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Markets on cusp of hitting new highs: Diwali festivities already on

The present mood of the markets will stay for some time at the bare minimum.

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Sensex Stock Market Update UP and Low

Markets were on fire last week and had a great show, celebrating the upcoming Diwali festival in advance. BSESENSEX was up 2,278.99 points or 5.75% to close at 41,893.06 points while NIFTY gained 621.15 points or 5.34% to close at 12,263.55 points. The broader market saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 gain 5.14%, 4.97% and 4.68% respectively. BSEMIDCAP was up 3.36% while BSESMALLCAP gained 2.22% The top sectoral index was BSEBANKEX which gained 12.25%. There were many stocks from the banking space which registered double digit gains. Indusind Bank was up 26.20% followed by SBI at 15.75%. ICICI Bank, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Bajaj twins Bajaj Finserve and Bajaj Finance were in the double-digit gainers list.

The BSESENSEX and NIFTY are within striking distance of making new lifetime highs on the benchmark indices. The present levels are a mere 380 points on the BSESENSEX and 167 points on NIFTY shy of those levels made on 20th January 2020. Whether it happens on Monday or a day later is difficult to predict but suffice to say that Diwali Muhurat would be with new highs. One must not forget that post covid-19 we had touched levels of 25k on BSESENSEX and 7.5 k on NIFTY in March 2020. This would mean that in under 7 months the markets have been on a roll gaining 2/3rd in value. A phenomenal rise by all standards.

The Indian Rupee lost 10 paisa or 0.13% to close at Rs 74.20 to the US Dollar. Dow Jones in the midst of the Presidential elections gained 1,821.80 points or 6.87% to close at 28,323.40 points. The US has chosen a new President in Joe Biden who has received 290 electoral votes compared to 214 for current President Donald Trump. Counting for three states is yet to be completed. Trump is leading in Alaska and North Carolina while Biden is leading in Georgia. If the present trend is maintained, the final tally would be 306 for Biden against 232 for Trump. In terms of popular votes, Biden leads by about 44 lac votes. There is a possibility of Trump taking the election to the courts and there being some litigation before the final verdict.

Markets have gained significantly and it can be attributed to a large extent to FII buying. In the month of November, FII’s have bought on a net basis 13,399 crs worth of stock so far while domestic institutions have sold worth Rs 6,789 crs. In the month of October, the net FII Purchases were Rs 14,537 crs while domestic institutions net sales were Rs 17,318 crs. In the last two days itself FII’s have bought in excess of Rs 10,000 crs. With domestic institutions facing redemption pressure, there is plenty of scope for them to buy on dips as they would have the opportunity to buy at lower levels when the situation demands and help in supporting the market.

The week ahead sees the mega issue from Gland Pharma Limited tapping the markets. The company is tapping the markets with its fresh issue for Rs 1,250 crs and an offer for sale of 3.48 cr shares in a price band of Rs 1490-1500. The issue size is Rs 6,480 crs at the top end and opens on Monday the 9th of November and closes on Wednesday the 11th of November. The promoter of the company is Fosun Singapore, and the group is a large conglomerate from China. The EPS for the company is Rs 49.88 and the PE multiple is between 29.87-30.07 based on financial year March 2020 numbers. The object of the issue is for fresh capex of Rs 168 crs and working capital of Rs 770 crs. This is India’s largest pharma issue and also one of the large issues otherwise across sectors. In this year this would be the largest issue to hit the capital markets.

Gland Pharma is a contract manufacturer and specialises in injectables. Its top line or revenues have grown from Rs 1,622 crs in March 2018 to Rs 2,633 crs in March 2020. The ED or enforcement directorate had attached shares of Ramalinga Raju, erstwhile Satyam Computer owner and holds 60 lac shares or 3.87% of the pre-ipo capital of the company. These shares are valued at Rs 900 crs at the IPO price and there is every possibility that the ED may sell these shares post listing. The company enjoys net margins of 29.34%. Its NAV is 235.32 as of 31st March 2020. While the PE multiple at about 30 times is in line with other leading pharma companies, the market cap to sales would be a very high number at almost double digit. This is cause for concern.

Saturday the 14th of November would see ‘Muhurat’ trading for ‘Samvat 2077’ being held. There would be a special session held between 6.15pm to 7.15pm at the bourses.

