Companies & Sectors
Increased FDI to benefit both retailers and consumers

According to industry experts, it is a game-changing decision for the Rs29.5 lakh crore retail market, which is dominated by neighbourhood stores

According to industry experts, foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail can be a game changer, in making Indian agriculture more competitive by addressing infrastructural constraints and reducing losses across the value chain. "The limited experience of retail sales by private sector has shown that not only does the consumer stand to benefit by availability of good quality agricultural produce, but also that farmers have greatly benefited due to an assured market and extension support. Modern retailers procure in bulk and thrive on reducing the inefficiencies in the supply chain bringing down the cost substantially for the consumers and getting a better deal for the farmer," said Rakesh Bharti Mittal, vice chairman and managing director, Bharti Enterprises Ltd.

This is a signal from the United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) intention to move forward with major key reforms as the union cabinet decided to permit 51% FDI in multi-brand retail and also to remove the 51% cap on FDI in single brand retailers. According to experts, this move would benefit large retailers like Pantaloon, Bharti Retail as well as consumer, who can expect prices to come down by 10-15% in large format stores. Retail giants will play a significant role in improving supply and distribution systems in the country with economies of scale, superior expertise and trained staff, feel the experts.

B Muthuraman, president, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said, "The introduction of FDI in multi-brand retail would benefit the consumers, producers (farmers) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and generate significant employment. This would open up enormous opportunities in India for expansion of organized Retail and allow substantial investment in backend infrastructure like cold chains, warehousing and logistics."

According to a retail report authored by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and CII, current size of organized retail in India stands at close to $28 billion or 6%–7% of total retail market. The total retail market is estimated to grow to $1,250 billion by 2020, of which 21% would be organized. With added capital investments from key overseas players, the sector would have the potential to significantly impact the Indian economy, the report said.

In the past, Indian retailers like Pantaloon, have indicated an interest in partnering with global retailers. Currently, international retailers are already present in India through their cash and carry model (selling to other retailers and business establishments), where 100% FDI is allowed. Wal-Mart runs its cash and carry business in partnership with Bharti Retail, Tesco runs its cash and carry business in partnership with Trent, owned by the Tata Group.

The decision will be a game-changer for the estimated $590 billion (Rs29.50 lakh crore) retail market dominated by neighbourhood stores. Owners of brands like Adidas, Gucci, Hermes, LVMH and Costa Coffee can have full ownership of business in India.

In the wake of apprehensions that the decision would affect farmers and kirana shops, the government has added tough riders on the entry of multi-national companies in 53 cities with population of over 10 lakh. The big retailers would bring in minimum investment of $100 million, of which half should be in the back-end infrastructure like cold chains, processing and packaging. These players would have to source at least 30% of manufactured and processed products from small-scale units.

As per the BCG-CII study, farmers in India today receive a relatively small share of the end consumer price. As an example for tomatoes, farmers in India earn only 30% of consumer price while in more developed markets, this is in the 50%–70% range.

Govind Shrikhande, customer care associate and managing director, Shoppers Stop, said, "According to me this should not impact the small retailers as globally it has been proven that modern retail and self organized- mom and pop stores can co-exist in a growing economy."

In spite of favourable responses from the industry, the existing small traders are apprehensive of being pushed out of business by the retail giants. Nearly one million traders in Kerala will down shutters on 29 November 2011 to protest against the decision to allow 51% FDI in the multi-brand retail sector.

Allaying the fears of small players, Raj Jain, chief executive and MD of Bharti Walmart, said, "Organized retail and kiranas can very easily co-exist, as they do in both developed and developing economies around the world. In fact, our wholesale cash-and-carry stores 'best price modern wholesale' allows literally thousands of kiranas to flourish through access to quality, low-priced merchandise and produce, business training and much more."

Harsh Mariwala, president, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), said this is just the first step. He said, "Seeds have been sown but the fruits will be seen only if other policy initiatives are implemented immediately like adoption of Model APMC Act by all the states, and timely implementation of GST."

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), however, criticised the move terming it as ‘unfortunate’ and will prove to be much detrimental to Indian economy and trade. “The decision smacks of the unflinching love of the government towards the domestic corporates and MNCs. It can be termed as a bailout package for the domestic corporate houses,” CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal said.

There are a host of global brands, including Adidas, Reebok, Gucci, LVMH, Hermes, Zara, Mango, Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Ferragamo, Jimmy Choo, Hamleys (toys), Marks & Spencer, OVS and Benetton, in India.

