Sensex ends flat; Sun Pharma, Ambuja, UltraTech top gainers

Equity benchmarks closed flat on Monday after seeing recovery in late trade. The market opened lower following weakness in global markets. The Sensex was down 16.05 points to close at 22343.45, continuing to fall for the third consecutive session on profit booking while the Nifty rose 0.70 point to 6695.05. The first phase of Lok Sabha elections begun today with Assam and Tripura.

The voting has taken place for five constituencies in Assam and one in Tripura. Equity market will be shut on Tuesday for Ram Navmi. Sun Pharma was the biggest gainer in Sensex, rising nearly 3 percent after the company said it will buy Ranbaxy Labs in total equity value deal of USD 3.2 billion .

Analysts believe it was a good deal for the company and will become the India's largest pharmaceutical company. Macquarie rated outperform with a target price of Rs 740 apiece. However, Ranbaxy slipped over 3 percent on profit booking. The stock had rallied 32 percent in previous six sessions. Cement stocks were buzzing after Switzerland-based cement company Holcim, which is a promoter of ACC and Ambuja Cements with more than 50 percent stake each, announced merger with France's Lafarge.

The merged entity will become the largest cement maker in India . Aditya Birla group company UltraTech Cement, the largest cement maker currently in India, gained 3.5 percent followed by Ambuja Cements with 3 percent. Top lender State Bank of India advanced 1 percent as media report suggests that the bank is selling off its non-performing assets of around Rs 3,500-4,000 crore for the financial year 2013-14 to asset reconstruction companies. Among metals, Sesa Sterlite rallied over 2 percent and Tata Steel gained 1 percent. However, BHEL topped the selling list throughout the session, falling more than 3 percent on weak provisional numbers for FY14.

The company said its net profit in the year fell 51.2 percent to Rs 3,228 crore on account of lower revenues and order inflow. Shares of ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy's Labs and Cipla were other prominent losers, declining over 1.6 percent. On the global front, Asian markets closed lower with the Nikkei falling 1.7 percent and Hang Seng losing 0.6 percent. Advancers beat decliners by a ratio of 1406 to 1168 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

03:50 pm Taxation
Holders of participatory notes (PNs) issued by Foreign Instituitional Investors (FIIs) might be taxed in the next budget as it had been agreed by the finance department, advisor to Union Finance Minister Parthasarathi Shome said. "So far PNs issued by the FIIs to overseas investors were not taxed by the Income Tax department. But after deliberations in the finance department, the PN holders may be taxed in the next budget", Shome said. He said that internationally, PN holders were taxed by countries where their investments were routed through FIIs.

03:40 pm Market closing
After some heavy losses, the market ended flat but Nifty was below the 6700. The Nifty ended at 6695.05, up 0.70 points while the Sensex was down 16.05 points at 22343.45.  Sun Pharma did not lose its grip even though the market was weak. The stock wrapped up today's trade with a 3 percent gain. Sesa Sterlite, M&M, Tata Steel and SBI are other gainers in the Sensex. BHEL remained on sellers' radar with a loss of over 3 percent. Cipla, ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy's Labs and Maruti Suzuki were among the laggards.

03:30 pm FII view
Adrian Mowat, JP Morganfeels there are two stages to the emerging markets rally. The current stage is a reduction in risk premiums as fears on funding current account deficits recede. Stage two is margin improvement and topline surprise. "The rally in India and Indonesia was driven by increased confidence in the ability to finance their current account deficits. The next stage is pricing in political change. We are bullish on domestic cyclicals in India," he adds.

03:15 pm Market outlook
With the market on the brink of earnings season and also looking forward to Lok Sabha general elections, it is likely to remain sideways said Taher Badshah of Motilal Oswal AMC. Although he does not see a downside for the market niether would there be significant upside said Badshah. Stock specifically the house is well positioned in IT sector and continues to maintain a positive outlook for FY15. "On a very short-term basis, looking into FY15 we do have a little bit of hurdle - if not a liquidity hurdle or if not a sentiment hurdle, we probably might get confronted with a valuation hurdle at some stage, till the time we have enough confidence to be able to improve the earnings outlook significantly for FY15 itself. So I think that is what we are probably going to be resisted by," he said.

