IDFC exits Novartis India pharma stake


Indian infrastructure firm IDFC has sold its stake in pharmaceutical company Novartis India through a bulk sale on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The firm received about $2.65m by selling more than 220,000 shares at IRP670.02 each owned by its Small and Midcap Equity SME Fund.

Novartis was created in 1996 through the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz.

India’s growing pharmaceutical industry stands to receive a major boost after the government announced plans for a $367m venture fund to promote the sector.

Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said in July the state was in discussions with Exim Bank over the new fund, and was also planning to set up a new committee aimed at addressing concerns about the industry in the country.

Sharma said promoting R&D could help Indian pharma gain access to lucrative growth economies in Africa, Latin America and Russia.

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