According to FICCI estimates, the Indian retail market is estimated to be around $600 billion, with the organised sector accounting for about 5%.



Shadi Katyal

5 years ago

Long awaited this change will benefit the public as not only good will be cheaper but better quality products but UNFORTUNATELY for Votes many leaders of political parties are misleading the public.
Is the public so uneducated that they think that only these companies are ths sole provider of goods and services . NO NO. There are many Mom Pop stores all over USA and Europe who serve the public.
Time to stop lying .
Uma Bharti threat to burn the first store shows the lack of respect for Law and Order and these are the leaders of the nation. Does she believes that she is above the Law?

Anil Agashe

5 years ago

Great and long overdue step. Insistence on backward integration in the policy should benefit rural economy in the long run and will create entrepreneurs in supply chain, cold storage and food processing. Bigger retails will bring in best practices as they know Indian markets are huge and they must put their best foot forward.
opposition politicians and Kirana store owners will protest so let them. Politicians in the past had opposed all good moves which have now proved very successful. Manmohan Singh should remember 91 and the opposition he faced. This is his last chance to push far reaching reforms. If he has to sacrifice his government for that he would still become a hero.

5.1% of total equity pledged by promoters: ICICI Direct

On an average, 8-9% of the promoter’s holding has been pledged during June 2009-September 2011 aggregating to 5.1% to total equity in September 2011, says ICICI Direct

On an average, 8-9% of the promoter’s holding has been pledged during June 2009-September 2011 aggregating to 5.1% to total equity in September 2011: ICICI Direct

On an average, 8%-9% of the promoter’s holding has been pledged during June 2009-September 2011, according to a report from ICICI Direct. In the quarter ended September 2011, the percentage of promoter holding pledged has increased to 9.5% from 9.1% in June 2011, whereas the percentage of total equity pledged has increased from 5% in June 2011 to 5.1% in September 2011. According to a Crisil report on the same subject, around 31% companies out of 1,214 listed ones have actually pledged shares of more than 50% of their paid-up capital.

While ICICI Direct has focussed on the increasing trend of pledged shares among promoters, Crisil has prepared a table on promoters who have pledged up to 80% of their holdings. Further, Crisil says that promoters of 31% of the 1,214 listed companies and with a market capitalisation of Rs100 crore, or more, have pledged substantial portion of their shareholding. The total pledge works out to Rs1.1 lakh crore worth of market capitalisation as on 18 November 2011.

In a falling market, pledging shares is disastrous both for promoters and investors. When market conditions are favourable, the method of pledging shares appears beneficial for promoters as well as lenders. The promoters get access to quick short-term financing, whereas lenders charge premium rates for this short-term financing arrangement. On the other hand, lenders have about twice the value of the loan as pledge of shares with a right to sell the shares if the promoter defaults in repayment, or if the value of pledged securities goes down.

The Sensex has corrected by about 20% in the last three quarters, resulting in an erosion of market capitalisation of stocks and, hence, the value of shares pledged for securing loans. In 2011, the capital markets have been highly volatile due to looming concerns of high domestic inflation, rising interest rates and tepid global economic environment. These concerns have triggered a fall in the stock prices creating pressure on the promoters who have pledged shares to make good the loss in the value of the collateral. However, investors, especially retail investors, are generally oblivious of such details, and eventually lose because of sharp fall in prices.

The ICICI Direct report gives a table of current market prices of such companies as on 22 November 2011, and investors have borne the brunt of the falling share prices and erosion in market capitalisation. Some promoters have decreased their percentage of pledged shares and have tried to solve the problem at their end and these companies have shown an improvement in three-month stock returns.

Hatsun AgroProd, where promoters have decreased their percentage of pledged shares by 4.1% quarter-on-quarter, has improved its three-month stock return to 10.4%. Strides Arcolab has improved its three-month stock return to 45.7%, after decreasing its pledged shares percentage by 1.5%. In contrast, Raj Oil Mills, where the promoters pledged shares percentage has increased by 58% quarter-on-quarter, has shown a negative three-month stock return of 45.3%.

The Crisil report has also given sector-wise data on companies with promoters, who pledge their shares, and it is observed that power generation, IT and ITeS, infrastructure, and pharma and healthcare companies have seen higher levels of pledging. ICICI Direct is silent on the sectoral distribution.


