Indian markets languished in the red for the entire session today as the euphoria over Yuan appreciation wore off from global indices. While IT, capital goods and banking stocks failed to garner any investor favour, FMCG and healthcare stocks proved their defensive stance. The Chinese market was the only one in Asia that ended in the positive. Europe has also opened the day on a weak note.
The BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty closed with losses of around 127 points (0.7%) and 37 points (0.7%) respectively. Mid cap stocks followed suit and shed marginal gains. The BSE Smallcap index, however, closed 0.1% higher.
Engineering major L&T continues to bag orders in the engineering and construction segment. The company's thermal power plant construction (TPCC) business unit has received two orders worth Rs 8.3 bn from GVK Power for a power plant in Andhra Pradesh and in Punjab. L&T would be working with Hyundai for the entire construction and certain electrical, mechanical balance of plant items. L&T's order book at the end of FY10 stood at Rs 1,000 bn, a growth of 43% over the previous year. Though the company has been able to recoup to some extent the sluggish growth it showed during the first nine months of FY10, execution risks continue to remain a concern.
As per a leading business daily, food and hotel major ITC has sent a notice to stock exchanges citing its plans to issue bonus shares in the ratio 1:1. This is to celebrate the company's centenary year. It may be noted that ITC's sales grew 16.7% during FY10 backed by higher sales in the FMCG business as well as the paper and paperboard business. Cigarette portfolio of the company grew 20% YoY. Sales would have been stronger had the governments of several states not increased the VAT on cigarettes over the consensus VAT of 12.5%. Some states during the year also levied entry tax on cigarettes while some states increased the entry tax rate affecting cigarette sales. The company, however, continues to lag in the performance of the hotel business.
Piramal Healthcare has announced plans to acquire the assets of Canada's BioSyntech Inc for Canadian dollar 3.9 m. BioSyntech is a medical device company, specialising in the development and manufacturing of regenerative medicines. The company plans to fund the acquisition primarily through internal accruals. It may be noted that Piramal had subscribed to common shares of BioSyntech in FY06, constituting 17% of the latter's equity. BioSyntech was unable to raise further capital to fund its ongoing operations and to repay maturing debts. The company had sought court protection under insolvency proceedings.
Piramal Healthcare itself recently announced the sale of its domestic formulations business to Abbott Laboratories. The deal was worth around US$ 3.7 bn. The acquisition seems in the light of utilizing the surplus cash available with Piramal after the sale of formulations business to Abbott.