03:00 Interview 
Sandeep Aggarwal, CFO, Insecticides India says there is a  believe 2-3 states may see drought conditions. He says weather fluctuations and a possible or the much talked about El Nino can lead to 10-15 percent impact on sales. He is expecting a turnover of around Rs 1200 crore in FY15. However, if the monsoons are not normal then there can be a 10-15 percent impact, he adds, which will play out in the first two quarters itself. Aggarwal says the impact on margins will be proportionate. "In FY15 we are expecting Rs 450-500 crore from Dahej including technical and formulation both, including our in-house consumption also," he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

02:50pm Reliance Communication in focus
Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Communications (RCOM) have announced the signing of a master services agreement for sharing of RCOM's extensive intra-city optic fiber infrastructure. Under the terms of the agreement, Reliance Jio Infocomm will utilise RCOM's nationwide intra-city fiber network for accelerated roll-out of its state-of-the-art 4G services across the country. The agreement is based on arm's length pricing at prevailing market prices. RCOM's intra-city optic fiber network extends to nearly 500,000 fiber pair kilometres, across the top more than 300 cities and towns in India.

02:40pm Gainers and Losers
BHEL topped the selling list, losing 4 percent on weak provisional numbers for the year ended FY14. Shares of ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy's Labs, Cipla and Hindalco Industries lost 2 percent each. Reliance Industries, HDFC, Tata Motors, L&T and HUL declined 0.5-1 percent. However, Sun Pharma continued to gain over a percent after it decided to buy Ranbaxy for USD 4 billion. HDFC Bank, State Ban of India, Wipro, M&M, Sesa Sterlite and GAIL advanced 0.3--0.7 percent.

02:30pm Interview
Adani Power has emerged as the largest private power producer post commissioning of fourth unit of Tiroda Power Plant. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, CEO Vneet Jaain said the with the commissioning of the fifth unit, expected by June-end, the company's installed base will reach around 9,300 MW by the end of first quarter of current financial year. He said the company has been able to install all power projects within the said timeline. On financials, Jaain said there are various issues like domestic coal supplies, higher cost of imported coal, rupee depreciation, which are impacting the power industry as a whole. However, with the recent development and positive actions initiated by the central government and regulatory bodies, investors are seeing a positive signal in the market.

02:20pm Sun Pharma, Ranbaxy Labs in focus
Drug major Sun Pharmaceutical Industries said it will acquire Daiichi Sankyo-owned Ranbaxy Laboratories in an all-stock transaction totalling equity value of USD 3.2 billion. Taking Ranbaxy's debt into account, the transaction is worth over USD 4 billion. The deal between the two companies, both rapped by the USFDA over quality issues, will create world's fifth-largest generic drugmaker entity. "Ranbaxy has a significant presence in the Indian pharma market and in the US where it offers a broad portfolio of ANDAs and first-to-file opportunities. In high-growth emerging markets, it provides a strong platform which is highly complementary to Sun Pharma's strengths," Dilip Shanghvi, Managing Director of Sun Pharma said in a release. Under the terms of the agreements, Ranbaxy shareholders will receive 0.8 share of Sun Pharma for each share of Ranbaxy. Daiichi Sankyo, the Japanese owner of India's biggest drugmaker by sales, will hold a stake of about 9 percent in Sun Pharmaceutical after the deal. The deal values Ranbaxy shares at Rs 457 apiece, representing an 18 percent premium to its 30-day volume-weighted average share price on April 4, 2014. The combination of Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy will create the largest pharmaceutical company in India. Sun expects to realise revenue and operating synergies of USD 250 million by third year post closing of the transaction.

02:10pm Market Expert
Rishav Dev, Equity Strategist, Quant Capital told CNBC-TV18 that India and Russia specific funds have been doing well for the past four weeks and have therefore, seen consistent inflows. According to him, the time has come when people cannot ignore the valuation gap between emerging markets (EMs) and domestic markets (DMs) and the money will definitely move into EM going forward. Emerging market funds saw inflows worth USD 2.5 billion in the past 22 weeks, adds Dev. He believes majority of fund flows in India are through exchange-traded-funds. He says the debt flows in India are sticky in nature though their magnitude has decreased in March.

