New Delhi: Analysts say the government's relaxation of 25% public shareholding norm for listed companies is a relief for markets and the move is likely to benefit some large forthcoming issues like that of Coal India and SAIL, reports PTI.
"We believe that the significantly lower capital issuance of $9 billion (compared to $32 billion previously) would be a relief for the markets-the move seems to acknowledge the capacity of the market to absorb large forthcoming issues like that of Coal India", brokerage house Religare Capital said.
According to Religare, the revised announcement implies a significantly lower cash call on the markets - from $32 billion over FY11-FY15 expected earlier to a total issuance of $9.4 billion over the same period (with $4.6 billion coming in from PSUs as against $26.3 billion earlier).
The government last Monday relaxed the two- month-old 25% public holding norm for public sector companies, a move that analysts say would prevent the flooding of capital market with public issues and bring down the requirement of fund-raising by these companies.
"The diluted shareholding norms acknowledge the capacity of the markets to absorb paper (Rs40,000 crore budgeted this year) and realpolitik that is the politically-sensitive mega-offering of Coal India", Religare Capital said in a research note.
Echoing a similar view, Delhi-based SMC Capitals' equity head Jagannadham Thunuguntla said, "This is a quite sensible and practical decision by the government, taking into account the absorbing capability of the market and the prevailing market conditions."
"Otherwise, there would have been stampede of public issues causing enormous stress both on primary as well as secondary markets", he added.
"The revised norm will help some large public issues like that of CIL, Power Grid and SAIL, as they will now get more attention", Mr Thunuguntla added.
State-owned Coal India Ltd is coming out with its initial public offering, which is billed to be India's biggest issue, and the government expects to raise about Rs15,000 crore via this issue.
CIL, the world's largest coal producer, has already filed the draft prospectus with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for its initial public offer (IPO), which could be launched in October.
"Overall, the revision in shareholding pattern will be in benefit for all the market participants. It will be helpful for big forthcoming issues to attract investors", Bonanza Portfolio assistant vice president Avinash Gupta said.
The government in early June this year had announced changes in the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Rules 1957, so as to ensure that all listed companies maintained a minimum public float of 25%.
It said the existing listed firms having less than 25% public holding would have to reach the stipulated levels by an annual addition of not less than 5% to public holding.
"The new rule had raised concerns (that) there will be a deluge of share sales from government-owned firms to meet the minimum 25% public shareholding requirement", said brokerage house ICICIDirect.
Under the new relaxed norms listed state-owned companies having less than 10% public stake will now have three years to reach the threshold of 25% public holding.
The modified rules are also a breather to private sector companies. While they will have to comply with the minimum 25% public float within three years, they now have more flexibility in achieving the target as the condition of a minimum 5% annual increase has been scrapped.
Group buying on the Internet is simple. If certain number of people sign up for an offer, then the deal becomes available to all. If the predetermined minimum is not met, no one gets the deal. This reduces risk for retailers
Social networking has not only brought us closer to other likeminded people, but it has also helped us to share our thoughts in a big way. Following the wild success of social networking, some entrepreneurs are trying to explore the power of collective purchasing over the Internet. Over the past six months, many websites have come up with the group buying idea. Just two months ago, two such sites were bought over, while the third one received funding from venture capitalists.
Bengaluru-based Taggle Internet Ventures Pvt Ltd - which received a funding commitment for $8.75 million, based on certain milestones - from Greylock Partners and Battery Ventures, runs taggle.com. The site empowers customers for smart and group buying over the Internet.
According to Juhn Kuruvilla, founder and chief executive, Taggle, in many States like Gujarat and West Bengal, people have been using group purchasing power. Taggle is just offering it over the Internet, thus, there is unlimited scope for likeminded people to come together and buy in a group.
Earlier in 2008, US-based Groupon launched its operations. Today it is the largest deal-of-the-day group in the world operating in over 40 markets besides the US and Canada and has estimated revenues of about $350 million.
The BMI India Retail Report for the third quarter of 2010, forecasts that the total retail sales will grow to $543.2 billion by 2014 from $353 billion in 2010. This gives other retailing formats, like online sales, a huge opportunity for growth in India.
According to the Taggle chief executive, out of India's total organised retail market, about 15% is discount business. Out of the total branded products sold in the country, about 45% are sold at discounted rates with retailers offering 25% to 80% discounts.
