Coronavirus induced lockdown made all the nations witness a sharp and unexpected decline in their economies. As uncertainty continues, withdrawal of investments, forced halt of all economic activities, crash of the markets is the end result.
It was indeed challenging for various companies to respond to a sudden nationwide lockdown. ‘Work From Home’ and ‘Social Distancing while being completely covered’, became the ‘new normal’. However, even with the relaxations introduced, the number of infected cases shoots up.
As on July 17, 2020, the number of coronavirus cases, in India, crossed one million; another Lockdown is soon anticipated, some industries are ready, and some are in the process of getting prepared for it.
Response of some Industries to anticipated lockdown
- Automotive Industry
An Industry Body Executive had mentioned that the pandemic had caused disruption in a sector already hit by weak demand. India’s auto sales will take three to four years to return to peak levels, as was the case in 2018.
According to data of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (S.I.A.M.), the fiscal year witnessed a fall in sales of cars, sport utility vehicles, motorbikes and trucks by 75 per cent from a year ago to about 1.5 million vehicles. Rajan Wadhera, the President of S.I.A.M., told the reporters, “The impact of COVID-19 is going to be very harsh on the auto industry. As of now, we are staring into a profound slowdown.”
- Pharmaceutical Industry
Sailesh Raj Bhan, Deputy Chief Investment Officer-Equity and Fund Manager of Nippon India Pharma Fund, stated that the pharma sector earnings could double in the next four to five years. This is evident as the share of domestic products has risen almost 40-50 per cent in large companies in India, giving them much stability. He had also added that the Indian pharmaceutical sector’s ‘return’ will be ‘bigger and bolder’ than the growth it has seen in the last ten years.
When compared to other industries, the pharmaceutical industry might be a bit more equipped to face the next lockdown—the reason being the need for medical drugs to provide immunity to humans.
- Cement Industry
The initial lockdown was a massive blow to the Cement Industry. It resulted in labour scarcity and a possibility that the government would stop spending on infrastructure and related activities. If it is so, then it will lead to a reduction in the capital expenditure and impacts the infrastructural growth. With the relaxations, came steady demands and moderate prices.
As of June 25, 2020, India Cements’ profits dropped by 49 per cent. Furthermore, it is considered that if the pandemic worsens and ‘the lockdown’ is back in action, then it can affect the liquidity of the cement players.
- Fast Moving Consumer Goods (F.M.C.G.) Industry
Having experienced shallow demands at the beginning of the lockdown, there has been a sharp growth in its sales in June, leading the industry to revert to its former position. According to Nielsen, a trusted global market research firm, consumers have prioritized fundamentals such as healthy foods, home hygiene, medical, fitness, education, home entertainment, and investment as they prepare for uncertainty caused by the slowing economy.
Around 62 per cent of those that were surveyed by Nielsen stated that they intend to increase online shopping by more than 20 per cent, showing that there will definitely be a shift to e-commerce. The FMCG also seems equipped to face the anticipated lockdown.
- Manufacturing Industry
The massive loss faced in the initial phase of lockdown was accompanied by labour scarcity. Manish Bansal, Director at Window Magic (a leading uPVC brand in India), believes that people will have to learn new standards in manufacturing. The needs to industry look into the future and change its business model to adapt accordingly. The use of technology was low in this field. Now, Digitization is no longer an option, but mandatory. Slow adoption of technology will help the manufacturing industry to reach out to the potential customers, suppliers and lenders via ‘e-marketplaces’.
With the next lockdown at hand, it will be safe to assume the above mentioned uPVC brand would be the one last to get affected. The reason being producers from this business-facing enormous demand from the customers for quick deliveries of their primary products, doors and windows.
uPVC casement windows come with so many benefits for the house or building as well as house owners.
Hire us to install them at your home in Jaipur @ https://t.co/ta2jIcoGnz#uPVC #uPVC_Windows #Casement_Windows #uPVC_Solution pic.twitter.com/w8vj54nGXb
— Jaipur uPVC Door Windows (@upvcdoorwindows) July 16, 2020
— Jaipur uPVC Door Windows (@upvcdoorwindows) January 13, 2020
From the industries’ responses, it is clear that new forms of conducting business have to be adopted if they are to continue in the markets. Although ambiguities do exist, the industries are ready to accept new business models, to ensure job security to several citizens, as well as revive the Indian economy.
How SEBI’s New Margin Rule Is Affecting Retail Traders?
