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 »

Finance cost savings key trigger for Jain Irrigation

Jain Irrigation shares have fallen 2% since the equity infusion announcement on 6 November. Investors would want to see some results first given that balance sheet worries have persisted for some time now. Higher finance costs have been a pain for Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd for some time now. For perspective, on a consolidated basis, for three months and six ... Read More »

Havells India: light at the end of the tunnel?

Shares of Havells India Ltd, a maker of lighting products, cables and fans, have rallied since it announced earnings last week, outperforming the broader markets. The rally was on the back of expectations of better demand during the festival season and a pickup in infrastructure spending. The company management, during the conference call with analysts, said it expected decent growth ... Read More »

Sony rethinks its game

For close to two years now, Sony Entertainment Television (SET), Multi Screen Media’s (MSM) general entertainment channel has been struggling to get its groove back. Ratings have steadily dropped; from being the second most watched channel in 2013 it has slipped to sixth position as audiences have shifted loyalties and more recently, it has been hit by a new rating ... Read More »