Tag Archives: FMCG

Industries: Looking back and ahead

As the year 2010 coming to an end, reports on various industries appeared across the news papers. Here are the links to those reports on the sectors related to our investments.

PHARMACEUTICALS and HEALTH CARE

The pharma story: A decade of transition

The last 10 years were a crucial transition period for the Indian pharmaceutical industry. The next 10 years will be more crucial, predict industry experts. The period between 2000 and 2010 witnessed India’s top 10 drug companies growing from sales turnovers, ranging between Rs 500-Rs 800 crore, to professionally-run multinational generic companies with turnovers ranging from Rs 3,500 crore to over Rs 7,000 crore. If most of these companies earlier relied on bulk drug supplies, small exports to unregulated markets in Africa and Asia and formulation sales in the domestic market, the last 10 years saw them aggressively tapping regulated markets of the US and Europe and penetrating into newer and emerging markets. If the Indian industry had filed only three marketing applications with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998, that number swelled to 148 in 2009. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/the-pharma-storydecadetransition/420227/

Pharma: Walking the tightrope between affordability, profits

It could well turn out to be a significant year for the over Rs 1-lakh-crore pharmaceutical industry, if clarity dawns on contentious issues facing the sector. Be it implementation of intellectual property laws, signing of free-trade agreements (FTAs), policy of price control on medicines or spate of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) – 2011 will have stake-holders looking to the Government for direction. It all boils down to how the Centre walks the fine line in balancing access to affordable medicines with encouraging industry to maintain healthy bottom-lines. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2010/12/31/stories/2010123151610300.htm

YEAR 2010: Acquisitions spurred Pharma, healthcare expansion

Looking healthier on booster dose of global alliances, the Indian pharma and healthcare sectors repeatedly hit headlines this year on account of M&As, but inbound buyouts by MNCs raised concerns over availability of low-cost drugs. Be it Sun Pharma’s victory in acquiring Israel’s Taro after a long drawn battle, or Piramal’s selling off its domestic formulations business to Abbott, or Biocon’s marketing deal with Pfizer, Indian drug makers sought strength from global play. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/year-2010-acquisitions-spurred-pharma-healthcare-expansion/119573/on

Pharma: On a healthy wicket

The Indian pharmaceutical sector closed 2010 on a high note, what with an impressive stock market performance, driven largely by earnings growth and bettering prospects. And if the sector undercurrents are to be relied upon, good times are likely to continue this year as well. Strong demand growth in the US market, increasing generic penetration worldwide besides a robust domestic market, promise to keep the Indian drug makers in good health in 2011 too. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2011/01/01/stories/2011010151720200.htm

FMCG

2010 saw fastest FMCG launches, relaunches

2010 could well figure in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) annals as the year of product launches and relaunches. Indeed, the year saw almost every major player launching or relaunching as many as 10-30 products or their variants, either under existing brands or under altogether new brands and categories. http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report_2010-saw-fastest-fmcg-launches-relaunches_1488220

In demand: Iconic consumer brands

Good old brands are finding their way into the portfolios of some of the top FMCG companies in the country. They may be small but that hasn’t prevented them from finding their way into the product portfolios of some of the top fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in the country. Iconic consumer brands are much in demand today. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/in-demand-iconic-consumer-brands/419643/

Spate of price hikes spells good fortune for FMCG industry

FMCG players seem to be regaining their pricing power, with Hindustan Unilever taking price increases of 5-8 per cent in soaps and detergents, Dabur India hiking prices by 3-4 per cent and Britannia Industries 5-10 per cent on select brands of biscuits over the past six months. After dealing with rampant inflation, bruising competition and parsimonious consumers in 2009 and 2010, listed players in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment can now look forward to an easier year ahead. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2010/12/27/stories/2010122751610100.htm

AUTOMOBILE

Car industry: Great hopes for 2011

The Indian car industry is looking forward to another promising year, even as the global car market struggles to find its feet after the economic slowdown. With car sales rising over 30 per cent in 2010, the momentum is expected to continue into 2011 on the back of new launches, rising income levels, and the continued availability of cheap finance. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2011/01/01/stories/2011010151810200.htm

Indian car makers likely to see slower growth in the new year

Even as global peers struggled with the after-effects of the 2008-09 economic slowdown, Indian car makers enjoyed double digit growth this year and saw their share prices outpace the benchmark market index. But as they enter 2011, they may have to get used to a new normal—slower growth and fiercer competition. http://www.livemint.com/2010/12/29214755/Indian-car-makers-likely-to-se.html?atype=tp

