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The Indian share markets continue to trade in the green during the noon trading session amid expectations of positive gross domestic product (GDP) data to be released later in the day. Sectoral indices are trading mixed with capital goods, banking and consumer durables stocks witnessing maximum buying interest. While metal and realty stocks are trading lower.
The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 99 points (up 0.4%) while the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 35 points (up 0.4%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.6% and BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.9%. Gold prices, per 10 grams, are trading at Rs 28,672 levels. Silver price, per kilogram is trading at Rs 40,739 levels. Crude oil is trading at Rs 3,146 per barrel. The rupee is trading at 68.65 to the US$.
Stocks in Public Sector Banks are trading on positive note with only union bank and bank of Maharashtra trading in the red. While demonetization and incremental taxes are being slapped on black money holders on the one side, bad loans are rising at an alarming rate on the other. The Union government has announced that the gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of the Public sector banks (PSBs) have seen nearly Rs 800 million increase in three months ended September 2016.
PSBs continue to play with fire by offering waivers to creditors, resulting in an increase in gross NPAs. As on September 30, gross NPAs of PSBs rose to Rs 6303.2 billion as against Rs 5503.5 billion by June end. This works out to an increase of Rs 799.8 billion on quarter on quarter basis.
Reportedly, the RBI projects the gross NPA of banking sector to go up to 8.5% by March 2017.
In this regard, the government has taken sector-specific measures (infrastructure, power, road textiles, steel etc.) where incidence of NPA is high. According to the Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar, listed measures like enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), amendment of the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act (SARFAESI) and the Recovery of Debt due to Banks and Financial Institutions (RDDBFI) Act aimed at improving resolution or recovery of bank loans.
Apart from this, RBI has come out with a number of tools such as corporate debt restructuring, formation of Joint Lenders' Forum, strategic debt restructuring scheme and sustainable structuring of stressed assets to fight NPAs.
Gross NPAs of the PSBs have surged from 5.4% of the total advances (Rs 2.67 trillion) in financial year 2014-15, to 9.3% (Rs 4.76 trillion) in FY 2015-16.
Moving on to the news from stocks in pharma sector. As per an article in a leading financial daily, Pfizer will be discontinuing its popular Corex (a combination of Chlorpheniramine Maleate, Codeine Phosphate, and Carmoisine and Sunset) cough syrup. However, it will retain the Corex brand for future line extensions.
The decision was taken after Pfizer undertook a comprehensive review of its respiratory offerings. The step was taken to cover a broader range of indications through an expanded product portfolio. As a result of this review, the company decided to launch additional products while discontinuing the manufacture of certain SKUs. Before the ban, Corex Cough Syrup had sales of Rs 2.44 billion in FY 2015-16.
With the first launch in December this year, the company will go on to launch a series of products as line extensions under the Corex brand name.
Recently, the Indian Health Ministry announced a ban on 344 fixed dosage combination (FDC) drugs. FDC drugs are developed using two or more different active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in a single pill. Among the various combinations, the drugs with codeine content have been impacted the most. Bhavita Nagrani, our Research analyst had soon pointed out that Pfizer will have to stop selling Corex (Subscription Required). She also stated that the ban will impact the other pharma companies with a considerable part of FDC drugs falling into the category.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Natco Pharma has received final approval of Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for generic version of Armodafinil Tablets 50 mg 150 mg and 250 mg.
Reportedly, Natco and its marketing partner Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc. is planning to launch this product in the USA market immediately. The drug is a wakefulness promoting agent for oral administration.
According to IMS health sales data, the tablets had US sales of around US$ 480 million for twelve months ending December 2015.
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