Securities and Exchange Board of India has introduced new margin rules for traders. Traders and Brokers are not happy with the new regulations because they will have to invest a large amount of cash in fulfilling margin requirements for trade.
SEBI had introduced the new margin rule in the year 2020 for intraday traders. It is being implemented in a phased manner. Traders were supposed to maintain 25 per cent of the peak margin in the first phase; the margin was raised by 50 per cent in the second phase. In the third phase, as per the new margin rule, intraday traders will have to pay a 100 per cent upfront margin. According to new norms, the margin requirements will be calculated four times during every trading session because the money margin must be greater than the need.
As per the new rule, brokers must collect margin from investors for any purchase or sale, and if they fail to do so, they will have to pay the penalty. Thus, brokers will not receive power of attorney. Brokers cannot use power of attorney for pledging anymore.
Those investors who want to make use of margin will have to create margin pledges separately. As per the new rule, investors will have to pay at least a 30 per cent margin upfront to avail a margin loan. Shares brought today cannot be sold tomorrow. Funds from shares sold today cannot be used for new trades on the same day.
The market experts said that there must be proper adjustments for implementing new rules, or it may create chaos, trouble and disturbance to the market participants. The CEO and founder of Zerodha broking firm, Nithin Kamath tweeted that, “the day when the new rules came into effect was the dreaded day for brokers, exchanges, intraday traders”.
Traders Are Not Happy:
Changes in rules have evoked strong reactions from traders because they will have to invest a large amount of cash in fulfilling margin requirements for trades as per new margin rules. Even the trading in futures and options will become more expensive. Traders are disappointed because they will have to pay up more money to bet in stock markets. As per new margin rules, Traders are also liable for the penalty if the rules are not followed during the trading session. If a trader wants to buy Nifty worth Rs 10 lakh, he will have to pay a 20 per cent margin of around 2 lakh. If the margin of the trader does not meet the need, he will be penalized. Traders will have to pay the minimum amount for opening the Multilateral Trading facility account, and they have to maintain a minor balance at all times.
Why Gas SEBI Introduced A New Margin Rule?
SEBI has introduced new rules to protect retail investors from purchasing difficulty. The intended goal of SEBI behind new margin rules is to bring down the difficult market situation and avoid huge fluctuation in stock markets during extreme stress. The new margin rules are likely to bring transparency to the market; it is expected to strengthen the market’s safety.
Maya Global Education Society Acquires GIAP Journals
Gyandhara International Academic Publications (GIAP Journals), headquarter at Mira Road, Thane, Maharashtra, has been completely acquired by Maya Global Education Society (MGES), Prayagraj, India, with effect from 25th August 2021. Maya Global Education Society is an emerging confluence of academicians to cater to challenges in the educational and research domain in the post-pandemic world. Its headquarter is at Prayagraj, India.
According to our trusted sources value of this acquisition is around 50,000 USD. MGES claimed that their core activity is developing an online research-based education and training system that will reach all parts of the society irrespective of their economic status.
MGES aims to delve into the following activities:
* Training to academicians on tools and systems to improve students’ engagement in an online environment.
* Training to early researchers on research tools, software, and methodology.
* Training to early professionals and graduates to meet the skills demand of Industrial Revolution 4.0 (based on World Economic Forum suggestions).
* Publication of open access research journals and books (Recently acquired GIAP Journals).
* Distribution of scholarly content to Universities and higher education institutions.
GIAP cofounder and CEO Mrs. Rajni told us in an exclusive interview that the journey of GIAP was like a dream come true. It started in 2012 with loans on personal jewelry. After serving in the academic fraternity for the last 9 years, it was a timely decision for all journals and books to grow under the able guidance of pure academicians and researchers.
Kitex’s Stock Surged 46% In A Week Post Tussle With Kerala Government
The stock of Kitex Garments, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of kids’ garments, based in Kerala, saw a secular uptrend recently, after the company’s announcement that it will relocate to Telangana following a squabble with the Kerala government. The group withdrew a 3,500-crore investment project from Kerala and is planning to move to Telangana with a 1000 crore worth investment project.
Sabu M Jacob, the chairperson and managing director of the Kitex Group, stated his morality forbids him from ever investing a single rupee in Kerala, his native state. The comment brings the confrontation between the Kerala government and the homegrown firm to a close.
What is at the root of the clash?
Kitex has been subjected to repeated inspections by various Kerala government authorities in recent weeks, with group chairperson Sabu Jacob publicly accusing Pinarayi Vijayan’s Left administration of hounding the firm.
