GMR Industries may be a good play on the rising fortunes of the sugar industry
Hathway subscribers from these cities and certain parts of Maharashtra would be deprived of viewing 33 TV channels offered by Zee Turner. Hathway’s IPO also received a lukewarm response from investors
Zee Turner, a joint venture between the Turner Group and the Essel Group, said that it has stopped its cable TV transmission to Hathway Cable & Datacom Ltd from Thursday due to non-payment from the cable operator.
In a release, Zee Turner said 33 popular Zee Turner channels are being switched off the Hathway cable network in Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and parts of Maharashtra, while some parts of Mumbai have been already switched off due to payment default.
“From today we are switching off our services from cities in Maharashtra such as Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik, Nanded and Latur. The services will remain switched off till Hathway fulfils their contractual liabilities,” said Dinesh Jain, chief executive, Zee Turner.
The channels that may go off air for Hathway customers include Zee TV, Zee Marathi, Cartoon Network, Pogo, HBO, CNBC TV 18, Zee Cafe, Zee Studio, Zee Cinema and 24 other channels.
Zee Turner said Hathway is not coming forward to sign the new agreement documents for airing these 33 channels after the earlier contracts expired a year ago. The broadcaster has urged viewers to deduct money before paying to the cable operator as it has already switched off its services.
Zee Turner also claims that there is widespread misreporting of subscriber figures in Hathway’s cable television business. “In the draft red herring (IPO) prospectus (of Hathway) filed with SEBI, they have mentioned that the total number of subscribers is nearly 2 million, and they are also advertising that they have 8 million subscribers; whereas for the cable business, they have declared only about four lakh (subscribers), thus concealing a large portion of their subscriber base,” said a Zee Turner spokesperson.
Hathway officials were not immediately available for comments.
Meanwhile, Hathway’s foray into the capital market was muted with its initial public offering (IPO) receiving a lukewarm response from investors. The IPO closed for subscription on Thursday.
“There are two issues running simultaneously, the ARSS Infrastructure Projects issue and Hathway’s issue. ARSS issue attracted a lot of retail and non-institutional investors’ attention while Hathway got a lukewarm response. According to our figures, Hathway’s IPO was subscribed 1.32 times till 2pm, which indicates a marginal oversubscription,” said Maju Nair, assistant vice president for mutual funds and IPO distribution, Sharekhan Ltd.
According to the data provided by Sharekhan, retail investors have shunned the Hathway IPO. The retail investors’ quota was subscribed just 0.2 times, while the quota for qualified institutional buyers (QIB) and non-institutional investors was subscribed 1.43 times and 1.32 times, respectively.
While retail investors may have ignored the IPO due to the prevailing market conditions, there are some serious issues—including conflict of interest between the company and its subsidiaries, and pending court cases. (Read more)
Hathway has consistently incurred net losses of Rs62 crore, Rs67 crore and Rs63 crore during FY07, FY08 and FY09, respectively. These losses were primarily due to depreciation and amortisation, including purchase of set-top boxes, said the red herring prospectus. As of September 30, 2009, it reported a debt of Rs458 crore on a standalone basis and Rs499 crore on a consolidated basis.
A majority of cement stocks are seeing an upward momentum backed by good demand, but the trend is unlikely to continue
Cement shares have been going up since the last month due to robust demand. However, concerns of oversupply are likely to hit the industry in the long run, which can lead to a correction in cement stocks, say analysts.
“The increase in cement prices over the past two months coupled with improved cement off-take due to pick up in infrastructure activity is a positive for the domestic cement industry,” said Sharekhan Ltd in a report.
Cement manufacturers increased prices backed by a demand peak in January and anticipation of higher infrastructure expenditure in the upcoming budget. The prices of cement have shot up by Rs3-Rs5 per 50kg from February to Rs235 (average national price) per bag currently. Some of these factors are being reflected in the current hike in cement stocks.
“In spite of the recent price hike, we believe the average price is unlikely to reach the levels witnessed in Q2FY10 and with the stabilisation of the new capacities, we see the prices coming under pressure from Q1FY11,” the brokerage added.
UltraTech Cement is up by 8% at Rs984.90 as on 10th February from Rs913.20 last month. Shares of companies such as ACC, Ambuja Cements, Grasim and JK Cement have also shot up in a span of four days, from 6th February to 10th February. During this period, ACC was up by 2% at Rs870.10 from Rs850.30. Ambuja Cements was up 4% from Rs100 to Rs103.90; Grasim was up by 5% at Rs2704.80 from Rs2577.50. JK Cement was up by 6% at Rs151.70 from Rs142.60.
Dalmia Cement Ltd closed at Rs193.30 on 10th February from Rs169.80 as on 29th January, up 14%. Its sales grew by 22% at Rs509.80 crore for the December FY10 quarter from Rs409.90 crore, while the company registered an operating profit growth of 11% at Rs131.30 crore from Rs99 crore over the same period last year.
According to an analyst from a leading brokerage house, “Demand growth has been very good and this would continue for two-three months till June. After that, we will again see a price cut. This (rally in cement prices) will not sustain for long.”
ACC Ltd reported a 9% growth in sales in the December quarter of FY10 at Rs2,029.50 crore compared to Rs1,956.60 crore last year. The company’s operating profit grew by 32% at Rs622.90 crore from Rs470.90 crore in the corresponding period last year.
“It’s because of the pricing scenario, and the January demand growth for cement was up by 14%. This shows that there is good growth across the markets. There is not much pressure and cement stocks are getting absorbed by good demand growth. Another reason could be that these are under-owned stocks, which are not owned by mutual funds and ownership rests with a few people who can corner these shares,” said other analyst.
Ambuja Cements sales fell by 8% at Rs1,758.80 crore in the December FY10 quarter compared to Rs1,641.30 crore in the same period last year, while UltraTech Cement posted a 16% sales growth at Rs1,741.70 crore compared to Rs1,637.20 crore last year. UltraTech Cement registered a growth of 21% in its operating profit at Rs521.20 crore in December FY10 from Rs437.30 crore last year.
The cement industry recorded an 8% growth in the year 2008-09. India’s cement consumption has seen a sharp rise from 113.86 million tonnes (MT) in 2003-04 to close to 190MT in 2008-09.