Companies & Sectors
High court says MTNL is commercial consumer of BEST

The Bombay High Court also asked MTNL to pay electricity charges as per the tariff rate applicable for commercial consumers from June 2009 onwards

The Bombay High Court on Monday upheld the decision of BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) to categorise telephone exchanges of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) as “commercial consumer” for the purpose of charging tariff.

 

State-run MTNL had challenged the decision of BEST to change its category from “industrial consumer” to “commercial consumer”.

 

BEST contended that the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity had recently held that telephone exchanges were liable to be charged on the basis of commercial category (non-residential supply category) and that the arguments that telephone exchanges are “industrial users” was not accepted by the tribunal.

 

This communication was sent to MTNL but this had not been challenged in the petition, BEST said.

 

Hearing the petition recently, a bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah refused to grant relief saying they were prima facie satisfied with the arguments of BEST that MTNL was not an “industrial power user” but a commercial consumer.

 

The court also took into account the submission of BEST that MTNL have been paying electricity charges based on rates applicable to commercial consumers right from 1987 to 2006 and again from June 2009 onwards.

 

The bench granted a stay against recovery of amount by the power company on the basis of impugned bills for the period January 2007 to May 2009 and for any prior period.

 

From June 2009 onwards, the court, however, ordered MTNL to pay based on tariff rate applicable for commercial consumers.

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Cyclical sectors like metals, capital goods, auto, and cement expected to perform poorly in the equity market

Indian equity market at P/E of under 14x FY14E EPS is attractive, says Motilal Oswal Securities in its India strategy report. Markets remained flat for the last five years, with record outflow by domestic investors

The Indian economy is expected to register GDP (gross domestic product) growth of 5% in FY13, the lowest in a decade. Inflation has remained consistently above the comfort level and currency problems have compounded in the last 18 months, with all-time high current account deficit levels. Indian equities have reflected all these concerns as markets remained flat for the last five years, with record outflow by domestic investors. The last couple of quarters provided some ray of hope with the finance minister pushing for several reforms, controlling FY13 fiscal deficit to 5.2% of GDP, and targeting to lower it further to 4.8% for FY14. These observations were made by Motilal Oswal Securities (MOSL), a leading brokerage, in its preview of corporate earnings for the March quarter of the current fiscal.

 

The brokerage, which tracks 144 companies (excluding RMs i.e. three major oil refining

& marketing companies—IOC, BPCL, HPCL), states that corporates are expected to report zero growth in aggregate profit after tax (PAT) for the fourth quarter of 2012-13(4QFY13). This is the lowest growth in the last 28 quarters, excluding the four quarters of PAT de-growth during the global financial crisis (FY09/FY10). Aggregate PAT growth for full year FY13 works out to only 6%, the lowest since FY07, again excluding the global crisis year of FY09. Both in 4QFY13 and FY13, secular sectors like consumer, technology, and healthcare are expected to perform much better than cyclical plays like metals, capital goods, auto, and cement. MOSL expects Sensex 4QFY13 PAT to be down 2% year-on-year.

 

According to the brokerage, the Indian market has been very volatile for the last couple of quarters. Post a strong 2012 (26% returns), the BSE Sensex is down marginally in 1QCY13 by 3%. However, the broader markets are down even further with the BSE Mid-cap index dropping by 14%. Domestic investors were net sellers throughout the last 12 months, whereas FIIs were big buyers. The Sensex return in FY13 at 8% has very closely tracked the EPS growth of 5%, keeping the valuation multiples unchanged.

 

MOSL expects growth in FY14 to recover over FY13 levels as its bottom-up estimates indicate an EPS growth of 16%. This is partly driven by a recovery in earnings of few beaten down companies. It further states, “The current uncertainty does make us cautious and these estimates are prone to some downgrade in 1HFY14. Even with the possibility of some downgrades in FY14 earnings, we believe that Indian market at P/E of under 14x FY14E EPS is attractive.”

 

Even in terms of 4Q growth alone, this quarter’s growth is likely to be the lowest since

FY06, excluding the global crisis quarter of FY09, according to MOSL. In effect, during FY13, y-o-y PAT growth for the four quarters presents a steady decline—12%, 8%, 5% and now 0%. As a result, Aggregate PAT growth for full year FY13 works out to only 6%, the lowest since FY07, again excluding the global crisis year of FY09.

 

Of the 16 major sector classifications of companies tracked by MOSL four sectors are expected to report PAT growth of 15% or higher (NBFC, private banks, media and consumer), five sectors are likely to clock medium/low PAT growth of 0-15% (technology, retail, healthcare, oil & gas, utilities) while seven sectors are expected to report PAT de-growth (telecom, auto, capital goods, PSU banks, real estate, metals and cement). The only two sectors to have all companies clocking positive y-o-y growth are both secular in nature—consumer and NBFCs.