02:00pm The market continued to see selling pressure, heading towards the weak closing for the third consecutive session today. Auto, FMCG, capital goods, power and IT stocks declined. The Sensex plummeted 102.98 points to 22256.52 and the Nifty fell 28.35 points to 6666. About 1068 shares have advanced, 1177 shares declined, and 163 shares are unchanged. Shares of both ACC and Ambuja Cements gained 1-2 percent after Switzerland-based parent company Holcim said it was going to merge with France's Lafarge. The merged entity will become the largest cement producer in India with a capacity of 69 metric tonnes per annum versus Aditya Birla group company Ultratech Cement's capacity of 58 metric tonnes per annum. "Holcim and Lafarge today announced their intention to combine the two companies through a merger of equals, unanimously approved by their respective Board of Directors and fully supported by the core shareholders of both companies," Holcim said in its release.

2:00 pm Interview: Speaking to CNBC-TV18, CEO of Adani Power, Vneet Jaain said the with the commissioning of the fifth unit, expected by June-end, the company's installed base will reach around 9,300 MW by the end of first quarter of current financial year. He said the company has been able to install all power projects within the said timeline. On financials, Jaain said there are various issues like domestic coal supplies, higher cost of imported coal, rupee depreciation, which are impacting the power industry as a whole. However, with the recent development and positive actions initiated by the central government and regulatory bodies, investors are seeing a positive signal in the market.

1:50 pm Big deal: Swiss giant Holcim and the world's largest cement producer Lafarge Board has unanimously approved a merger, which is expected to close by June 2015. This merger will lead to a setting up of mega cement company with a combine sale of euro 32 billion and having presence across the world. Anil Singhvi, chairman, ICAN Investments and former MD and CEO of Ambuja Cements, said the Holcim-Lafarge merger was a big development even locally because both have significant capacity in India. According to him, the merger has been on the anvil for sometime and is likely to have huge implications in India because it has to go through the scrutiny of the Competition Commission of India (CCI). However, since it is a merger, it may not have open offer implications.

1:40 pm Agreement: Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Communications (RCom) signed a master services agreement with Reliance Jio Infocomm for sharing its intra-city optic fiber infrastructure. As per the deal, Reliance Jio Infocomm, owned by elder brother Mukesh Ambani, will utilise RCom 's nationwide intra-city fiber network for accelerated roll-out of its state-of-the-art 4G services across the country. The agreement is based on arm's length pricing at prevailing market prices, the company said in a statement. This is the third agreement signed between the companies owned by the Ambani brothers.

1:30 pm Eye on global market: World stocks slipped from last week's six-year high on Monday on concerns about technology shares, while speculation the European Central Bank will ease policy further pushed down European bond yields. The Nasdaq suffered its biggest decline since February on Friday as high-flying and high-growth shares mostly in the tech and biotech sectors extended their recent sell-off, with sentiment spilling into Asia. The pull-back came after the Dow and S&P 500 indexes hit record highs after March U.S. jobs data soothed concerns about the health of the economic recovery there but eased fears of an early interest rate hike.

1:20 pm How to trade BHEL? JP Morgan is underweight on the stock with a target price of Rs 130. It says unlocking of receivables in Q4 will be key to maintain BHEL's recent rally given disappointments on both execution and margins in the March quarter. "Significant risk of write-offs of receivables currently not factored into our cash flow estimates,'' JP Morgain adds. Nomura advises to reduce the stock and warns it may fall 33 percent to Rs 127 per share. It maintains cautious stance on the stock as order inflows, slower execution, falling margins on weak inflows, pricing pressures and risk on receivables are still worrisome. "Order inflow declined on an already weak base lower than FY14e of Rs 32,700 crore. Implied Q4 numbers suggest that this was the worst-ever quarter reported since 1999-2003,'' it explains.