Mr Kuruvilla said that about eight months ago, some 20 people from Gujarat bought cars from Mercedes-Benz at a good discount. "Group buying offers benefit to both customers as well as vendors. While buying in group offers the customers more discount, the vendor is assured of more sales. Taggle is just bringing them together and facilitating the process," he added.
Group buying on the Internet is simple. If a certain number of people sign up for the offer, then the deal becomes available to all. If the predetermined minimum is not met, no one gets the deal that day. This reduces risk for retailers, who can treat the coupons as quantity discounts as well as sales promotion tools.
Taggle also leverages the Internet and more specifically, social and mobile networks, to create a community of shoppers who come together to give merchants volume business in return for bulk discounts. This way, merchants are guaranteed a minimum number of customers who pay less as part of a mass-buying plan, the company founder said.
Taggle.com, launched on 23 June 2010 in Bengaluru has worked with leading brands like Jet Airways, VLCC, Kaati Zone, Casa Picola, The Paul Hotel and 70 MM to name a few. Within six weeks of its launch, Taggle has gathered a fan base of over 1.1 lakh on Facebook, out of which about 15% have turned group buyers on the portal, Mr Kuruvilla said.
He said, "We will launch our service in Mumbai on 1st October. Next on our radar is Chennai, the most conservative market in the country. Taggle will roll out its services in 10 cities, including Mumbai and Chennai, over the next 12 months."
Right now Surat Diamond Jewellery is offering 50% discount on a select range of gold and diamond jewellery at taggle.com. The offer went live from 10th August and is on until 15th August, on a limited number of pieces.
Taggle offers group discount on various items and services. For any item, a minimum number of buyers are required to make an offer go live. All the buyer has to do is click on the 'buy' button, which preauthorises the purchase. However, unless the offer receives response from a minimum number of buyers, the purchaser will not be charged a single penny. Once the offer goes live then the payment is made to the vendor, who in turn initiates the delivery process.
After witnessing Rs3,400 crore redemptions in July, equity schemes shed 2.93 lakh investor accounts. Instead of expanding the investor base, SEBI is presiding over a shrinking investor population.
Despite a 9% GDP growth and a booming stock market, mutual fund investors are still shying away from equity schemes and trying their luck in debt funds. Since November 2009, three months after the ban on entry load on mutual funds, the industry has lost a whopping 8.33 lakh equity folios till July 2010. The benchmark BSE Sensex has risen 8% since November 2009. According to the latest data available on the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) website, the 40 fund houses have together lost 1.66 lakh investor accounts in the month of July.
Equity funds witnessed Rs3,400 crore redemption in July despite the launch of two new schemes.
Debt funds added 1.18 lakh investor accounts in July while Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) saw their investor base rising by 27,467. Fund of Funds, which invest in other funds, lost 7,955 folios.
Balanced funds, which invest a part of the corpus in equity, lost 10,459 folios in July. The total investor base or number of folios as on July 2010 stands at 4.77 crore. The five heavyweights of the industry together lost 93% (1.55 lakh investor accounts) of the total 1.66 lakh slump in folios. However, HDFC Mutual Fund bucked the trend by adding 23,544 investor accounts.
"There is a fear of the direct tax code (DTC) being applicable on capital gains. Some distributors are suggesting that investors pull out the money and re-enter afterwards. There is no clarity on the DTC yet. Some people are taking their own decisions. There is also some profit-booking," said a marketing head of a fund house.
Equity scheme folios declined by 1,47,745 last month despite a slew of launches like Baroda Pioneer Infrastructure Fund, Birla Sun Life India Reforms Fund, DSP BlackRock Focus 25 Fund, ICICI Prudential Nifty Junior Index Fund, IDBI Nifty Index Fund and Taurus Nifty Index Fund.
"Most of it is being redeemed because of the frequent and confusing changes in mutual fund regulations," said an industry source. Since last August, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has made frequent changes such as removal of entry load, changes in cost structure and also who gets the trail commissions when investors switch from one scheme to another. "SEBI's mandate is market development and investor protection and what we are witnessing is a shrinking investor base. Some serious rethinking is needed is needed about SEBI's recent actions," says a mutual fund head.