 

The 4QFY13 performance of the more secular private sector banks is expected to be much better than that of the more cyclical PSU banks, according to MOSL. In aggregate, private banks are likely to report 23% y-o-y growth in 4QFY13 PAT, whereas PSU banks’ PAT is expected to de-grow 16% y-o-y. Interestingly, only one private bank out of its list of eight is expected to report y-o-y PAT de-growth. On the other hand, only one PSU bank out of nine is expected to report y-o-y PAT growth.

 

Auto sector

MOSL states that demand has weakened across auto segments on the back of economic slowdown and consequently weak consumer and business sentiments:

 

Two-wheelers: For most players, weak retail demand has led to higher inventory to 4-5 weeks.

Passenger vehicles: The petrol segment remains weak for over a year now due to sharp rise in petrol prices. Now, even diesel segment demand has also moderated over the last 4-5 months (with y-o-y drop in volumes).

MHCVs: The segment continues to fall sharply reflecting tough macroeconomic conditions. This coupled with higher competitive intensity has resulted in high level of discounting.

 Tractors continue to struggle due to weak demand from southern and western regions.

 

Expected softening in interest rates, and reform-led revival in business and consumer sentiment are key medium-term drivers for auto volumes.

 

EBITDA margins for the auto sector is expected to improve by 70 basis points (bps) quarter-on-quarter (-110 y-o-y) on favourable currency (Japanese yen/Indian rupee) together with stable RM cost. Discount levels remain high across segments particularly for CVs and PVs. In two-wheelers, there is no widespread cash discount, but OEMs are aggressively pushing finance schemes to spur demand. The brokerage expects EBITDA margin to rise for Maruti Suzuki 140bp q-o-q (+210bp y-o-y), and for Hero MotoCorp 80bp q-o-q (-140bp y-o-y).

 

Capital Goods

Motilal Oswal expects the moderating trend in revenue growth to continue in 4QFY13E, up 4.8% y-o-y (versus 8% y-o-y in the nine month period of FY13), impacted by depleting order book and execution constraints due to overall economic slowdown. Ordering activity continues to show a sluggish trend, particularly in the industrial/power generation segment.

 

Ordering by Power Grid Corporation has also been showing a moderating trend, however ordering from SEBs is likely to show an improvement. Business-to-business has been showing a declining trend, after peaking out in 2QFY11, and stands at 2.3x, the lowest since past 20 quarters. In 4QFY13E, it expects the EBITDA margin at 14.6%, down 290bp y-o-y, impacted by poor fixed cost absorption. While commodity prices have corrected meaningfully, a large part of the decline in negated by currency movements. Companies with high local manufacturing content, higher product sales v/s project sales and high export content will be a beneficiary of the initial round of increase in public sector capex.
 

Cement

Cement demand growth is expected to be unusually sluggish in 4QFY13, given continued weakness in housing and infrastructure verticals. The brokerage estimates industry volumes to grow by around 3.7% y-o-y (+15% q-o-q) resulting in FY13 demand growth estimate of 5.3% y-o-y. Capacity utilization is expected to decline 3pp y-o-y to 81% (+9pp q-o-q). MOSL’s interaction with dealers across regions highlights limited visibility of near-term demand recovery. However, multiple states elections and general elections in 2013-14 are likely to favour demand recovery from 2HFY14 resulting in 7%-8% volume growth. The brokerage is bullish on UltraTech/Grasim and Shree Cement in large-caps, in mid-caps it prefers Madras Cement, JK Cement and Dalmia Bharat.

 

Metals-Ferrous

Steel prices recovered in 4QFY13 from their three-year lows in 3QFY13. Average 4QFY13 HRC prices improved in CIS, North America, Europe and China by 10%, 1%, 6% and 6%

q-o-q respectively. However, prices in China again started to weaken as restocking demands seem to be fading away amid high levels of inventories. Steel inventories (traders) in China are already at yearly high levels. Any further push in demand can now come from actual consumption for which outlook remains subdued. Bao Steel, one of the largest Chinese steel producers is forecasting demand growth of only 3% in 2013. Pertinently, the new Chinese leadership appears to be focusing away from property construction to rural development and social welfare as its strategy for the next 10 years. There is only a moderate increase in 2013 budget for infrastructure, with greater focus on building dams, rural grid and social welfare projects. This is likely to moderate steel consumption growth further.