The Sensex is down 159.69 points at 22199.81, and the Nifty is down 37.30 points at 6657.05.  About 913 shares have advanced, 1149 shares declined, and 153 shares are unchanged. Sun Pharma (up 1 percent) manages to hold gains in a weak market. M&M, Sesa Sterlite, Wipro and HDFC Bank are other gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are BHEL, Maruti Suzuki, Hindalco, Cipla and ICICI Bank. Ranbaxy is still under selling pressure post acquisition deal with Sun Pharma in a USD 4.2 billion deal. The rupee trades higher as foreign banks sell dollars for custodial clients. Slightly-weaker-than-expected US jobs data also aids rupee. BJP promises to usher in an era of strong economic growth and job creation the day the first phase of polls began in the states of Assam and Tripura. BJP also pledges to tackle inflation, corruption and black money and says that barring multi-brand retail, it is open to foreign direct investment in all other sectors

12:59pm Reliance Communications in News
Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Communications (RCOM) have announced the signing of a master services agreement for sharing of RCOM's extensive intra-city optic fiber infrastructure. Under the terms of the agreement, Reliance Jio Infocomm will utilise RCOM's nationwide intra-city fiber network for accelerated roll-out of its state-of-the-art 4G services across the country. The agreement is based on arm's length pricing at prevailing market prices. RCOM's intra-city optic fiber network extends to nearly 500,000 fiber pair kilometres, across the top more than 300 cities and towns in India.

12:50pm Lok Sabha elections begin
Lok Sabha elections have begun today with voting in six constituencies of Assam and Tripura. Voters in 5 Parliamentary seats in Assam and 1 in Tripura are exercising their democratic rights to elect members for the 16th Lok Sabha after the formation of which there will be a new government and the Prime Minister. A total of 76,69,551 voters in Tejpur, Kaliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur in Assam and Tripura West in Tripura are eligible to exercise their franchise. While the five seats of Assam have 64,21,004 voters, in the lone seat of Tripura there are 12,48,547 electorate. The Election Commission of India, which is highly respected all over the world for its impartial nature and smooth conducting of the elections, is conducting the current Parliament elections in 9 phases. The exercise ends on May 12 and the votes will be counted across India on May 16.

12:40pm GMR in focus
The department of transportation and communications, republic of the Philippines has formally awarded the Mactan-Cebu International Airport rehabilitation, expansion and operation project to the GMR-Megawide Consortium for a 25-year concession period. In the international competitive bidding process GMR-Megawide consortium had emerged as the highest bidder after offering a bid premium of 14.4 billion Philippine pesos (approximately USD 320 million). "We are delighted to be awarded the Mactan-Cebu International Airport project," GM Rao chairman, GMR said.

12:30pm Interview
In a mega pharma deal, Sun Pharma will be acquiring Ranbaxy in a transaction worth USD 4 billion . Speaking to CNBC-TV18 regarding the acquisition, Uday Baldota of Sun Pharma says the deal will strengthen Sun Pharma's presence in several markets. According to Baldota, a large part of pharma growth is expected to come from emerging markets going ahead. The countries where Ranbaxy has a fairly strong presence, Sun Pharma has relatively modest presence and so, the deal will help in utilising each other's strengths. "Sun Pharma is very excited about the overall spread of business that it will be getting in this combination," Baldota adds.

12:20pm NSE VIX at 4-month high
NSE's volatility index, or the domestic equivalent of the VIX fear gauge, advances 11.2 percent, to mark its highest in four months on rising fears of profit-booking after a recent rally as the world's largest democracy goes to polls, starting Monday till May 12, reports Reuters.

12:10pm FII View
Jyotivardhan Jaipuria, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says with elections the key focus for markets, earnings may not be a big market moving event. "The good news is that headline profit growth at 13 percent will reflect the recovery seen in past two quarters. The bad news is that profit growth continues to be very concentrated," he adds. Analysts are building a strong 16.7 percent earnings growth for FY15. He believes this will get downgraded to around 11 percent with Sensex EPS likely to be around Rs 1500 versus current estimate of Rs 1575.

12:00pm Equity benchmarks fell further on Monday weighed down by Infosys and ICICI Bank. Index heavyweights ITC, HDFC and Reliance Industries too pushed the market down. The Sensex slipped 116.12 points to 22243.38 and the Nifty declined 32.80 points to 6661.55. About 884 shares have advanced, 996 shares declined, and 116 shares are unchanged. BHEL kept its top position in the selling list, falling 3 percent. It disappointed the street with its provisional numbers for the financial year 2013-14. The state-run power equipment maker's net profit in the year fell 51.2 percent to Rs 3,228 crore on account of lower revenues and order inflow. Shares of Infosys, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Dr Reddy's Labs, Maruti, Hindustan Unilever, Cipla and Hindalco Industries lost 1-2 percent. Index heavyweights Reliance Industries and ITC declined 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. However, Sun Pharma came off its day's high on profit taking. The stock rose 1.4 percent after it decided to acquire Ranbaxy for USD 4 billion. Shares of HDFC Bank, Wipro, M&M and Sesa Sterlite climbed 0.5-1.2 percent.

