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Flat with a negative bias
Mon, 20 Dec 11:30 am

After starting today's session on a negative note, Indian indices are still languishing in the red. Other key Asian markets too are trading weak. Currently, heavyweights in the Sensex are trading weak with stocks from the banking and healthcare space bearing investors' brunt. However, stocks from the auto and consumer durables space are trading firm.

Currently, the BSE-Sensex is trading down by around 45 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 22 points. However, there has been some buying interest amongst the mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.07% and 0.44% respectively.

Pharma stocks are trading weak with Dr Reddy's and Glenmark Pharma leading the pack of losers. However, Indoco Remedies and IPCA Labs are trading strong. On failure to update safety warnings on the information leaflets, UK's drug regulator has asked Ranbaxy Laboratories to recall three batches of ‘Pravastatin' an anti-cholesterol drug. As per the regulator the patient information leaflets were not updated to include approved safety warnings, as required by the European Medicines Agency. It may be noted that the drug regulator has also issued alert on few batches of Ranbaxy's Simvastatin 20 mg and 40 mg tablets a while ago. It may be noted that revenues from these drugs in the UK do not form a major part of Ranbaxy's overall revenues from its product portfolio. Hence, it is not likely to result in any major revenue losses to the company. That said, the company has been facing issues with regulators for a while now and its problems with the US FDA have not yet been fully resolved.

Hotel stocks are trading firm led by Country Club and EIH. As per a leading financial daily, SEBI has approved the rights issue of EIH Ltd. This is expected to see a renewed battle for control of the hotel chain. It may be recalled that Reliance Industries limited (RIL) had picked up a 14.80% stake in EIH in August while ITC has a stake of 14.98% and the promoters control 32.31% stake in the company. RIL is seen as a financial investor by the company, while ITC is seen as a potential threat. The Rs 13 bn rights issue presents an opportunity for both RIL and ITC to up their stake beyond 15% and make a bid for control of EIH. As per norms, any entity owning more than 15% in a company has to make a mandatory open offer for at least additional 20% stake.

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Feb 20, 2018 (Close)