The state of the Indian economy

Is the economy expanding? Is manufacturing growing? Is consumption-driven growth back? Is investment demand back? These are important questions. They should also be questions to which there can only be one correct answer. Let’s then try to answer them: 1. Yes. According to the latest gross domestic product (GDP) data, the economy expanded by 7.4% in the second quarter of ... Read More »

AP port policy: A pragmatic approach to port development

Endowed with a coastline stretching 974km—the second longest in India—and strategically located on the country’s eastern seaboard, Andhra Pradesh knows the importance of developing seaports. The port policy that was announced by the state government led by chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu last week is pragmatic while treading cautiously on many critical issues that have a bearing on the success ... Read More »

Manufacturing PMI: In country of blind, one-eyed man is king

The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has dropped to over a two-year low in November at 50.3. Although soft demand is weighing on India’s manufacturing activity, the PMI data shows its manufacturing sector is doing far better than other countries in Emerging Asia (see chart). Weak demand is weighing on manufacturing and production activity in most of the ... Read More »

Shipping indices, trade and what’s in store for India

World trade has remained subdued this year. Not surprisingly, shipping indices across the board have performed miserably. The Shanghai (Export) Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), which reflects spot rates for container transport from Shanghai to the rest of the world, has declined as much as 47% so far this year. The China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI), which is considered a broader ... Read More »

Divergent trend in export volumes

The chart, from the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, shows an index of global exports volumes, seasonally adjusted over the 12 months to September 2015. Note that world exports are up a minuscule 0.28% year-on-year (y-o-y) in September 2015. The chart shows volumes, not price; so, lower commodity and oil prices are not to blame. However, we also ... Read More »

Weak rabi prospects cloud Bayer CropScience outlook

Compared with a 4% loss in the S&P BSE 500 index, Bayer CropScience Ltd has lost 11% since its September quarter results announcement. Revenue fell 5% due to weak demand in India and abroad. Though revenue increased 5% in the first half of the current fiscal year, the growth is far slower than the 20% rise the company reported last ... Read More »

Bata India: walking on rough terrain

Bata India Ltd is finding it tough to sell shoes. Retail companies in general are facing tepid consumer sentiment. Competition from the online marketers is also making life difficult. Against that backdrop, the shoe maker managed a modest 5% year-on-year revenue growth for the September quarter to Rs.575 crore, well below expectations. Gross margins declined 115 basis points to 53%. ... Read More »

Recent track-record belies hype in wind energy

By drastically raising the capacity addition target to 60,000 megawatt (MW) from the present 24,000MW, the Indian government has managed to create a buzz in the wind energy sector. At least one equipment supplier has recently commissioned a new facility to cater to new wind farms and asset developers are seeing great investor interest. While the renewed interest is encouraging, ... Read More »

No signs of good days for small- and mid-sized firms

The anaemic recovery is taking its biggest toll on the fortunes of smaller firms. A Mint analysis of companies with revenue below Rs.500 crore shows net sales growth continued to decline, down 5.5% at the end of the September quarter, the worst in two years (see chart 1). Click here for enlarge While operating profit improved, thanks to windfall gains ... Read More »

Will deal activity stay high in mid-cap IT?

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence and three times is a certainty,” goes the saying. There have been three large deals in mid-tier information technology (IT) services space in the past seven months and at least some analysts are certain it is a sign of consolidation. Analysts at Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd wrote in a recent note to clients, ... Read More »