11:50 am Buzzing: Shares of Orient Green Power Company gained as much as 4.2 percent after the board members approved sell of biomass unit in Tamil Nadu. "The board of directors has approved the proposal to sell whole of the 10 MW biomass unit of the company in Tamil Nadu by way of slump sale "on a going concern basis", to one of its wholly owned subsidiaries," the company said in its filing. The sale is subject to the approval of the shareholders and other approvals.

11:40 am FII view: Jyotivardhan Jaipuria, Bank of America Merrill Lynch feels with elections the key focus for market, earnings may not be a big market moving event. The good news is that headline profit growth at 13 percent will reflect the recovery seen in past two quarters. The bad news is that profit growth continues to be very concentrated. "Analysts are building a strong 16.7 percent earnings growth for FY15. We believe this will get downgraded to around 11 percent with Sensex EPS likely to be around Rs 1500 versus our current estimate of Rs 1575, " he said.

11:30 am In focus: Shares of Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) slipped 3 percent intraday on Monday as it disappointed the street with its provisional numbers for the financial year 2013-14. The state-run power equipment maker's net profit in the year fell 51.2 percent to Rs 3,228 crore on account of lower revenues and order inflow. Turnover or revenues during the year dropped 19.5 percent to Rs 40,366 crore from Rs 50,156 crore in previous year. During the period, provisional order inflow stood at Rs 28,007 crore, down 11.5 percent compared to 2012-13.

11:20 am Insider trading?: The 22 percent surge in Ranbaxy shares in six trading sessions before the announcement of the deal with Sun Pharma shows that a section of market players knew of it, and would have benefited from the information. Ranbaxy shares fell to a low of Rs 306 on January 27, after the USFDA banned exports from the company's Toansa unit to the US, for violation of manufacturing rules. Between January 27 and March 27, the stock traded in a range between Rs 306-345, mostly with an upper bias.

11:10 am Highlights of BJP manifesto: Promising to usher in an era of strong economic growth, job creation, tackling the corruption menace, zero tolerance on terrorism and a strong foreign policy, the Bharatiya Janata Party released its manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on Monday, the day the first phase of the polls began in the states of Assam and Tripura. The BJP manifesto pledges 'Ek Bharat, Shreshta Bharat - Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas' (One India, Best India - Unity and Development for everyone). The highlights of the BJP manifesto are that it pledges to tackle inflation and corruption and also reiterates its stand to explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution to facilitate the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The BJP in its manifesto also says that barring multi-brand retail, it is open to Foreign Direct Investment in all other sectors. "Barring the multi-brand retail sector, FDI will be allowed in sectors where ever needed for job and asset creation," said BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

The market slips further while voting begins in Assam and Tripura today. The Sensex is down 132.51 points at 22226.99, and the Nifty is down 35.90 points at 6658.45. About 756 shares have advanced, 852 shares declined, and 96 shares are unchanged. Sun Pharma, Wipro, M&M, GAIL and Sesa Sterlite are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are BHEL, Cipla, ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy's Labs and Hindalco. Brent crude prices fell below USD 106 a barrel, snapping a two-day winning streak, as worries about supply disruption eased after Libyan rebels occupying four eastern oil ports agreed to gradually end their eight-month old blockade. A major advance for the North African exporter, the end to the oil port standoff is taking some supply worries off the market that helped push prices to a high of USD 112 for the year. Investors are now waiting for details on the volume Libya will start shipping, while also assessing U.S. gasoline demand to gauge the outlook for oil.

10:59am Holcim, Lafarge merger
The boards of directors of two cement companies Holcim and Lafarge have unanimously approved plans to merge, reports CNBC-TV18. Both companies, which have combined sales at euro 32 billion, expect to close the merger by June 2015. Lafarge said the transaction has structured as a public exchange offer initiated by Holcim with an exchange ratio of 1:1.