Covid-19 saw the world have 5,02,63,958 patients, 12,56,354 deaths and 3,55,50,153 patients who had recovered. In India we had 85,07,754 patients, 1,26,162 deaths and 78,68,968 patients who had recovered. Compared to the previous week the world saw 38,69,744 new patients, 5,51,889 deaths and 20,62,240 patients who had recovered. In India we had 3,23,672 new patients in the week, 4,013 deaths and 3,77,455 patients who had recovered.

The markets would continue their upward journey with increased volatility. The fact that we are on the verge of hitting new lifetime highs would add to the volatility and ensure sharp two-sided movements. FII buying would add impetus to the markets and provide the ammunition to the bulls. Use sharp rallies to sell and sharp falls to add to positions. The present mood of the markets will stay for some time at the bare minimum.

(Arun Kejriwal is the founder of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services. The views expressed are personal)

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West Bengal one of the most dynamic states of India: Moroccan Ambassador

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Mohamed Maliki

Kolkata, Jan 25 : Mohamed Maliki, Morocco’s Ambassador to India, shared the vision behind opening an Honorary Consulate in West Bengal, consolidating bilateral ties with India in the years to come.

Edited excerpts:

Q. What are the reasons behind opening an Honorary Consulate in West Bengal and how important is this for the bilateral relations?

A. India is a vast territory, almost a continent, with a large colourful diversity in terms of culture, traditions and languages, resulting in providing huge economic capabilities and opportunities, among other things. The State of West Bengal remains one of the most dynamic states of India with a sound economy. It is to be recalled here that the capital city of this state, Kolkata, was also the Capital of India from 1772 until 1911. It was and still is one of the oldest and important centres for trade in the Indian sub-continent. With the steady and positive development, in recent years, the relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of India had been undergoing, it was quite important to find new levers capable of enlarging the scope of cooperation between the two countries. In this perspective, reinforcing the cooperation between Morocco and other important states and regions of India presented serious advantages to take the bilateral relations to higher levels by creating new opportunities. Therefore, opening an Honorary Consulate in West Bengal became almost a natural step to focus on in this regard.

Once this idea ripened, it was not quite difficult to find the right person to occupy this post for the first time in West Bengal, in the person of Rashmi Chowdhary, who belongs to a well-established industrial family, which has developed close ties with Morocco. Known to be a dedicated woman in whatever she undertakes, combined to many other assets, the Moroccan competent authorities found it quite easy to approve her appointment as the first ever Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Morocco in Kolkata.

This new Office will certainly contribute in developing better understanding about Morocco to the people of West Bengal by projecting its rich cultural heritage, its civilisation of not least than 12 centuries and by enhancing more economic cooperation and encouraging more bilateral investments between the West Bengal and different regions of Morocco.

Q. What are your incentives on the positive evolution of the bilateral ties between India and Morocco, especially in the Covid-19 era?

A. The relations between the Morocco and India go to centuries back and have always been excellent and based on mutual understanding and respect. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1957, that is one year after the independence of Morocco, from French protectorate. The relations have deepened even more in recent years, especially after the historical visit of King of Morocco to India, in October 2015, and his memorable meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which both the leaders decided to elevate Morocco-India relationship to a new level of a genuine Strategic Partnership.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the cooperation between Rabat and New Delhi has increased. In fact, Morocco was able to purchase six million Hydroxychloroquine tablets from India, in May 2020. This helped the country not only to fight against the pandemic, but also to extend its support to many African countries by offering medicines and medical equipments as a gesture of solidarity and good will. Also, Morocco was among the very first countries to avail of the vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India, following the directly negotiated deal concluded on a commercial basis between the two parties.

Q. The bilateral trade witnessed a steady growth between India and Morocco to reach USD 2 billion in 2019. What needs to be done to increase the bilateral exchange to encourage more investments from both sides?

A. If Morocco-India political relations are excellent and are constantly being reinforced, it has been noticed that the bilateral trade did not benefit from this considerable advantage and did not grow as it should have, given the potentials that exist in both countries. Despite the encouraging fact that the bilateral exchanges have registered an average of US $1.6 billion yearly for the last decade to hit a new record during the year 2019 by reaching US $2 billion, it doesn’t reflect the ambitions the two countries have, especially that Morocco hopes to see India among its top 15 economic partners by 2025.

This ambition has been reiterated and underlined by the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs of both countries, during the bilateral consultations they held on the October 23, 2020, and during which a special focus has been given to the development of the economic relations and the facilitation of business opportunities. That is why, the opening of this Consulate in West Bengal constitutes an important step towards achieving this objective.

