The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on mixed note with stock markets in China (up 0.7%) and Singapore (up 0.9%) leading the gains. However, stock markets in Taiwan (down 0.9%) and Malaysia (down 0.5%) were witnessing selling pressure. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a negative note. Sectoral indices have opened mixed with auto and software stocks leading the losses, while stocks in the healthcare and capital goods segment are leading the gains.
The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has recently expressed hope that the much-awaited GST Bill, that offers a uniform indirect tax structure, would be introduced in the current winter session of Parliament. He has suggested that the bill would be taken up by the Cabinet after Empowered Committee (of state finance Minister) meeting on December 12, 2014. The government has proposed to implement GST from April 1, 2016, and the new Finance Commission may be set up ahead of its schedule to look into the issues related to the new indirect tax regime. There are differences between the Centre and states on some issues with regard to the implementation of GST. In the past, the GST rollout has missed several deadlines because of lack of consensus among states over certain key issues regarding GST. Once implemented, it is likely to be major reform for Indian economy.
Indian Pharma stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Torrent Pharma Ltd and JB Chemicals Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has sent back the merger deal worth US$ 4 bn of Sun Pharma Ltd and Ranbaxy Ltd to the respective companies to make certain changes. Both the companies have been asked by the regulator to divest some brands to avoid monopolistic scenario, as the merged entity is likely to create dominant market share in certain key segments (mainly in anti-diabetic and cardiology therapies). It is noteworthy that around 37 drug categories are under scanner for potential market dominance. The merged entity will have 9.2 % share of the Indian pharma market. The regulator is likely to give final views on the deal by December 5.