2000-2010: A decade of growth in the auto sector

The noughties or 2000-2010 will be remembered for the rise of Indian auto as a strong and lucrative domestic market. During this period, Indian manufacturers became bold and aggressive with global ambitions to boot in the in the second half. Read more at: http://profit.ndtv.com/news/show/2000-2010-a-decade-of-growth-in-the-auto-sector-132884?cp

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Buoyant Indian IT industry rebounds but remains cautious

Recovering from global tech meltdown, the resilient Indian IT industry returned to high growth during a tumultuous 2010 but is cautiously optimistic about 2011 in view of the economic uncertainty in Europe and the US, which account for 80-85 per cent of its export revenue from software services and back office operations. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/buoyant-indian-it-industry-rebounds-but-remains-cautious/articleshow/7190235.cms

Mid-size IT companies set to join the party in 2011

The demand for IT services remains strong due to better offshoring sentiment and increased spending by clients . A revival in discretionary projects, together with stable pricing, is likely to continue in the New Year as well. But experts caution that demand visibility has narrowed to only three-six months, given the uncertain economic scenario. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/analysis/it-mid-size-cos-set-to-join-the-party-in-2011/articleshow/7181987.cms

Infotech looks ahead to high growth, innovation

It’s been a happy 2010 for the tech industry. It ushered in glimpses of recovery, while the second half of the year brought in growth, hiring and resilience , pumping in a sense of confidence back to the markets which were shattered by the global economic meltdown. The highlight was the revival and the resilience it showed. IT companies posted good numbers clearly signalling that the risk of a double dip recession emerging and disrupting growth are now behind us. Besides, hiring plans and increments were back on board, demonstrating the feel good in the sector. So while 2010 was characterized by restructuring , consolidation, pragmatic learning and smart budgeting , 2011 will continue to build on that and move ahead, say industry experts. Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Infotech-looks-ahead-to-high-growth-innovation/articleshow/7170339.cms#ixzz19o9GYqMJ

CEMENT

Cement industry will be weighed down by excess supply

2011 could be a challenging year for cement manufacturers. Though demand for cement will reach higher double-digit growth, it will be insufficient to absorb the entire supply. Rising input prices and excess capacity (and resultant pricing pressures) will continue to depress margins for cement manufacturers. A higher growth in despatches (versus 7 per cent growth this year) will follow good housing demand and the Government’s thrust on infrastructure projects as the eleventh Five Year Plan comes to an end. With GDP growth estimates for 2011 coming at around 8.8 per cent, the cement industry can be expected to report a 10-11 per cent growth in consumption. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2010/12/30/stories/2010123052220200.htm

POWER

Power companies seen strengthening foundations for big plans in 2010

From disinvestment to cementing nuclear energy pacts, 2010 saw India’s power sector strengthen its foundations for the massive capacity expansion required to meet the growing needs of the energy-starved nation. The year also saw a shift in the process for awarding power projects to a tariff-based bidding system. These developments augur well for the sector, as India — which is eyeing a GDP growth rate in excess of 9 per cent — aims to add 1,00,000 MW of electricity during the XII Five-Year Plan (2012-17), with the major contribution expected to come from private power producers. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/energy/power/power-companies-seen-strengthening-foundations-for-big-plans-in-2010/articleshow/7189053.cms

MINING

Hunt for overseas coal assets to intensify

With the Indian economy back on the track after the slowdown, merger and acquisition (M&A) activities in the resource sector are likely to pick up momentum in the coming year. After establishing a foothold in the global oil and gas asset market, India now eyes coal assets. Meanwhile, the Indian government has proposed key changes in the existing mines and minerals development act (MMDR to allow trading of exploration and mining concessions to attract foreign investors. If the these legislative changes are approved, Indian mining sector, especially coal, might see a flurry of M&A activities. http://news.in.msn.com/business/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4742358


Weekly Portfolio Review: 26 December 2010

BSE Sensex ended the last week higher by 209 points to close at 20,074 and NSE Nifty 63 points at 6,012. Return on my portfolio in the past week was 1.76%. Hero Honda gained 15% in the past week. Other gainers in my portfolio were TIL, Graphite India, NIIT Tech, Divi’s Lab, and Swaraj Engines which gained from 5% to 8%. In the losers pack were Opto Circuits, Dr. Reddy’s Lab, and Crompton Greaves which lost 5% to 9%.

