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Indian markets end flat
Fri, 20 Nov Closing

Indian markets had a volatile trading session today. After opening the day on a cautious note, strong buying activity pushed the indices above the dotted line in the morning session. However, in the final hours, profit booking across FMCG and realty sectors forced the indices to close on a flat note. While the BSE Sensex closed higher by around 27 points, the NSE-Nifty gained around 14 points. More interest was seen in midcap and smallcap stocks as the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap notched gains of 0.9% and 0.6% respectively. Gains were largely seen in oil & gas and capital goods stocks.

Asian markets finished broadly higher today with shares in Hong Kong leading the region. The Hang Seng is up 1.13%, while China's Shanghai Composite is up 0.37% and Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.1%. European markets are lower today with shares in France down the most. The CAC 40 is down 0.36%, while London's FTSE 100 is down 0.18% and Germany's DAX is lower by 0.09%. The rupee was trading at 66.11 against the US$ in the afternoon session.

According to a leading financial daily, Bharti Airtel's subsidiary Airtel Africa has entered into partnership with DataWind to provide mobile internet access at affordable prices in Nigeria. DataWind deals with bolstering internet connectivity in developing nations and emerging markets by offering internet connectivity at low prices. Bharti Airtel operates in Nigeria as Airtel Africa and is one of the four major telecom providers in the country.

Furthermore, Bharti Airtel has also reportedly entered into a partnership with the Government of Andhra Pradesh for a mobile literacy digital mission in collaboration with SERP (Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty). As a part of this, the company has launched 'E-Shakti', an initiative to build mobile internet awareness and literacy among the women of Andhra Pradesh.

While Bharti Airtel has been growing at healthy pace in India, its international operations particularly in Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have been a burden on its overall performance and have added pressure on its balance sheet. Indeed, in one of our premium editions of the 5 Minute WrapUp, we have highlighted how Bharti Airtel's return ratios for its standalone operations have been much higher than the consolidated picture in the last five years.

According to a leading business daily, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Cipla Ltd. are among the drug makers exploring bids for a portfolio of US generic products belonging to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Second round bids are due this week and the sale could fetch between US$ 500 million and US$ 800 million. The portfolio contains about 35 generic products for the US market, including oral solids, capsules, soft gels and hormones.

Generic drug manufacturers in India are seeking deals in the US to gain a stronger foothold there. The US Food and Drug Administration's increased scrutiny of overseas manufacturers has made it harder to get approvals in the world's biggest pharmaceutical market and acquisitions are increasingly seen as a way of boosting growth.

Cipla's business model is different to other pharma companies, and in the last couple of years, the company has been transforming its overall growth strategy. Cipla has strong front end presence in the domestic market but in the international markets, Cipla has been growing through partnerships and alliances. The company's long-term growth had been largely organic (not through acquisition) until it made its first big acquisition in 2013 of Cipla Medpro in Africa and the company has closed various small deals since then. Cipla recently announced the acquisition of two US-based companies, InvaGen and Exelan Pharmaceuticals, in a US$ 550 million all-cash deal. In our recent premium editions of the 5 Minute WrapUp, we have discussed the key points of the acquisition.

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Jan 19, 2018 (Close)