Manufacturing PMI contracts for the first time in 11 months in June

Manufacturing activity in India contracted for the first time since July 2020 amidst disruptions caused due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. A decline in orders, business closures, and the Covid-19 crisis triggered a sharp fall in output among Indian manufacturers in June 2021. The IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 48.1 in June, compared with 50.8 in May. PMI is a month-on-month calculation, and a value of below 50 represents a contraction when compared to the previous month.

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Dr Reddy’s denied approval for Phase 3 trial of Sputnik Light in India

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has denied permission to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to conduct the Phase-3 trials for the Sputnik Light Covid-19 vaccine in India. Reports suggest that the immunogenicity data related to Sputnik Light were not so great, and the SEC did not find any scientific rationale for conducting further trials. Sputnik Light was developed by the Russian Ministry of Health and Gamaleya Research Institute. The vaccine is yet to be approved in India.

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Auto sales data for June 2021: Highlights

India’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, posted a 217% month-on-month (MoM) jump in total sales to 1.47 lakh units in June. It had sold only 46,555 units in May. The company’s mini & compact vehicles segment and utility vehicle segment registered a strong rebound in sales growth.

Tata Motors Ltd registered a 78% MoM increase in domestic sales to 43,704 units in June 2021. The automaker’s passenger vehicle division posted a 59% MoM rise in sales to 24,110 units.

Mahindra & Mahindra’s passenger vehicles division posted total sales of 32,964 units in June, an increase of 89% over May. M&M’s farm equipment segment posted a two-fold jump in sales to 48,222 units.

Two-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto posted a 27.3% MoM increase in total sales to 3.46 lakh units. However, the company’s two-wheeler exports declined by 14% MoM to 1.54 lakh units.

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TCS expands partnership with Royal London to transform pensions platform

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has expanded its strategic partnership with Royal London to help them transform their pensions platform estate and deliver market-leading services to members and customers. Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions, and investment company in the UK. As part of the expanded partnership, TCS will work with Royal London to support its ambitious plans to transform into a data-driven insurer and help them drive deeper customer relationships.

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SEBI bars Biocon official from securities market for 3 months in insider trading case

Market regulator SEBI has restrained an official of Biocon Ltd from accessing the securities market for three months for violation of insider trading norms. In 2017, Biocon had announced information relating to its collaboration with Sandoz, and the period of Unpublished Price Sensitive Information (UPSI) was from December 20, 2017, to January 18, 2018. Shreehas P Tambe, Senior Vice President of Biocon, traded in the shares of the company between December 19-27 in 2017, in violation of market norms. He is facing a total fine of Rs 2 lakh, which has to be paid within 45 days.

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L&T Construction secures ‘significant’ orders for various businesses

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) announced that its construction arm has secured significant orders (in the range of Rs 1,000-2,500 crore) across various segments. Its water and effluent treatment business has won an order from the Uttar Pradesh State Water & Sanitation Mission (SWSM) to implement rural water supply projects under the Jal Jeevan Mission. Meanwhile, the buildings and factories business has received an order from a reputed developer to construct residential towers in Mulund (Mumbai). 

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Alembic Pharma gets USFDA approval for generic Nitrofurantoin capsules

Alembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd has received approval from the US Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) for generic Nitrofurantoin capsules. The drug is indicated for the treatment of urinary tract infections. According to IQVIA data, the capsules had total sales of $23 million (~Rs 171 crore) for the 12 months ended March 2021. The pharma company has received a total of 146 abbreviated new drug applications (ANDA) approvals from the USFDA.

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Route Mobile signs pact with Sarv Web to acquire email communications platform 

Route Mobile Ltd has signed definitive agreements to acquire an artificial intelligence (AI) driven email communication platform, Sendclean, from Jaipur-based Sarv Web Private Ltd. The company has acquired the core intellectual property (IP) for Sarv’s business email technology platform, the team of professionals that built the platform, and customer contracts. This acquisition will help Route Mobile deliver unified and unparalleled cloud-based digital communication solutions to global enterprise clients.

IPO-bound Zomato seeks CCI approval to acquire 9.3% stake in Grofers

Food delivery platform Zomato has sought approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to acquire a 9.3% stake in e-grocery major Grofers. According to documents filed with CCI, Zomato has mentioned that the acquisition will not lead to any impact on the competitive landscape. This acquisition will help Zomato enter the emerging market of online grocery deliveries in India. In May, Economic Times had reported that Zomato and Tiger Global had invested $120 million (~Rs 890 crore) in Grofers. 

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Affle (India) completes acquisition of Jampp

Affle (India) Ltd has completed the acquisition of Jampp, a global programmatic mobile marketing company. This acquisition will strengthen Affle’s Cost Per Converted User (CPCU) business model and enable it to expand into fast-growing markets such as the United States and Latin America. The total cost of the acquisition was $41.3 million (~Rs 307 crore). Affle (India) provides mobile advertising services through information technology and software development services.

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