The surge in Hero Honda was after the Hero Group management allayed fears that there won’t be any impact on minority shareholders in Hero Honda after its split from the Japanese auto major Honda. The official disclosure of details of the parting of the joint venture with Honda ended all rumours that were going around for sometimes now.

NIIT Technologies acquired an electronic health records and referral management platform called “Preferr” to initiate its foray into the lucrative healthcare segment in the US. In another tragic incident, 2 persons died after inhaling poisonous gas at a manufacturing facility of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.

Good buys in my watch list

Script Sector 3 Years Target Current Price Expected Margin
KSB Pumps Engineering 1,072.00 521.95 105%
Zensar Tech IT 318.00 159.85 99%
Tata Sponge Iron Metal 700.00 357.10 96%
Oil Country Tubular Metal 173.00 90.70 91%
Graphite India Engineering 200.00 105.40 90%
Divis Laboratories Pharma 1,095.00 635.95 72%
Honeywell Automation Engineering 4,100.00 2,398.05 71%
Tractors India Ltd Construction 1,150.00 683.00 68%
Swaraj Engines Auto Ancil 850.00 505.95 68%
Amara Raja Batteries Auto Ancil 301.60 182.00 66%
Bharti Airtel Telecom 551.00 348.50 58%
BHEL Engineering 3,567.00 2,284.75 56%
Tech Mahindra IT 1,074.00 688.10 56%

I will be buying Zensar Technologies, Oil Country Tubular, Divis Laboratories and Honeywell Automation in this week. KSB Pumps and Tata Sponge Iron are already within my top 5 holding.

My plan is to limit number of companies in my holding to 30. At present I have 32 companies and when I buy Zensar Tech and Oil Country Tubular this week, it will reach 34. In order to align my portfolio with my plan, I will be selling shares of four companies in coming weeks.

I will sell Glenmark Pharma and Dr. Reddy’s in this week. My return on Glenmark Pharma is 47% in 9 months and on Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories is 23% in 4 months.

News Update

I am discontinuing this part from my weekly portfolio review. However I will share on twitter any news on companies that has been mentioned in ‘good buys in my watchlist’.  You may follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/mvalappil

Interesting Read

Margins to remain under pressure at consumer goods firms

In a year during which food inflation stayed stubbornly high for the most part, packaged consumer goods companies engaged in a pitched battle for market share, driving up volumes with price wars, new launches and increased spending on high-decibel promotions even as margins got squeezed. http://www.livemint.com/2010/12/21045902/Margins-to-remain-under-pressu.html?atype=tp

Tariff-based bids to hurt power PSUs

Competition among power companies could become fiercer soon, with the Centre all set to introduce tariff-based competitive bidding for the allocation of projects from January 6. Consumers can rejoice as the new regime would bring down electricity tariffs across the country. Private sector players like Reliance Power, Tata Power, Sterlite, JSW Energy, Adani and Lanco Infratech, who are well-equipped to negotiate prices with vendors and also have access to secure fuel supplies, would be at an advantage when it comes to grabbing projects under the new regime. However, NTPC, despite its unmatched project-execution expertise, is expected to face the heat, at least initially. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/tariffbased-bids-to-hurt-power-psus/728274/

My Portfolio

Return

My Portfolio BSE Sensex NSE Nifty
This Week 1.76% 1.05% 1.06%
This month 1.55% 2.82% 2.53%
This Year 10.72% 14.94% 15.58%
Since 1-1-2009 126.71% 108.08% 103.16%
Since 1-1-2008 52.38% -0.66% -1.12%
Since 1-4-2007 89.31% 53.56% 57.31%

Top 5 holding in my equity portfolio

Company Sector % of Total Value Average Holding Period Absolute Return %
Infosys IT 8 3 Years 102
Graphite India Telecom 6 2 Months 9
HUL FMCG 5 5 Months 12
KSB Pumps Engineering 5 3 Months -6
Swaraj Engines Auto Ancillory 5 2 Months 9

Shares I bought this month

Company Average Cost
Tata Sponge Iron 364.43
Graphite India 95.62
BHEL 2,339.58
HUL 302.01
Tractors India Ltd 690.22
Swaraj Engines 491.85
KSB Pumps 506.95

