Indian equity markets continued to trade in the negative during the previous two hours of trade. Sectoral indices traded mixed with auto and IT stocks leading the list of losers while energy and healthcare stocks witnessed some buying interest.
The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by 30 points and NSE-Nifty is trading down by 10 points. BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices are trading flat at the moment. The rupee is trading at 54.75 to the US dollar.
Pharma stocks are trading strong led by Panacea Biotech and Dr Reddy's. According to a leading daily, global pharma major Pfizer Inc. is looking at a probable purchase of Strides Arcolab's injectables unit named Agila Specialties. The unit is expected to be valued at US$ 2 bn and could be announced in the first quarter. We may note here that large drug manufacturers are now seeking acquisitions in the emerging markets to offset the impact of expiry of US patents on their drugs. The expiry of patents is likely to bring a decline in the revenues of global pharma innovators. Pfizer Inc. too is expected to lose around US$ 2.75 bn in sales in 2013 because of this. Strides and Pfizer Inc. formed a partnership in 2010 under which Strides provides generic versions of off-patent drugs.
Engineering stocks are trading mixed with Finolex Cables and Crompton Greaves leading the gains while Alstom T&D and Bharat Bijlee are trading weak. According to a leading financial daily, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is planning to renovate its Varjob Hydro Power plant. The plant located in Barki Tojik, Tajikistan is funded by the Indian government. According to BHEL, this would help better India's business relations with Tajikistan and also open the Tajikistan market for India. This is also in line with the state run company's objective of providing continued support to Tajikistan's hydro energy sector. BHEL is also implementing other hydro projects elsewhere in Rwanda, Afghanistan, Vietnam, DR Congo and Bhutan.