I would like to recall, in this regard, that India remains the largest receiver of Moroccan public investment in Asia, especially in the fertilizer and pharmaceutical sectors. Likewise, in the last four years, the number of Indian companies in Morocco has doubled. They cover many sectors, which were, till recently, a kind of privileged areas for Moroccan companies and their partners mainly from Europe, such as construction, pharmaceuticals, automotive, water and soda bottling, chemicals, IT, health, tourism, hospitality and others.

It is also important to mention that in order to give a real impetus to their economic relations, the Indian and Moroccan Governments signed and MoU in February 2019 facilitating the visa process for their respective business communities. As a result, business people of both countries have been granted a longer validity for their entry visas to both countries.

Q. Have you had dialogue with Indian policymakers to enter the trade zone near Tanger-Med Port as the area is emerging as a promising business hub in Morocco?

A. Everyone knows that business people look more for political stability, ease of doing business, economic reforms, cost of production, incentives provided by countries to foreign investors, including freedom of profit transfer and the availability of world class infrastructures such as new generation ports and airports and competitive logistic hubs.

The port of Tanger-Med has become, in few years, the first port in processing containers in the Mediterranean region. It has imposed itself as a global logistics hub, located on the Strait of Gibraltar and connected, so far, to 186 global ports in different corners of the world, including many ports in India.

Few Indian companies already have their industrial units in the free industrial zone of Tanger-Med in few sectors like the fibre-optics, textile and plastic industry. Others are considering seriously to have a presence there. The Indian users will also benefit from the strategic location of Morocco at the crossroad of Africa, Europe and the Arab world. This port could be a platform for India towards these regions and especially Africa, in which India is ambitious to have a more important presence both in terms of investments and bilateral trade. But Tanger-Med is only one among other logistic, industrial hubs and free zones in Morocco. Few others are also coming-up especially in the southern provinces of Morocco, such as the Atlantic Port of Dakhla.

Q. Are there any joint ventures in the health sector between Morocco and India, following the Covid-19 outbreak?

A. Well, one of the pillars on which the Strategic Partnership between India and Morocco is built is the health sector. The specificity is that the cooperation in the health sector between the two countries was not dictated by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was discussed, decided and implemented a few years back.

During a Ministerial visit to India, an agreement was signed by the Governments of the two countries to enhance cooperation in several areas of health sector, namely in the non-communicable diseases, including child cardiovascular diseases and cancer, drug regulation and pharmaceutical quality control, communicable diseases and maternal, child and neonatal health. This agreement also includes other areas of cooperation such as hospital twinning for exchange of good practices and training in administration and management of health services. During the same occasion, a MoU related to the cooperation in the field of telemedicine was signed between the Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research in Puducherry in India and the Mohamed VI University Hospital in Marrakech in Morocco. One of the focus areas under this MoU is the technical support in controlling epidemics.

This is to say that the contact between the Indian and Moroccan health officials was persistent and uninterrupted even before the Covid-19 outbreak. This dynamic did not benefit only to the public sector but to the private sector too and looks for opportunities within these frameworks. A number of Indian leading companies in the pharmaceutical industry, like Sun Pharma and Cipla, have also chosen Morocco to expand their activities. It is worth mentioning that the Indian business community, particularly in the medicine sector, has become well-informed and conscious about the advantages of having a footprint in Morocco because of the easiness in doing business and in facilitating market access for all regions of Africa and Europe as well. I must add that big names in the global pharmaceutical industry are progressively looking at Morocco as one of the best industrial hubs in Africa and in the Arab world.

–IANS

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Why Chinese involvement in financial frauds in India is alarming

G.K. Goswami Inspector General ATS said Xu Xunfu’s business visa had expired in July 2020, while Li Teng Li’s tourist visa expired in September 2020.

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New Delhi, Jan 25 : Within a span of 15 days, two major financial fraud cases involving Chinese nationals have come to the forefront. Soon after the Delhi Police unearthed a transnational malware and fraud syndicate and arrested two Chinese women in a gang of 12 in multiple raids starting January 13, two Chinese have been caught by the UP ATS from Noida for fraudulent monetary transactions.

UP ATS arrested two Chinese citizens in money laundering case, fraudulently  carrying fake SIM card - The India Print : theindiaprint.com, The Print
Two Chinese nationals arrested by UP ATS for money laundering worth crores

This is cause for alarm as it raises apprehensions that multiple Chinese syndicates have been operating within the country to cheat and defraud Indian citizens and capture personal data of unsuspecting people for illegitimate purposes.

When it arrested Chinese nationals Chaohong Deng Daoyong, 27 and Wu Jiazhi, 54, the Delhi Police said the accused were installing malware in devices of people in the garb of a multi-level marketing application.