Shares I sold this month

Company Average Price

Top 5 most gain (absolute)

Company Return % Average Holding Period
Gujarat Gas 218 2.6 Years
Dabur India 152 4.6 Years
Tata Global Beverages 111 2.0 Years
Berger Paints 168 3.8 Years
Infosys 102 3.0 Years

Top 5 most loss (absolute)

Company Return % Average Holding Period
Opto Circuits -14 2 months
Honeywell Automation -10 1 month
Tata Communication -25 11 months
Mangalam Cement -17 2 months
Divi’s Laboratories -10 2 months

Archive of previous portfolio reviews

Weekly Portfolio Review: 19 December 2010

It is interesting to read the news reports to see the reason for up or down of share market every day – sometimes it is quite funny or weird! The last Monday Sensex closed up 183 points ‘taking support from positive Europe markets’, on Tuesday another 107 points high ‘amid hopes that dip in inflation rate will lead the Reserve Bank to halt the tightening of key policy rates for now’. However the Sensex was down by 151 points on Wednesday ‘reacting to profit booking in global peers. Rate sensitive sectors like realty and banks were under pressure ahead of Reserve Bank of India’s credit policy meet’ and then it closed higher by 217 points on Thursday, ‘after the RBI kept short term lending and borrowing rates unchanged’. Net effect is that the Sensex ended 356 points high at 19,865 and Nifty 91 points at 5,949 for the week.

In fact, one day it was up with the hope that RBI would halt the tightening of rate, next day it was down under pressure ahead of RBI’s meet and following day it went up as RBI kept rate unchanged!

The major news for the market last week was the official announcement of parting of Honda from the join venture, Hero Honda. It has been in the news for quite sometimes now and the uncertainty has ended with this formal announcement. But the ‘analysts’ are still divided on the outcome and long term effect on the company after Honda leaving the JV.

Good buys in my watch list

Script Sector 3 Years Target Current Price Expected Margin
KSB Pumps Engineering 1,072.00 501.15 114%
Graphite India Engineering 200.00 97.80 104%
Tata Sponge Iron Metal 700.00 352.95 98%
Mazda Engineering 207.00 111.80 85%
Tractors India Ltd Construction 1,150.00 631.30 82%
Divis Laboratories Pharma 1,095.00 602.10 82%
Zensar Tech IT 289.00 160.00 81%
Swaraj Engines Auto Ancil 850.00 481.45 77%
Tech Mahindra IT 1,074.00 669.45 60%
Opto Circuits Healthcare 450.00 280.95 60%
BHEL Engineering 3,567.00 2,304.70 55%
HUL FMCG 446.00 294.40 51%

I will be buying KSB Pumps and Tata Sponge Iron in coming week. Graphite India is within my top 5 holding, so not buying now.

News Update

Indian GSM telecom operators added a whopping 17.45 million new subscribers in November, taking the all-India GSM cellular subscriber base to 526.18 million, cellular operators’ association COAI said on Friday. Bharti Airtel, the largest GSM player, added 3.10 million new users in November, taking its total subscriber base to 149.39 million. It had 28.39 per cent market share as of the end of November, 2010, it added. – Indian Express, Dec 16, 2010

Bharti Airtel Ltd. plans to expand its mobile network coverage in Madagascar by about 25 percent in 2011 to attract customers in rural areas. The expansion will offer services to a further 5 million to 6 million people. The company plans to invest $50 million over 18 months and wants to increase customers to 3.2 million in Madagascar within a year from 2 million now. – Bloomberg, Dec 14, 2010

The Hero Group on Thursday announced that it would buyout the entire 26 per cent stake of its partner Honda Motor Company Group in Hero Honda thus breaking its 26-year-old partnership. Hero Honda will continue to produce and sell the existing models, while new models would be also launched. However, all future products will be rolled out under the new licensing agreement between Hero Group and Honda. Hero Honda brand name will also be changed over time. The new licensing arrangement signed between the Hero Group and Honda Motor Co., Japan, would also enable higher growth by giving it (Hero Group) the freedom to develop its own research and development capabilities and exploit global export and manufacturing opportunities.  The two-wheeler major will also start exporting products across the globe and look for manufacturing opportunities.  – The Hindu, Dec 16, 2010

