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Indian Shares Fall As Allegations Against Sun Pharma Weigh

Sun Pharma, India’s biggest drugmaker by market value, fell over 13 percent after a media report of a complaint by a whistleblower raised fresh concerns on the drugmaker’s corporate governance.

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Indian shares fell on Friday, dragged by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd after reports of fresh allegations by a whistleblower, though gains in Reliance Industries Ltd after strong quarterly earnings helped cap losses. 

Sun Pharma, India’s biggest drugmaker by market value, fell over 13 percent after a media report of a complaint by a whistleblower raised fresh concerns on the drugmaker’s corporate governance.

The whistleblower complaint alleges that an Indian pharmaceutical manufacturer Aditya Medisales Ltd had transactions worth over 58 billion rupees with Suraksha Realty, controlled by Sun Pharma’s co-promoter Sudhir Valia.

Sun Pharma did not immediately respond to a Reuters request seeking comment.

Analysts feel that the downside risks to the markets are quite limited in the near term.

“The budget indication is becoming clear - benefit of taxation coupled with the central bank cutting rates will definitely push the markets higher,” said R.K. Gupta, managing director at Taurus Asset Management.

“It’s a pure trading market and I expect investors to book profits in the first week of February.”

The broader NSE Nifty fell 0.19 percent to 10,885 as of 0611 GMT. The benchmark BSE Sensex too eased 0.17 percent to 36,312.73.

Both the indexes are on track to post a 0.9 percent weekly gain.

Oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries added 1.5 percent after reporting a record quarterly profit on Thursday, helped by a strong showing by its telecoms unit Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Jio, which posted a 65 percent rise in its third-quarter profit, has steadily grabbed market share, sending the telecoms sector into a pricing war. Bharti Airtel Ltd declined 6 percent while the newly-formed Vodafone Idea Ltd fell 5 percent.

Beleaguered Jet Airways Ltd fell 3.2 percent, its ninth session of losses this year. This follows a media report stating that the debt-laden carrier’s lenders might write off up to a fourth of its debt.

India’s third-biggest software services exporter Wipro Ltd advanced 1.3 percent ahead of its third-quarter results scheduled after market hours today.


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