Today's Market: Indian stock markets open firm - Indian Stock Market News
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Indian stock markets open firm 
(Fri, 19 Jul 09:30 am) 
The major Asian stock markets have opened on a mixed note with Japan (down 1.4%) and Taiwan (down 1.5%) leading the losses. However, the markets in Indonesia (up 0.3%) and Malaysia (up 0.4%) are trading in green. The Indian stock markets indices have opened the day on a firm note with stocks in the software and auto space leading the gains. However, the stocks in the power and banking sector are leading the losses.

The Sensex today is up by around 57 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 9 points (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.2% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 59.84 to the US dollar.

Indian Pharma stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Indoco Remedies and J.B. Chemicals leading the gains. However, Panacea Biotech Ltd and Elder Pharma were leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, nine drug makers are likely to be slapped with a heavy penalty of Rs 25 bn by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) over allegedly selling anti-asthma drug Doxofylline without prior price approval. The decision follows a recent Supreme Court order against the industry that brought the widely prescribed drug under price control. The penalty will be calculated in retrospect from 2009, when the price of the drug was fixed by NPPA. As per some official sources, the notice has already been sent to four drug companies - Ranbaxy, Cipla, Cadila and Glenmark - for allegedly overcharging on sale of their individual brands containing Doxofylline. NPPA has sought details and data from others and is likely to issue notice to the rest of the firms as well.

Private Bank stocks have opened the day mainly in the red with Indusind Bank and Karnataka Bank leading the losses. Axis Bank has announced results for the first quarter ended June 2013 (1QFY14). The total income for the quarter witnessed a growth of 15.9% on a year on year (YoY) basis. The gross nonperforming assets (NPAs) of the bank at the end of the quarter stood at 1.10 % of advances as compared to 1.06 % in the corresponding quarter last year. The bank has reported a 22% YoY in the net profits for the quarter. The growth in the bottomline was boosted by higher interest income. The net interest income for the quarter grew by 31% YoY. The bank has considerable exposure to troubled infrastructure projects as well as to midsize companies facing cash-flow problems. As such, it has also increased its provisions against bad loans and contingencies in the quarter to Rs. 7.1 bn from Rs. 2.6 bn a year earlier.
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