State-run power producer NTPC may approach the government next fiscal for permission to raise funds through a follow-on public offer to part-finance power equipment purchases worth an estimated Rs 1,50,000 crore.  – The Economic Times, Dec 17, 2010

NTPC, the state-run power producer, signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the West Bengal government yesterday for a thermal unit it will be setting up at Katwa (Bardhaman district). “The total investment for the 2×800 Mw Katwa project will be Rs 9,600 crore, roughly around Rs 6 crore per Mw. Discussions are also going on for a greenfield (new) project at Santaldih (Purulia district),” – Business Standard, Dec 14, 2010

Public sector undertaking National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) today signed a power purchase agreement with Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) for a 2,640-Mw coal-based thermal power project at Gidderbaha, being undertaken at a cost of Rs 15,000 crore. – Business Standard, Dec 13, 2010

Gujarat plans to treble its cement production capacity in 3-5 years. Proposals have been invited from cement companies like ACC , ABG, Ambuja Cement, Emami , Indiabulls, Adani group, Ultratech and L&T and the state hopes to raise its capacity from 20 million tonnes per annum to 70 million tonne. – The Economic times, Dec 17, 2010

Interesting Read

Record car sales mark 2010 for Indian auto sector

Record sales made 2010 a special year for automakers in India, which also saw the iconic Maruti 800 take a bow from big cities, Hero split with Honda and demand for the promising Nano sputter following a string of accidents. For a country whose economy has been expanding at near 9% rate, it was not surprising that automobile sales broke all records between July and October to average a growth of 30%. Such was the appeal of the country and the appetite of the Indian motorist that Bugatti launched its Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, which at Rs 16 crore became the costliest car in India, while other niche marques Aston Martin and Spyker Cars said they too would drive in soon. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Record-car-sales-mark-2010-for-Indian-auto-sector/Article1-640211.aspx

Car Trouble In India

India’s automobile industry has raced from a crippling slowdown to scorching growth in less than two years. But a severe shortage of parts is applying the brake in this otherwise rosy journey. http://www.forbes.com/2010/12/15/forbes-india-auto-industry-faces-ugly-turn.html

FMCG cos fastracked expansion in 2010

A total of 13 acquisitions in 2010, mostly global, that is how Indian companies announced their arrival in the global FMCG space as they looked to fastrack their way to international expansion. Led by Godrej, which had seven acquisitions on its account, domestic firms, including Marico (2 buyouts) and Dabur (2 acquisitions) and Emami (1 buyout) went on a global buying-spree during the year. The total valuations of the acquisitions could not be ascertained as the firms decided to keep it under wraps except in one or two cases.  http://www.indianexpress.com/news/domestic-fmcg-cos-fastracked-expansion-via-buyouts/726409/

Food in the fast lane

Although the market for ready-to-eat (RTE) and ready-to-cook (RTC) foods is still nascent, the fact that there is heightened activity from brands in both these segments points to the opportunities they see in them. While there is a lot more in Indian cuisine in RTE, RTC foods are more about non-traditional foods such as soups, noodles and pasta; vermicelli is also popular. For instance, Maggi is seeing some serious competition from big and small, national, regional and retail brands now. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Food-in-the-fast-lane/Article1-637647.aspx

HUL: from survival to revival

A year ago, India’s largest consumer firm by revenue seemed to be floundering. Here’s how the company achieved a turnaround. http://www.livemint.com/2010/12/13220503/HUL-from-survival-to-revival.html

Telcos unlikely to start tariff war in 3G

Consumers awaiting high-speed third-generation (3G) services should be ready to shell out a premium for data as telecom players gear up to rollout their services over the next few months. Industry experts say the price war fought during the 2G days will not hold true for the 3G services considering the hefty prices that operators have paid for acquiring licences. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Telcos-unlikely-to-start-tariff-war-in-3G-/articleshow/7097008.cms

All that’s cheap is not good

Avoid buying stocks based on cost alone. Highly priced stocks may be expensive but provide better returns. Whenever we buy a product or service, we look at its cost. Cheaper products seem more affordable and hence attractive to buy. The same applies to stocks. Low-priced ones attract more buying interest. However, do they give good returns? One must know how to compare stocks, the pricing and how to find value for money. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/all-that%5Cs-cheap-is-not-good/417884/

