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Updated: Dec 15 2012, 06:47am hrs
Dr Reddys public offer for OctoPlus begins

Taking forward the acquisition process, drug-maker Dr Reddys Laboratories said it made a public offer starting Friday to acquire all shares of the Netherlands-based OctoPlus NV, a speciality pharmaceutical company. On October 22, the Indian drug major had announced that it had decided to acquire OctoPlus NV for about 27.4 million euro (about R193 crore). Dr Reddys, together with its subsidiaries, launches the recommended public offer to acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of OctoPlus NV, a service based speciality pharmaceutical company, at an offer price of 0.52 euro (cum-dividend) per share, DRL said in statement.

BofA ML upgrades cement stocks to buy

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch on Friday upgraded its rating across cement stocks to buy from neutral or underperform, saying capacity will lag demand, while valuations are below previous up cycles. The investment bank added that general elections in the next 18 months bode well for the Indian cement sector given that the demand-GDP multiplier expanded in four out of the five previous election years. Among the major cement manufacturers, BoFA ML upgraded UltraTech Cement and Ambuja Cements to buy from underperform. Among mid-cap stocks, Shree Cement was raised to buy from neutral, while India Cements was upgraded to buy from underperform.

Sensex rally to extend into next year: Poll

The BSE Sensex is expected to climb to a record high by the end of the next year based on expected interest rate cuts and the government's resolve to press on with reforms, a Reuters poll showed. The Sensex has rallied strongly since June, despite an economy headed for its slowest yearly rate of growth in a decade, stubbornly high inflation, and a record current account deficit. The global economic backdrop has also been poor, with growth in many other emerging market economies slowing and tepid demand from the recession-mired euro zone and sluggish US economies. But the median projection of 20 equity analysts in a survey conducted over the past week showed the Sensex is expected to hit 20,500 by June next year, and rally to 22,250 by the end of 2013, surpassing a record high of 21,206.77 from January 2008. The mid-year consensus is almost the same as the one three months ago.

Diageos shareholding in USL to go up to 27.4%

The shareholders of United Spirits (USL) have approved the preferential allotment of shares to Diageo Plc, allowing the UK major to take its shareholding to 27.4% in USL, triggering an open offer under Sebi guidelines. The allotment of more than 14.53 million shares at R1,440 per share amounts to 10% of the post-issue enlarged share capital of USL. This will result in a capital infusion of R3,300 crore into USL. This is good for the shareholders," said Varun Lochab, managing director and co-head of research, Religare Capital Markets. Diageo had earlier announced that it will launch the open offer to acquire a maximum of 37,785,214 shares at a price of R1,440 per share, which equates to 26% of the enlarged share capital of USL. USL, in a notice to the BSE, said: On the basis of scrutinisers report, it is announced that the special resolution in the notice dated November 9, 2012, has been duly approved by the shareholders with the requisite majority as on date, ie., December 14, 2012. This was approved by the shareholders with more than 96% voting in favour of the allotment.