Budget 2020-21: Sitharaman unveiled plans for India’s highways and railways, proposing 1.7 trillion rupees ($23.7 billion) for transport infrastructure that includes the accelerated development of highways and plans to monetize 12 lots of highway bundles.
Union Budget 2020 India: There’s a lot riding on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s budget this fiscal year. Once the world’s fastest-growing economy, India is now trying to restart economic growth that’s dipped to an 11-year low. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said this budget was aimed at boosting incomes and enhancing purchasing power, stressing that the economy’s fundamentals were strong and inflation was well contained.
Here’s a shortlist of winners and losers from Saturday’s budget announcements.
Sitharaman unveiled plans for India’s highways and railways, proposing 1.7 trillion rupees ($23.7 billion) for transport infrastructure that includes the accelerated development of highways and plans to monetize 12 lots of highway bundles. Key infrastructure players like Larson & Toubro and KNR Constructions and IRB Infra look set to benefit.
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The government’s plan to encourage the manufacture of mobile phones, electronic equipment, and semiconductor manufacturing as well as medical devices will be positive for companies such as Dixon Technologies, Amber Enterprises, Subros, said Vinay Pandit, Head of Institutional Equities at IndiaNivesh.
The farm and rural sectors were allocated 2.83 trillion rupees, while the agriculture credit target for next year is set at 15 trillion rupees. News of the government’s proposal to expand fisheries and create 500 fish farmer producer organizations saw gains in Avanti Feeds, Apex Frozen Foods and Waterbase.
The minister announced that the rail service will be equipped with air conditioned freight cars and the government will provide viability gap funding for warehousing. Container Corporation of India Ltd is set to be the biggest winner off the move. The Fast Moving Consumer Goods Index rallied, while Emami, Hindustan Unilever, Dabur, Tata Global are set to rally further.
Sitharaman announced measures to help farm sector growth in water-stressed districts, helping to boost the shares of VA Tech Wabag Ltd., which designs and builds water and sewage treatment plants. Shakti Pumps India Ltd. jumped the most in three-weeks on proposals to help farmers set-up standalone solar pumps to allow them to make a living out of their barren land.
The plan to provide piped water across Indian households by 2024 — with 3.6 trillion rupees in funding — means Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd., KSB Ltd., Kirloskar Brothers Ltd., JK Agri Genetics Ltd., PI Industries Ltd. could benefit.
The minister also announced 123 billion rupees for the Clean India mission. Companies including Hindustan Unilever, ITC, Procter and Gamble, Godrej stand to gain here.
The government is also further developing Bharat Net — or Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. — a program to bring broadband to villages. The government plans to provide 60 billion rupees for the project in the next fiscal year. Reliance Industries and HFCL Ltd. stand to benefit.
Education received significant attention in Sitharaman’s budget speech, with the sector receiving 993 billion rupees in 2020-21. The establishment of degree-level, fully-fledged online education programs to be offered by institutions who are ranked within the nation’s top 100 will see online educators like National Institute of Information Technology and MT Educare benefit.
The announcement of a policy to allow the private sector to build data center parks has the potential to benefit all IT firms, including TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra, along with mid-sized firms like LTI, Mindtree, Persistent and Hexaware. Adani Enterprises also stands to benefit from this development.
Pipeline & City Gas Suppliers
India plans to expands its national gas grid to 27,000 kilometers from 16,200 kilometers. Pipeline suppliers such as Welspun Corp., Maharashtra Seamless Ltd., Ratnamani Metals & Tubes Ltd., Jindal Saw, and Man Industries India Ltd. stand to benefit. Expanding the national gas grid is also positive for positive for companies such as IGL, MGL, and Gujarat Gas.
The government’s plan to sell a part stake in Life Insurance Corp. triggered declines in shares of private insurers, which were star performers in 2019. SBI Life Insurance Co. fell, as did HDFC Life Insurance Co. and Nippon Life India Asset Management Ltd.
The finance minister stayed silent on infusing new capital into state-run banks for 2020-21. If the government doesn’t inject fresh capital, it would be the first under Modi’s five years in power. State Bank of India Ltd., Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Union Bank of India, Bank of India and Punjab National Bank could be impacted. The S&P BSE Bankex index of lenders dropped 1.5%, the most since Jan. 20.
Real Estate & Construction
Shares of real estate companies like Godrej Properties, Oberoi Realty Ltd., and DLF Ltd. and Prestige Estates declined when the finance minister did not announce any specific measure for the sector, which had demanded measures to enhance credit availability for developers, an industry status and other measures that could propel sales.
The proposed cut in personal tax rates that will likely enhance purchasing power of middle class and continuation of tax sops for affordable housing announced in the budget failed to enthuse real estate stocks.
Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd. extended declines among fertilizer manufacturers after Sitharaman proposed balancing the use of chemical fertilizers with a change in incentives. She also announced a renewed focus on zero-budget farming which significantly cuts down on fertilizer consumption. Others impacted include Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers, Chambal Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd. and Madras Fertilizers Ltd.
The delay in the country’s long-awaited National Logistics Policy will be a disappointment for key players such as Blue Dart, Gati and Mahindra Logistics, who have been waiting several years for the announcement.