My Portfolio

Return

My Portfolio BSE Sensex NSE Nifty
This Week 1.46% 1.82% 1.56%
This month -0.21% 1.75% 1.46%
This Year 8.80% 13.74% 14.38%
Since 1-1-2009 122.78% 105.92% 101.04%
Since 1-1-2008 49.74% -1.69% -2.15%
Since 1-4-2007 86.03% 51.96% 55.66%

Top 5 holding in my equity portfolio

Company Sector % of Total Value Average Holding Period Absolute Return %
Infosys IT 8 3 Years 97
Graphite India Telecom 5 2 Months 1
HUL FMCG 5 5 Months 12
Mangalam Cements Cements 5 3 Months -17
Swaraj Engines Auto Ancillory 5 2 Months 3

Shares I bought this month

Company Average Cost
Tata Sponge Iron 368.41
Graphite India 95.62
BHEL 2,339.58
HUL 302.01
Tractors India Ltd 690.22
Swaraj Engines 491.85

Shares I sold this month

Company Average Price

Top 5 most gain (absolute)

Company Return % Average Holding Period
Gujarat Gas 219 2.6 Years
Dabur India 153 4.6 Years
Tata Global Beverages 115 2.0 Years
Berger Paints 159 3.8 Years
Infosys 97 3.0 Years

Top 5 most loss (absolute)

Company Return % Average Holding Period
KSB Pumps -11 3 months
Honeywell Automation -14 1 month
Tata Communication -25 11 months
Mangalam Cement -17 2 months
Divi’s Laboratories -15 1 month

Archive of previous portfolio reviews

Weekly Portfolio Review: 11 December 2010

Concern of interest rate hike amid rise in food inflation and intensified probe into the 2G scam affected stock market negatively in the last week. Report of strong industrial production growth published on Friday helped to regain some of the loss of preceding three days. During the last week, Sensex lost 2.29% to 19,509 and Nifty 2.26% to 5,857. My portfolio lost 1.64% in the month to date.

Good buys in my watch list

Script Sector 3 Years Target Current Price Expected Margin
Graphite India Engineering 200.00 97.15 106%
Swaraj Engines Auto Ancil 850.00 474.65 79%
Tractors India Ltd Construction 1,150.00 664.75 73%
HUL FMCG 445.00 295.45 51%
BHEL Engineering 3,567.00 2,278.00 57%
NTPC Power 293.00 192.20 52%
Hindustan Zinc Metal 1,730.00 1,150.80 50%

I will be buying Swaraj Engines, Tractors India, HUL and Bhel in the coming week. Graphite India is in my top 5 holding.

News Update

Public sector undertaking NTPC today signed a power purchase agreement with Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) for 2,640 MW coal-based thermal power project at Gidderbaha for Rs 15,000 crore. The plant consists of four units of 660 MW each, which would be entirely funded by NTPC. – The Economic Times, 11 DEC 2010

Country’s largest power producer NTPC has earmarked a whopping Rs 1,50,000 crore investment for sourcing equipment for its power projects in the next fiscal, the deliveries of which will be made over five years – The Economic Times, Dec 8, 2010

The board of state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) board has approved the company’s plan of starting a non-banking financial company (NBFC) to finance power projects, said B.S. Meena, secretary, department of heavy industries (DHI). Bhel plans to apply for a licence from the Reserve Bank of India. – Livemint, 10 DEC 2010

The Munjals of Hero Group have initiated talks with lenders to secure bridge financing for the buyout of its Japanese joint venture partner’s equity in Hero Honda. – Times of India, Dec 10, 2010

B.M Munjal promoted Hero group will buyout the Japanese partner Honda from the world’s largest two wheeler producing venture, a deal for which would signed this month. After months of negotiations, Hero group is believed to have reached an agreeemnt to acquire 26 per cent stake of Honda in the 26 year old joint venure but it is not clear at what price. – Economic Times, Dec 8, 2010

The country”s largest two-wheeler maker Hero Honda today said it has hiked the prices of its models in the range of Rs 500- Rs 1500 to offset the rising input costs. – The Economic Times, Dec 8, 2010

The Hero Group is in the process of scouting for technology partners in Europe and South East Asia given that the company has reached an agreement with Honda Motor Co to end its partnership in producing motorcycles. The technology agreement between Hero and Honda for bikes expires in 2014.  – NDTV, Dec 7, 2010

Opto Circuits India has announced that Cardiac Science Corporation, the wholly owned subsidiary of the company and a global leader in automated external defibrillator (AED) and diagnostic cardiac monitoring devices, added two electrocardiographs (ECGs) under its Burdick brand, known for its accuracy, reliability, and ease of use. The ECGs, available only in the US, deliver built-in, bi-directional communication so customers can connect to leading EMRs. – India Infoline, Dec 10, 2010

Andhra Pradesh-based Amara Raja Batteries on Friday said that it is scouting for locations to set up a new manufacturing unit in the Northern part of the country which is likely to be operational by 2012.