10:50am FII View
Adrian Mowat, JP Morgan says there are two stages to the emerging markets rally. "The current stage is a reduction in risk premiums as fears on funding current account deficits recede. Stage two is margin improvement and topline surprise," he adds. According to him, the rally in India and Indonesia was driven by increased confidence in the ability to finance their current account deficits. "The next stage is pricing in political change. We are bullish on domestic cyclicals in India."

10:40am BJP manifesto

  • BJP manifesto focusses on employment, entrepreneurship, tackling corruption, black money
  • It talks about Uniform Civil Code. Draft a Uniform Civil Code will ensure gender equality
  • BJP says it is open to FDI except in multi-brand retail.
  • It will launch Pradhan Mantree Gram Sinchayee Yojana; motto of 'har khet ko pani'
  • It will set up task force for bringing back black money
  • It will implement one rank one pension scheme and will build a War Memorial for armed forces
  • BJP will start a National Madrassa Modernisation Programme
  • Universal healthcare system and AIIMS will be set up in every state; government hospitals will be modernised
  • Rail network will be developed keeping in focus agricultural produce
  • BJP will establish gas grid in entire country; optical fibre network; develop satellite systems

10:30am Elections begin in Assam and Tripura
Lok Sabha elections have begun today with voting in six constituencies of Assam and Tripura. Voters in 5 Parliamentary seats in Assam and 1 in Tripura are exercising their democratic rights to elect members for the 16th Lok Sabha after the formation of which there will be a new government and the Prime Minister. A total of 76,69,551 voters in Tejpur, Kaliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur in Assam and Tripura West in Tripura are eligible to exercise their franchise. While the five seats of Assam have 64,21,004 voters, in the lone seat of Tripura there are 12,48,547 electorate. The Election Commission of India, which is highly respected all over the world for its impartial nature and smooth conducting of the elections, is conducting the current Parliament elections in 9 phases. The exercise ends on May 12 and the votes will be counted across India on May 16. The ruling Congress, Asom Gana Parishad, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) Communist parties, Aam Aadmi Party and BJP are the main players, which have fielded their candidates in the first phase. A total of 64 candidates are contesting in the first phase, reports ibnlive.com.

10:20am Bharti Airtel to raise funds
As part of its USD 2 billion debt raising plan, India's largest telecom firm Bharti Airtel is set to tap the overseas bond markets again with USD 400 million issue later this month to repay high cost loans. "Bharti will be raising around USD 400 million in the next three-four weeks from an overseas offering," a merchant banker associated with the issue told PTI. Bankers expect the issue to go through by the end of this month or early next month, the source said, declining to give further details as the issue is still under the works, reports PTI. Notably, the telecom major has been very busy on the international fund raising activity during the last fiscal. It had raised USD 400 million equivalent from the Swiss market last month, after the 250-million euro issue in January and another 750-million euro issue in December. That apart, it has raised USD 1.5 billion in two tranches in March 2013.

10:10am Sun Pharma's conference call
The Sun Pharma management in its conference call with investors and analysts justified the valuation of the Ranbaxy deal, and said it expected Ranbaxy's operations to become profitable 'in short time.' But Sun Pharma refrained from giving any specific timeline on how soon it expected the turnaround.  Ranbaxy has been facing a series of regulatory action from the USFDA in recent times, leading to steep erosion in profitability and profits.  Sun Pharma said it would continue with the agreements that Daiichi Sankyo, has with Ranbaxy. The Japanese firm is the current owner of Ranbaxy, having bought it from erstwhile promoters, the Singhs, in June 2008 for USD 4.6 billion. Sun said there were no plans as of now to take Ranbaxy out of any market. Ranbaxy's exports to the US has been hit by the USFDA's ban on its plants at Dewas, Toansa, Paonta Saheb and Mohali.  Sun said the first priority would be to ensure compliance with regulatory standards, and only after that would it be focusing on synergy benefits.

