The Indian stock market recovered most of the morning session loss on account of return of buying interest in heavyweights during the last two hours of trade and are now trading near the dotted line. Stocks from the auto, capital goods and power are leading the pack of gainers while those from consumer durables and software space are trading weak.
Power stocks have been trading mixed with Neyveli Lignite, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC Ltd) and Reliance Infrastructure leading the pack of gainers. However, Reliance Power, PTC India Ltd and Jaiprakash Power are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, NTPC Ltd has been given permission by the power ministry to exit from International Coal Ventures Pvt. Ltd (ICVL). The move is likely to hurt India's efforts to acquire overseas coal assets. It is important to note here that ICVL was floated on the coal ministry's initiative. It was promoted by five state-owned firms (one of which is NTPC) two years ago to buy coal mines overseas. So far, NTPC hasn't managed to close a single purchase. Its 14% share in the consortium is expected be split proportionately among the remaining partners. The reasons cited by NTPC to make this move are that the product offered by ICVL doesn't fufil the thermal coal requirements of the company. The other stakeholders are more interested in metallurgical coal reserves to feed their steel mills and the thermal coal offered to the company did not meet the utility's technical requirements.
Most of the MNC Pharma stocks have been trading weak with Merck Ltd, Novartis and Pfizer leading the pack of losers. However, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals
(GSK Pharma) and Abbott India are trading in the green. As per a leading financial daily, in a fight to retain market share of world's largest selling drug, Pfizer has offered to deliver Lipitor at a cut price of US$ 4 directly to patients. Lipitor is the brand name for atorvastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug. It has annual sales of over US$10 billion. Pfizer has taken this step just days before the US patent for the medicine is due to expire. The move is likely to have adverse implications for Ranbaxy Pharma, which has the exclusive rights to sell the generic version for three months beginning November 30. If Ranbaxy fails to launch the drug on November 30, Watson Pharma, which has bought the rights to sell generic Lipitor, will launch its version in the market.