Volatile upmove ahead: Friday Closing Report

Nifty to trade in the range of 4,700 and 4,900

The market settled lower on Friday on lacklustre global cues, erasing all the gains accrued yesterday. Today the Nifty traded below yesterday’s high for the entire session with the market edging sharply lower towards the end of trade. The market is likely face a struggle in its attempt to notch some gains. We may see the Nifty moving in the range of 4,700 and 4,900.

The market managed a close marginally off the day’s lows. The Nifty settled 46 points down at 4,710 and the Sensex ended the session at 15,695, a fall of 163 points. Volume on the National Stock Exchange was 62.77 crore shares.

A sharp decline in the global markets led to the domestic bourses opening lower, after notching gains of 1% on Thursday. While the US markets were closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, comments from the EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner that public finances were under stress led the Asian markets lower in morning trade today. The effect was felt on the Indian benchmarks as the Nifty opened 25 points down at 4,731 and the Sensex started the day at 15,781, a loss of 77 points over its previous close.

The indices ventured into the positive territory for a short while at around 10.30am with the benchmarks hitting their intraday highs. At the highs, the Nifty touched 4,767 and the Sensex went up to 15,891. But selling pressure amid choppy trade led the indices lower again. The indices were range-bound in subsequent trade.

However, selling pressure from institutional investors increased in the post-noon session sending the indices further southwards. The market fell to the day’s lows in the last hour as the key European indices were trading lower. At mid-session lows, the Nifty went back to 4,693 and the Sensex declined to 15,646.

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was 909:730.

The broader indices outperformed the Sensex today. The BSE Mid-cap index rose 0.38% and the BSE Small-cap index closed 0.84% higher.

The top sectoral gainers were BSE Capital Goods (up 2.64%); BSE Realty (up 1.32%), BSE PSU (up 0.59%); BSE Consumer Durables (up 0.58%) and BSE Power (up 0.37%). On the other hand, BSE IT (down 2.06%); BSE Metal (down 1.65%); BSE TECk (down 1.63%); BSE Oil & Gas (down 1.62%) and BSE Auto (down 1.29%) were the key losers.

The top five gainers on the Sensex were BHEL (up 3.45%); Larsen & Toubro (up 3.40%); DLF (up 3.24%); State Bank of India (up 2.27%) and Coal India (up 1.51%). The laggards on the index were Maruti Suzuki (down 3.89%); Hindalco Industries (down 3.73%); Sterlite Industries (up 3.29%); Tata Steel (down 2.82%) and Hero MotoCorp (down 2.70%).

The Nifty gainers were led by Ranbaxy (up 3.73%); BHEL (up 3.53%); L&T (up 3.33%); BPCL (up 2.99%) and SBI (up 2.12%). The main losers on the index were Hindalco Ind (down 4.02%); Reliance Power (down 3.91%); Maruti Suzuki (down 3.88%); Sterlite Ind (down 3.57%) and Sesa Goa (down 3.43%).

Markets in Asia closed with cuts of 0.72% to 1.37%, closing lower for the third day, as the European debt crisis showed no signs of easing. The stalemate pressurised the outlook for exporters.

The Shanghai Composite fell by 0.72%; the Hang Seng declined 1.37%; the Jakarta Composite tumbled 1.59%; the KLSE Composite slipped 1.14%; the Nikkei 225 shed 0.06%; the Straits Times fell 1.24%; the Seoul Composite lost 1.04% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 1.16% lower.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of stocks totalling Rs1,636.08 crore on Thursday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of equities amounting to Rs1,047.75 crore.

Balaji Amines has drawn up plans to expand the capacity of its Solapur facility at an investment of Rs70 crore. The project envisages expansion of the capacity of methyl amines from existing 22,000 tonne per annum to 55,000 tonne per annum. The stock jumped 7.69% to Rs38.50 on the NSE.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which launched a first of its kind fully integrated information technology solution for Small and Medium Business (SMB) segment recently, said it was targeting to reach over 1000 customers in the segment nationally this year. The scrip declined 2.82% to close at Rs1,061 on the NSE.

Madhucon Projects has announced that the company has bagged an EPC contract amounting Rs422.06 crore from Bharat Coking Coal, Dhanbad. The project, which covers surface mining, extraction and transportation of coal located in Phularitand Colliery of Barora area, is to be completed in 84 months from the date of acceptance. The stock declined 1.71% to close at Rs49 on the NSE.


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