Amara Raja Batteries Ltd, the technology leader and one of the largest manufacturers of lead acid batteries in India, today unveiled Amaron Volt TM, a specialized storage battery for the Indian telecom industry in the era of 3G & BWA enabled Data driven market and Mobile Internet.  Availability of assured source of Green Energy even in rural and harsh outdoor conditions is what Amaron Volt TM offers. Amaron Volt TM, a 2V high integrity series product is the latest VRLA offering from Amaron Hi Life range to meet the emerging demanding applications requirement of reliable backup power in Indian telecom market. – Business Standard, Dec 10, 2010

Electric vehicle-maker, Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles , today launched its Revai priced at Rs 3.10-lakh (ex-showroom Pune) and is targeting tripling its sales in the next 12-18-months. – Economic Times, Dec 10, 2010

GAIL India has proposed to set up 5,500 km of gas connectivity over the next two-three years investing USD 4 billion, a senior company official said today. Economic Times, Dec 10, 2010

State-owned Gas Authority of India (Gail), the country’s largest gas transmission and marketing company, has launched 10-year bond issue to raise funds at an upper cap of 8.9% per annum. The issue, which opened on Tuesday, has got close to Rs 1,000 crore bids between 8.85 and 8.89%. According to distributors, the firm has been negotiating with arrangers for the past few days to raise funds at not more than 8.8%. However, with the cost of funds inching up, it could not get commitment from the arrangers. Interestingly, even at this rate, arrangers were not willing to underwrite the issue on their books. – The Economic Times, Dec 8, 2010

Telecom giant Bharti Airtel Friday launched its IMEWE (India-Middle East-Western Europe) cable system, an ultra high capacity fiber optic submarine cable system to deliver better connectivity requirements of Middle East and European countries to Asia transiting through India. ‘IMEWE will open a second gateway for Airtel’s customers to the European market from Asia via Mumbai,’ the company said in a statement. – Economic Times, Dec 10, 2010

Developing a technology that may change the way the world approaches cancer, Biocon Limited, in collaboration with a US-based research company, is working on creating a “therapeutic vaccine” that will help the body activate the immune system to fight cancer on its own. – DNA, Dec 7, 2010

Agri machinery maker Mahindra & Mahindra today announced a tie-up with Italy based farm equipment company Maschio-Gaspardo S.p.A for getting supply of a complete range of rotary tillage equipment. As part of this agreement between Maschio and Mahindra AppliTrac (part of Mahindra & Mahindra’s farm equipment sector) the Italian company will manufacture rotovators. This will be bearing the Mahindra brand name which will be available through both Mahindra and Swaraj dealerships. Maschio will also manufacture other kinds of rotary tillage equipment for planting, seeding, crop care and crop residue management for Mahindra AppliTrac – The Economic Times, Dec 4, 2010

Interesting Read

Pharma companies line up for clinical trials

Signalling a growing interest in new drug discovery research, some major Indian pharmaceutical firms had applied for conducting clinical trials on at least 12 new drugs in 2010. The most sought therapeutic area is cancer. The numbers are the highest ever in the history of domestic drug discovery initiatives triggered by companies such as Dr Reddy’s and Ranbaxy over a decade ago. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/pharma-companies-linefor-clinical-trials/417751/

Input, ad costs put pressure on FMCG cos

Several mid-sized fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies such as Godrej Consumer Products , Dabur India , Marico and Emami have outperformed their larger multi-national peers over several quarters during the year. Acquisitions abroad and consumers’ shift from high-priced premium products to low-priced mass-market products have helped the companies post good performances. But results of the quarter to September indicate that this stand-out performance could be difficult to sustain. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/cons-products/fmcg/Input-ad-costs-put-pressure-on-FMCG-cos/articleshow/7068767.cms

