Companies & Sectors
India ranked world's top exporter of information, communication technology
India has been ranked the world's top exporter of information and communication technology in a UN agency report that recommended that the country leverage this lead to innovate in emerging areas where biology and materials sciences intersect with computing.
 
Overall, India leapt 14 places from the 85th rank last year to the 61st in the latest Global Innovation Index (GII) released in Geneva by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Monday.
 
India ranked 8th in the world for producing graduates in science and engineering and showed the most significant improvements in human capital and research moving up 40 places to 63.
 
WIPO, a specialised agency of the UN, worked also with Cornell University and INSEAD, the international business school, to prepare the ninth edition of the index.
 
In a nod to India's "jugaad" tradition of innovation, the report said that its culture of "frugality and sustainability" can help it capture global markets. 
 
"For this to happen, however, India's industries need to have the hunger to be at the top of the value chain, its customers have to be more demanding, its policies have to be more transparent, and its talent pool has to get more hands-on experience while simultaneously growing to leverage the global talent pool," the report said.
 
WIPO quoted CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee as saying: "The commitment of India to innovation and improved innovation metrics is strong and growing, helping to improve the innovation environment. This trend will help gradually lift India closer to other top-ranked innovation economies."
 
Areas where India is lagging include the business environment, where it is ranked 117, and education at the 118th spot.
 
To leapfrog into the emerging areas that combine biology, computing and material sciences, the report recommended that the industry double its research and development (R&D) investment and the government provide R&D grants to industry.
 
"Investing in innovation is critical to raising long-term economic growth," WIPO Director-General Francis Gurry said while presenting the report. "In this current economic climate, uncovering new sources of growth and leveraging the opportunities raised by global innovation are priorities for all stakeholders."
 
Another recommendation was to developing the research capabilities of universities. "Industry and government should team up with universities to create meaningful graduate research programmes utilizing global collaboration models where appropriate," the report said.
 
In these emerging fields, the report said: "Applications include developing sustainable fuels for transportation, predicting and preventing disease, determining ways to improve wellness, and delivering better nutrition" - areas that meet immediate needs of India.
 
The report cited the US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue as initiatives that had the potential for bilateral funding of R&D.
 
Among innovators in India measured by the number of patents obtained in the last five years, Infosys led with 281; it was followed by TCS with 244, Ranbaxy 196, Wockhardt 160, and SunPharma 84.
 
During this period, about 2,000 patents received by GE had Indian inventors, the report said. IBM came next with Indians involved in nearly 1,900 patents.
 
Overall, Switzerland ranked first globally as the most innovative economy on the index. It was followed by Sweden, Britain, the United States, Finland and Singapore. China for the first time muscled its way into the ranks of the top 25, just landing the spot.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Nifty, Sensex in no man’s land – Tuesday closing report
We had mentioned in Friday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex were still on an uptrend but risks were also rising.  The major indices of the Indian stock markets were range-bound on Tuesday and closed with small losses over Friday’s close. The stock markets were closed for trading on Monday. The trends of the major indices in the course of Tuesday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Negative global cues depressed the Indian equity markets on Tuesday. Consequently, both the key equity indices closed in the red, as selling pressure was witnessed in IT (information technology) and automobile stocks. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears -- with 1,634 declines and 1,095 advances. On the NSE, on Tuesday, there were 604 advances, 988 declines and 68 unchanged.
 
Consumer goods company Unilever on Tuesday announced the acquisition of air purifying solutions company Blueair for an undisclosed sum. "Blueair will be geared to help potentially billions of people rather than millions to create safer, healthier indoor environments as air pollution rises worldwide," said Bengt Rittri, Founder, Blueair, in a statement. According to a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report, air pollution is now the world's largest single environmental health risk that "Killed around seven million people in 2012 alone,” Rittri added. Blueair will continue to operate under its existing brand name in all its markets, including India, Sweden, China, the US, Japan and South Korea. Hindustan Unilever shares closed at Rs921.65, down 0.97% on the BSE.
 
Cipla announced an improvement of around 200 basis points in base business EBITDA (earnings before interest, depreciation and taxes) margin. The recent acquisitions of InvaGen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Exelan Pharmaceuticals Inc. are EBITDA margin-accretive at a consolidated level with the integration plans progressing smoothly, Cipla said in a press release. The company’s consolidated EBITDA margin stood at 17% for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 (Q1FY17) against 6.7% in March quarter. Cipla shares closed at Rs553.55, up 7.14% on the BSE. 
 
India's annual rate of inflation based on wholesale prices shot up to 3.55% for July from 1.62% in the previous month, due to an 11.82% jump in prices of food articles, official data showed on Tuesday. The prices of potatoes continued to pinch with an annual rise of 58.78%, pulses were dearer by 35.76%, while fruit were 17.30% costlier over the same month of the previous year, as per the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data of the Commerce Ministry. Data released last week showed that the country's annual retail inflation shot up to a 23-month high of 6.07% for July and beyond the official tolerance level of 6%, again due to higher prices for food articles. The July WPI index at 3.55% marks a two-year high.
 
Global software major Infosys Ltd. will soon lay off about 3,000 techies since the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has cancelled the contract for setting up a new bank (Williams & Glyn). "Subsequent to this (RBS) decision, we will carry out an orderly ramp-down of about 3,000 persons, primarily in India, over the next few months," the city-based IT major disclosed on its website but did not share details with the media. Infosys shares closed at Rs1,050.95, down 1.16% on the BSE.
 
US stocks rallied on Monday, with all three major indices setting new closing records, as investors focused on a rebound in oil prices while waiting for the minutes of the US Federal Reserve. Oil prices kept rising on Monday, with both US oil and Brent crude jumping nearly 3%, as speculation intensified about potential producer action to support prices in an oversupplied market. Investors were also waiting for the minutes of the Fed's July policy meeting scheduled for release on Wednesday, for more indications on the timing of the next interest rate hike.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 
 

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Piramal Enterprises enters into an agreement to acquire Ash Stevens Inc in USA
Piramal Enterprises Limited (PEL) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary in the US has entered into an agreement to acquire 100% stake in Ash Stevens Inc., a US based Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), in an all cash deal for a consideration of USD 42.95 million plus an earn-out consideration capped at $10 million, according to a release from PEL. Located in Riverview, Michigan, Ash Stevens has over 50 years of experience in contract manufacturing, and serves several biotech, mid-size pharma, and large pharmaceutical clients worldwide. 
 
With over 60,000 sq. ft. of facilities, eight chemical drug development and production laboratories, and six full-scale production areas, Ash Stevens has a reputation for scientific research and operational excellence. As one of the leaders in HPAPI (high potency active pharmaceutical ingredient) manufacture, Ash Stevens has a safety record of working with high potency anti-cancer agents and other highly potent therapeutics. 
 
“The acquisition of Ash Stevens fits well with our strategy to build an asset platform that offers value to our partners and collaborators. Currently, around 25% of the molecules in clinical development are potent. Our clients are looking for reliable partners that can assist them in advancing these programs forward,” said Vivek Sharma, CEO of Piramal Pharma Solutions.  He further adds, “North America is a key market that we can now service with our three local facilities - the Coldstream Labs in Kentucky for fill finish needs, the Torcan facility in Toronto for complex high value API’s and now, Ash Stevens in Michigan for HPAPIs. We can now fulfil client requirements for a single source of supply for both high potent APIs and drug products.”
 
The transaction is not subject to any regulatory approvals. No related party of PEL has any interest in Ash Stevens.
 

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