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Monday, January 18, 2021

UPL stock plunges 15%; Indian shares slide from record highs

Shares of agrochemical maker UPL dropped 15% following a report that its promoters had siphoned off money.

By: Reuters | Bengaluru | Updated: December 10, 2020 1:00:16 pm
upl share price, upl agrochemicalUPL Ltd was the biggest loser on the Nifty, falling as much as 15%. (Representative image, source: Bloomberg)

Indian shares slid from record highs on Thursday and the Nifty snapped seven sessions of gains, led by a 15% drop in agrochemical maker UPL following a report that its promoters had siphoned off money.

The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.91% to 13,405.65 by 0439 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.81% at 45,729.27. The indexes had hit record highs in 14 of the previous 21 sessions, driven mainly by news of progress in coronavirus vaccines.

India’s drugs regulator on Wednesday said it needed more data to decide on emergency authorisation for vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech.

UPL Ltd was the biggest loser on the Nifty, falling as much as 15% after the Economic Times reported that a whistleblower claimed promoters of the company had siphoned off money.

“The market is definitely heavily overbought and liquidity is the main reason,” said IIFL Securities Director Sanjiv Bhasin.

“Markets will digest all negative news now, the second half of December could be more tricky than most people thought. I would be very circumspect about markets going up from here.”

Cement stocks ACC Ltd, Ambuja Cement and UltraTech Cement slid between 2.2% and 3.0% after Reuters reported late Wednesday that India’s antitrust body conducted raids at the companies’ offices.

Maruti Suzuki India was the top gainer on the Nifty, rising as much as 1.8%, after the automaker said it would increase prices across models from January due to a rise in costs.

Asian shares were also lower on uncertainty about US stimulus and after Britain’s medicine regulator issued an anaphylaxis warning on Pfizer’s vaccine after some adverse reactions.

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