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Sensex Opens Flat; IT & Pharma Stocks Top Gainers
Wed, 28 Dec 09:30 am

Asian markets are lower today as Japanese and Hong Kong shares fall. The Nikkei 225 is off 0.03% while the Hang Seng is down 0.09%. The Shanghai Composite is trading down by 0.28%. Stock markets in the US and Europe closed their previous session on a firm note.

Meanwhile, Indian share markets have opened the day on a flattish note with a positive bias. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 80 points while the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 14 points. The BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index have opened the day down by 0.4% & 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 68 to the US$.

Barring realty stocks , all sectoral indices have opened the day in green with information technology, healthcare and infrastructure stocks witnessing maximum buying interest.

Energy stocks opened the day on a positive note with only GAIL and ONGC trading in the red. As per an article in a leading financial daily, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) said that cashless transactions at its outlets have jumped to 26% after 8 November when high value notes were banned. Cashless transactions accounted 10% time before the note ban and expects at least half of all transactions to turn cashless by March.

In this regard, BPCL has tied up with SBI, HDFC Bank, and some other major banks to install Point of Sales (PoS) terminals. BPCL has also joined hands with Paytm, FreeCharge, Oxigen, Reliance Jio, SBI Buddy, and Fino for enabling mobile-wallet transactions at its retail outlets.

Retail sale of oil products like petrol, diesel, CNG/PNG and LPG, in volume terms account for around 7.3 trillion transactions per annum, according to BPCL. The company is expecting over 50% of the retail transactions to be in cashless mode carried out through loyalty cards, debit/credit, e-wallets, or even NEFT etc.

However, the prominent question stands here is that is India ready to go digital? Notably, with India having only around 15.1 lakh point of sales machines, the demand for debit and credit cards, point of sale systems, e-wallets, etc. exceeds current supply.

Demonetisation Unravels Huge Opportunity for Point of Sale Systems

Demonetisation is war. Sectors like microfinance and real-estate are leading the fight. The biggest opportunity, however, is for players who will make India a cashless economy. One such opportunity in the point of sale systems. As per an SBI report, India needs at least twenty lakh point of sale systems for this transition to happen.

Going forward, with Only 15% of India's one billion wireless subscribers and around six lakh villages not having adequate mobile or internet connectivity, whether India achieves the target in the future will be the key thing to watch out for.

BPCL's share price opened the day down by 0.5%.

Moving on to the news from stocks in pharma sector. According to an article in The Business Standard, Lupin has received tentative approval from the US health regulator to sell Olmesartan medoximil tablets in the American market. The drug is indicated for the treatment of hypertension, along or with other antihypertensive agents to lower blood pressure.

Lupin received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for tablets in the strengths, 5 mg, 20 mg and 40 mg. The drugs are the AB rated generic equivalent of Daiichi Sankyo Inc's Benicar tablets 5mg, 20mg and 40mg.

According to IMS MAT September 2016 sales data, Benicar Tablets had annual US sales of US$1.06 billion.

The pharma industry as a whole is undergoing regulatory crackdowns. Considering the pharma's regulatory distresses, are Indian pharma companies now adapting to the scrutiny by the USFDA (Subscription Required). Our pharma sector analyst, Bhavita Nagrani, is of the opinion that Lupin was able to insulate its growth despite rising pressures in the sector. She has recently shared a detailed view on the company and valuations in the recommendation report of The India Letter.

Lupin's share price opened the day down by 0.6%.

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Feb 23, 2018 (Close)