Police said that around 40,000 confirmed victims have been identified who have been cheated of crores in two months. Almost Rs 4.75 crores of cheated money has been blocked in various accounts and more than Rs. 25 lakhs recovered in cash from the arrested Chinese nationals.

“The malicious app was also making millions of Indian users follow thousands of social media accounts of unknown origin and ownership, with huge potential of future misuse of this by a foreign entity,” said Anyesh Roy, DCP Crime Crime.

Now the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad (UPATS) has arrested Xu Xunfu a.k.a July and Li Teng Li a.k.a Alice from Gautam Buddha Nagar, following a red corner notice against them by the Interpol.

Additional Director General (law and order) Prashant Kumar said, “The UPATS arrested the two for purchasing SIM cards by submitting forged documents and then making fraudulent monetary transactions with those SIMs via banks. It is for the first time that the ATS has arrested Chinese nationals.”

He further said, “We traced the duo after interrogating 14 persons arrested last week from Delhi and different parts of Uttar Pradesh in a similar fraud.”

G.K. Goswami Inspector General ATS said Xu Xunfu’s business visa had expired in July 2020, while Li Teng Li’s tourist visa expired in September 2020.

The Delhi Police have also hinted two Chinese nationals Yangqing Zhang and Bao Peng , are the kingpins of this criminal conspiracy to cheat and defraud Indian citizens and hack into their devices through malicious mobile applications. This is a serious concern as kingpins of Chinese origin are hatching the conspiracy from locations outside India

Not just financial frauds but alleged Chinese involvement have also been claimed by Delhi police in a spying case as on September 14 last year, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police had arrested 61-year-old freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, for allegedly working with Chinese intelligence.

During Sharma’s police remand, a Chinese woman Qing Shi and her Nepalese partner Sher Singh alias Raj Bohra were also arrested. They were allegedly found supplying the scribe with huge amounts of money routed through hawala channels for conveying sensitive information to Chinese Intelligence, DCP Special Cell Sanjeev Yadav had said.

This is why the Indian Police force in a coordinated manner is keeping extra vigil on the working of these fraudster syndicates involving Chinese nationals.

(Zafar Abbas could be reached at [email protected])

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Male sex hormones may help treat breast cancer: Study

While endocrine therapy is standard-of-care for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, resistance to these drugs is the major cause of breast cancer mortality.

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Sydney : Researchers have found new evidence about the positive role of androgens, commonly thought of as male sex hormones but also found at lower levels in women, in breast cancer treatment.

In normal breast development, estrogen stimulates and androgen inhibits growth at puberty and throughout adult life.

Abnormal estrogen activity is responsible for the majority of breast cancers, but the role of androgen activity in this disease has been controversial.

The new research published in the journal Nature Medicine showed that androgens have potential for treatment of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

A cancer is called estrogen receptor positive if it has receptors for estrogen, according to Breastcancer.org.

Using cell-line and patient-derived models, the global team, including researchers at the University of Adelaide and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia, demonstrated that androgen receptor activation by natural androgen or a new androgenic drug had potent anti-tumour activity in all estrogen receptor positive breast cancers, even those resistant to current standard-of-care treatments.

In contrast, androgen receptor inhibitors had no effect.

“This work has immediate implications for women with metastatic estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, including those resistant to current forms of endocrine therapy,” said lead researcher Theresa Hickey, Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide.

“We provide compelling new experimental evidence that androgen receptor stimulating drugs can be more effective than existing (e.g. Tamoxifen) or new (e.g. Palbociclib) standard-of-care treatments and, in the case of the latter, can be combined to enhance growth inhibition,” said Wayne Tilley, Director of the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide.

Androgens were historically used to treat breast cancer, but knowledge of hormone receptors in breast tissue was rudimentary at the time and the treatment’s efficacy misunderstood.

Androgen therapy was discontinued due to virilising side effects and the advent of anti-estrogenic endocrine therapies.

While endocrine therapy is standard-of-care for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, resistance to these drugs is the major cause of breast cancer mortality.

“The new insights from this study should clarify the widespread confusion over the role of the androgen receptor in estrogen receptor driven breast cancer,” said Elgene Lim, a breast oncologist and Head of the Connie Johnson Breast Cancer Research Lab at the Garvan Institute.

“Given the efficacy of this treatment strategy at multiple stages of disease in our study, we hope to translate these findings into clinical trials as a new class of endocrine therapy for breast cancer.”

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