10:00am The market is directionless on Monday due to lack of trigger. The Sensex fell 0.77 point to 22358.73 while the Nifty rose 7.75 points to 6702.10. About two shares advanced for every share declining on the Bombay Stock Exchange. Sun Pharma topped the buying list, rising nearly 3 percent after it said it will acquire Ranbaxy Labs in an all-stock transaction with a total value of USD 4 billion while Ranbaxy fell over 3 percent. Shares of Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, ONGC, M&M, L&T, Tata Motors, SBI, Sesa Sterlite and Tata Steel gained 0.5-1.4 percent. However, BHEL fell more than 2 percent after disappointing provisional numbers for the year ended 2013-14. State-run power equipment maker's net profit in the year fell 51.2 percent to Rs 3,228 crore on account of lower revenues and order inflow. Dr Reddy's Labs lost 1.5 percent followed by ICICI Bank, Infosys, HDFC, ITC, HUL, Hero Motocorp and Cipla with 0.5-0.9 percent.

10:00 am In focus: Coal India Ltd (CIL) received a single expression of interest from MMTC for its plan to import the fuel to meet supply agreements with power plants. "We are still in the process of evaluation of the expression of interest," an official of the state-owned coal mining company said. Coal India, which received an application from MMTC in response to the tender floated at the beginning of this year, "will try to finalise it by next month," the official said, declining to comment on the proposed quantity of imports for this financial year.

9:50 am Sun views: The Sun Pharma management in its conference call with investors and analysts justified the valuation of the Ranbaxy deal, and said it expected Ranbaxy's operations to become profitable 'in short time.' But Sun Pharma refrained from giving any specific timeline on how soon it expected the turnaround. Under the USD 3.2 billion all stock deal, shareholders in Ranbaxy will get 0.8 shares of Sun Pharma . Ranbaxy was been facing a series of regulatory action from the USFDA in recent times, leading to steep erosion in profitability and profits. Sun Pharma said it would continue with the agreements that Daiichi Sankyo, has with Ranbaxy. The Japanese firm is the current owner of Ranbaxy, having bought it from erstwhile promoters, the Singhs, in June 2008 for USD 4.6 billion.

9:40 am Buzzing: State-run power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) disappointed the street with its provisional numbers for the financial year 2013-14. Net profit in the year fell 51.2 percent to Rs 3,228 crore on account of lower revenues and order inflow. Turnover or revenues during the year dropped 19.5 percent to Rs 40,366 crore from Rs 50,156 crore in previous year. Provisional order inflow stood at Rs 28,007 crore in the year gone by, down 11.5 percent compared to 2012-13. The stock fell over 2 percent.

9:30 am Polling starts: An hour after the sun rose over India on April 7, the world's largest democratic exercise has begun at 6 Lok Sabha seats in two Northeastern states. Voters in 5 Parliamentary seats in Assam and 1 in Tripura are exercising their democratic rights to elect members for the 16th Lok Sabha after the formation of which there will be a new government and the Prime Minister. A total of 76,69,551 voters in Tejpur, Kaliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur in Assam and Tripura West in Tripura are eligible to exercise their franchise. While the five seats of Assam have 64,21,004 voters, in the lone seat of Tripura there are 12,48,547 electorate. The Election Commission of India, which is highly respected all over the world for its impartial nature and smooth conducting of the elections, is conducting the current Parliament elections in 9 phases. The exercise ends on May 12 and the votes will be counted across India on May 16.

The market has opened on a flat note but the Nifty opened below 6700. The Nifty is down at 6694.25. About 119 shares have advanced, 40 shares declined, and 4 shares are unchanged. Both Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Ranbaxy are in focus on the back of the acquisition. Sun Pharma will acquire Ranbaxy Laboratories, which has been facing quality issues for its drugs in the US market, in an all-stock transaction with a total value of USD 4 billion while the transaction has a total equity value of approximately USD 3.2 billion. Coal India, Cipla, Tata Power and ITC are other gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Axis bank, TCS, NTPC, Reliance and Bharti Airtel. The Indian rupee gained in the early trade on Monday. It opened higher by 18 paise at 59.90 per dollar versus 60.08 Friday. The dollar hold steady as US data showed solid jobs gains for a second straight month. Agam Gupta of Standard Chartered said that, "EM currencies have strengthened as the non-farm payroll data came in line with expectations. Domestically, indication from opinion polls towards increased probability of a stable NDA government will keep positive bias on rupee intact." "We expect rupee to trade in the range of 59.75-60.20/dollar today," he added.