 

Metals-Non-ferrous

Average 4QFY13 non-ferrous metal prices showed a q-o-q improvement. Aluminium,

copper, lead and zinc prices increased 1%, 1%, 5% and 5% q-o-q respectively. Alumina prices also increased 5% q-o-q. Spot premiums for aluminium continue to remain high and increased 4% q-o-q. MOSL has factored aluminium, zinc and lead prices of $2,100 per tonne, $2,000/t and $2,100/t in FY14E.

 

In the second part of this quarterly preview, to be carried tomorrow, we will take a look at the earning prospects from the remaining six sectors.

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Mutual fund direct plans bring in significant inflows during the first month of launch

Mutual fund investments through the direct route witnessed a huge growth in inflows across all categories; however, this was more prominent in non-equity schemes where corporates make huge investments

The direct category of mutual funds drew in significant inflows for the month of January 2013, according to a recent report from Karvy Computershare. In January 2013, the direct route bought in Rs114 crore to equity schemes, contributing as much as 9% to the total equity inflows. In the month of December 2012 just 3% of the contributions came from the direct route, which was a total of Rs32.88 crore. National distributors and regional distributors witnessed a significant drop in equity inflows. From Rs466 crore in December 2012, the contribution of national and regional distributors fell to Rs353.21 crore in January 2013.
 

Debt and liquid schemes which witness the highest inflows from corporate bodies, saw a huge jump in inflows from the direct route. Against a mere Rs416 crore worth of inflows during December 2012, the inflows witnessed approx 400% growth and received over Rs1,500 crore worth of inflows during January 2013. In liquid schemes the growth has been to the tune of approx Rs1,12,900 crore, more than three times the inflow received in December 2012.
 

Direct plans were introduced effective 1 January 2013. These schemes would charge lesser expense ratio and pass on the NAV benefit to the investors who choose not to route their investments through a distributor. According to the Karvy report, “In the first month of its launch, these plans performed in line with the market expectations.”
 

“Against inflows in the range of Rs40,000 crore to Rs50,000 crore (through the direct route), a whopping Rs1.63 lakh crore worth of inflows were witnessed in a single month of January 2013 in all categories of mutual fund schemes. This is almost four times of the normal inflows during any month. Not only this, during the month, due to introduction of ‘Direct plans’ the count of folios under ‘Direct’, that has been continuously on the decline, has suddenly gone up during Jan 2013,” says the report.
 

Inflows in to equity schemes had increased significantly in the month of January 2013. The inflows of Rs5,599 was the highest since September 2011, according to data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI). Fund flow data of the asset management companies serviced by Karvy showed that retail investors had contributed 47.72% of the inflows for January 2013. HNI clients contributed 37.92% to the total inflows. Inflows from the top 15 cities continued to be the highest contributors, contributing 65% to the total inflows.
 

However, as we had pointed out in an earlier article (Despite good sales, equity schemes witness another month of net outflows in January) that despite good inflow in January, heavy redemptions led to a net outflow in equity schemes for the industry. Even though the assets under management (AUM) rose as the markets registered positive gains, the number of folios too in equity schemes continued to decline. “This drop (in number of folios) was primarily dominated by ‘Equity’ and ‘MIP’ asset class”, mentioned the Karvy report.

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COMMENTS

Nilesh KAMERKAR

4 years ago

The cat is out of the bag. Please do also take a look at direct plan figures for March 2013.

Vivek Agrawal

4 years ago

Have you ever seen a manufacturing unit without their distribution channel? I fail to understand why people can bear distribution cost for their every purchase from their house, car,life insurance, medicines even their toothpaste and not bear the cost of mutual fund distributors. This will kill the industry slowly. And for all those people who are smart to buy their mutual fund directly kindly show some more smartness by buying your cars directly from the company.

REPLY

Suiketu Shah

In Reply to Vivek Agrawal 4 years ago

Most mutual fund agents are frauds and cheats deliberately misguiding clients to earn high commission (with misleading advise)which is why customers are smartly avoiding them.

Best is to read moneylife and learn the basic of this field and aply it as per the prioroties one has.

Suiketu Shah

4 years ago

Goes to prove why investing directly is the best way in mutual funds.Agents are interested in pushing gullible clients into schemes where they get the highest commission at the expense of earnings by the customer.Well written article and agents for mutual funds are best avoided and direct is the best route for mfunds.

Nilesh KAMERKAR

4 years ago

"One swallow does not a summer make." - Aristotle.


Anil Kumar

4 years ago

The situation could be even better if fund houses accept Direct Plans in spirit. I tried making online switch in HDFC Taxsaver (Direct Plan) 5 times, every time the transaction failed at confirmation stage. It went through the first time when I routed it through a distributor code. I find it hard to accept it as just a coincidence.

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