Labour shortage in the fields drives farmers to tractors

Pawan Goenka noticed something unusual last year—tractor sales were climbing even though India had its worst monsoon in more than three decades and farm output dropped 2.8% in the three months to December last fiscal. The umbilical cord that tied rainfall patterns and tractor sales seemed to have been ruptured. The president of auto and tractor maker Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd offers an interesting explanation to this puzzle: growing labour shortages in rural India are encouraging farmers to mechanize operations. “The traditional model of predicting growth in the tractor market was only linked to the monsoon and didn’t factor in labour shortages,” says Goenka. http://www.livemint.com/2010/12/06233536/Labour-shortage-in-the-fields.html?atype=tp

Cement loosens grip again

With a meaningful demand recovery expected only around mid-CY11, analysts expect the demand-supply mismatch to prevail and stocks to underperform broader markets in the near term. After a superlative performance in October, when the overall dispatches of the cement industry grew over 18 per cent, the sector has taken a beating in November. In fact, on a sequential basis, the top five cement players have reported a 19.8 per cent drop in combined dispatches, indicating that demand is yet to pick up sufficiently to support prices. While analysts expect a demand recovery by mid-CY2011, most of them currently have a neutral to bearish view on the sector, as the valuations are not cheap. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/cement-loosens-grip-again/417364/

What next for cement stocks?

The July-September quarter was the worst for the cement industry in the recent down cycle. Sales were unimpressive. Profits fell sharply. Every variable played spoil-sport. The extended monsoons dampened demand as construction activity remained poor. Despatches were further curtailed by unavailability of wagons and shortage of labour. Overhang of excess capacity reduced realizations. Correspondingly, an upsurge in raw material prices hindered profitability. The October-December quarter is expected to bring some relief. The month of October witnessed a sharp rebound in production and despatches. This is a normal trend after a dull monsoon season. Cement realizations also improved significantly. Fear of price hikes led dealers to build-up their inventory. http://www.equitymaster.com/detail.asp?date=12/7/2010&story=4&title=What-next-for-cement-stocks

BHEL adopts strategy to venture into newer areas

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), the country’s biggest power equipment company, has adopted a policy of forming joint ventures and concluding technical tie-ups for venturing into newer areas of business. While parking of surplus funds in productive activities is one driver for the approach, attention on diversification and risk sharing seems to be the theme behind all such collaborations. The company has a cash surplus of Rs 10,000 crore. It has floated joint ventures (JVs) and technical tie-ups or started preliminary exercises for entry into nuclear equipment, wind energy, specialised grade steel, transmission, transportation and water treatment businesses. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/bhel-adopts-strategy-to-venture-into-newer-areas/417525/

Hero may have to play on Honda terms after break-up

Hero Group is believed to have won rights to use the Honda brand till 2014-end. As the final draft of separation between the Hero Group and Honda Motor Company gets readied, concerns are being raised on the Indian company’s ability to promote and sell its indigenous products in the long term, while managing the added burden of royalty payouts to the Japanese company. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/hero-may-have-to-playhonda-terms-after-break-up/417263/

My Portfolio

Return

My Portfolio BSE Sensex NSE Nifty
This Week -2.35% -2.29% -2.26%
This month -1.64% -0.08% -0.10%
This Year 7.24% 11.70% 12.62%
Since 1-1-2009 119.59% 102.23% 97.95%
Since 1-1-2008 47.59% -3.45% -3.66%
Since 1-4-2007 83.36% 49.24% 53.27%

Top 5 holding in my equity portfolio

Company Sector % of Total Value Average Holding Period Absolute Return %
Infosys IT 8 3 Years 89
Graphite India Telecom 6 2 Months 1
KSB Pumps Engineering 5 3 Months -13
Mangalam Cements Cements 5 3 Months -17
Maharashtra Seamless Metal 5 4 Months -5

Shares I bought this month

Company Average Cost
Tata Sponge Iron 368.41
Graphite India 95.62

Shares I sold this month

Company Average Price

Top 5 most gain (absolute)

Company Return % Average Holding Period
Gujarat Gas 208 2.6 Years
Dabur India 143 4.6 Years
Tata Global Beverages 107 2.0 Years
Berger Paints 127 3.8 Years
Infosys 89 3.0 Years

Top 5 most loss (absolute)

Company Return % Average Holding Period
KSB Pumps -12 3 months
Honeywell Automation -14 1 month
Tata Communication -26 11 months
Mangalam Cement -17 2 months
Divi’s Laboratories -14 1 month

Archive of previous portfolio reviews