The inspections, Jacob said, were intended to “harass” businesses like him and “push him into a corner.” The authorities who came down to examine the firm, he claimed, seemed as though they were on the lookout for thieves and criminals.
P Rajeev, the state’s Industries Minister, emphasized that the government had not conducted any Suo Motu inspections of the firm. While the industries department did not conduct any searches, he said the health and labour agencies did so in response to orders from the Kerala High Court and the National Human Rights Commission based on individual complaints. The accusations are allegedly related to the company’s treatment of employees and the contamination of a nearby river due to wastewater discharge.
A Congress MP and a Congress MLA, and a female employee filed charges against the organization. The charges ranged from polluting a local waterway to harassing employees and violating minimum wage laws.
The Kerala government has denied targeting Kitex on purpose. The inspections were carried out in response to complaints and directives from courts and the state’s human rights commission; according to state industries minister P. Rajeev, he said his government stands for “responsible investment”, and the state would be a hub for such investments in a few years. He added, “The LDF Govt. ensures that sustainable and innovative industries thrive here,”
Thank you @hvgoenka for allaying the apprehensions over Kerala's EoDB. Your honesty is much appreciated. Kerala has been one of the most investor friendly States in India and will continue to be so. The LDF Govt. ensures that sustainable and innovative industries thrive here. https://t.co/6zQO0AUFIG
— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) July 4, 2021
What was the aftermath of the inspections?
Even though the final findings of the official inspections are still pending, Jacob escalated his feud with the government by announcing that he was cancelling investments worth Rs 3,500 crores that were announced during the ASCEND conference in January 2020. By 2025, the investments were intended at establishing an apparel park and industrial parks along the proposed economic corridor in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, and Palakkad, resulting in the creation of thousands of employment opportunities.
Without identifying anyone in the state administration, Jacob said that the state lacked a business-friendly environment. While he did not want to relinquish the intended investments in Kerala, he said he was compelled to do so due to political and bureaucratic persecution. He said that although other states in the country were gradually improving their economic environment, Kerala was still 50 years behind.
Jacob and a few Kitex officials went to Hyderabad last week on a private plane supplied by the Telangana government, where they met with a team led by the state’s Industries Minister, KT Rama Rao. The business revealed intentions to spend Rs 1,000 crore in an apparel park at the Kakatiya Mega Textile Park in Warangal after two days of negotiations.
The political consequences of the experiment
Jacob, the founder of the Kitex Group, is an industrialist who has also dabbled in politics. Jacob launched Twenty 20, a one-of-a-kind political experiment that won seats in panchayat elections in 2015 and then built on that success in the 2020 elections by winning seats in new panchayats.
This corporate-driven panchayat model has resulted in a lot of growth in tiny villages, putting both the Congress and the Communist Party of India in danger (Marxist).
Kerala’s rating in terms of ease of doing business
Kerala ranks worse than many other states and union territories when it comes to the ease of doing business. Based on improvements that states were asked to adopt in 2019, it was placed 28th out of 36 states and UTs in the ease of doing business rankings.
Kerala was judged to have failed to implement some labour reforms, such as single-window clearance and measures to ensure simple information flow and transparency.
Following the Kitex withdrawal, however, several groups that had thrived in the state for years came out openly in favour of the state administration.
RPG Enterprise’s chairperson Harsh Goenka publicly tweeted in support of the administration. He stated, “We are the largest employers in Kerala. We find the local government very supportive,”
We are the largest employers in Kerala. We find the local government very supportive.
— Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) July 1, 2021
Where does the company stand in the share market?
With the decision to invest in Telangana, Kitex’s shares were once again trapped in the upper circuit. On Wednesday, the stock soared almost 10%, reaching a record high of Rs 204.05.
Within a week, the stock price of the children’s clothing company rose by almost 85 percent. The stock price increased from Rs 110.05 to Rs 204.05, reaching its highest level in three years. The company’s market capitalization increased to Rs 1,357 crore from Rs 732 crore as a result of this.
Because it controls 55 percent of the firm, the promoter entity, which includes Kitex Managing Director Sabu Jacob, profited Rs 347 crore. Sabu Jacob’s entire share value increased to Rs 754 crore.
Meanwhile, the BSE pressed Kitex for an explanation for the sharp increase in share prices, which the firm attributed to a Rs 1,000 crore investment plan in Telangana.
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