationwide ongoing recall is a class III recall. A class III recall is initiated in a situation in which use of or exposure to a violative product is not likely to cause adverse health consequences.

Considering the pharma's regulatory distresses, are Indian pharma companies now adapting to the scrutiny by the USFDA? Bhavita Nagrani, our pharma sector analyst, shares her insights in one of our premium editions of The 5 Minute Wrap Up (Subscription required).

Meanwhile, Sun Pharma has signed an agreement with the government of Madhya Pradesh to lend a helping hand to prevent reintroduction of Malaria in Madhya Pradesh. The agreement is a tri-party agreement between Indian Council of Medical Research, Government of Madhya Pradesh and Foundation for Disease Elimination and Control of India (FDEC-India).

According to the company, the partnership agreement signed is an important step towards elimination of malaria from India by 2030. Moreover, the project will be launched across 1,233 villages in MP by January 2017.

Sun Pharma's share price opened the trading day down by 0.3%.

Moving on to the news from stocks in telecom sector. According to an article in a leading financial daily, Bharti Airtel announced that it has completed the merger formalities of its subsidiary Airtel Bangaldesh with Robi Axiata.

In January, Bharti Airtel's subsidiary, Airtel Bangladesh Ltd had signed a merger agreement with Robi Axiata which is a unit of Malaysia-based Axiata Group Bhd. The merger was completed following the fulfilment of the condition precedent to the agreement and filing of the merger order with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms of Bangladesh Court.

Post the merger, Axiata will hold 68.7% stake in the combined entity, while Airtel will hold 25%. The remaining 6.3% stake will be held by NTT DoCoMo. Currently, Malaysia-based Axiata had a 91.6% stake in Robi and NTT Docomo 8.4%. The merger is a part of Airtel's initiative to restructure operations in all markets where it trails one or more market leaders.

Notably, Robi has 23.2 million active customers as of August, according to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission's data. The combined entity will be the second largest mobile operator in Bangladesh with 32.2 million customers. Moreover, Robi-Airtel merged entity will be the largest spectrum holder in both 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz bands with 12 units and 17 units of such airwaves respectively.

Bharti Airtel's share price opened up by 1.3%.

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Jan 17, 2018 (Close)