Monday, March 2, 2009

Stock Market News, Financial News - Mar 2, 2009

India manufacturing shrinks for fourth month in Feb

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian manufacturing activity shrank for a fourth straight month in February as the global downturn hurt demand and soured business sentiment, a survey showed on Monday.

The ABN AMRO Bank purchasing managers' index (PMI), based on a survey of 500 companies, rose to a seasonally adjusted 47.0 in February from January's 46.7.

A reading above 50 signals economic expansion while a figure below 50 suggests contraction. Manufacturing makes up about 16 percent of India's gross domestic product.  (More ... ) 


ICAI hunts for skeletons in boards where independent directors quit

By JAYANT SINGH, Indian Express Finance

The sudden spate of independent directors quitting the boards of several listed companies following the Satyam Computer scam has sent warning signals buzzing at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Sensing a possibility of numerous skeletons in the closet, the apex regulatory body for accounting and auditing professionals has started dispatching letters to those companies where such directors have quit over the past one-and-a-half months, notifying them that the Institute will soon initiate investigation into their balance sheets.

"There has to be something wrong if so many independent directors quit suddenly after the Satyam issue came to light. It's for the best that we pre-empt the problem before another such case comes up," ICAI president Uttam Prakash Agarwal told The Indian Express. (More...)


Drug Hits

Financial Express

The buzz emerging from the research laboratories of Indian pharmaceutical companies is hard to miss. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals is expected to launch its new molecule called Crofelemer for its anti-diarrhoea drug by 2010. Crofelemer, that was in-licensed by Glenmark in July 2006, was originally developed by the US-based Napo Pharmaceuticals. Currently, it is going through Phase III trials in the US.

Ranbaxy Laboratories achieved a significant landmark recently in its collaborative research programme with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). It has commenced Phase I human clinical trials on the lead compound for treatment of respiratory inflammation. Ranbaxy could receive over $100 million in potential milestone payments for a product developed by it and subsequently launched by GSK in multiple indications and up to double digit royalties on worldwide net sales.

"Several research programmes are being pursued within the Ranbaxy-GSK alliance against anti-infective, respiratory and oncology indications," says Ramesh Adige, president, Ranbaxy Laboratories. Ranbaxy and Merck are also working together for discovery of antibiotics and antifungal drugs.  (More ... )


Rupee extends drop on outflow concerns

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The rupee extended its drop to hit a record low of 52 against the dollar on Monday on heightened concerns of rising foreign funds outflows while arbitrage play between the onshore and offshore markets hurt.

At 9:51 a.m., the partially convertible rupee was at 51.76/79 per dollar. It had closed at 51.10/12 on Friday.

The rupee traded at 52 per dollar according to Reuters data, which dealers said was a miss hit and the deal could be reversed with the counter-party later in the day. They said the low was around 51.8 per dollar.

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