Stock Market Investment Shot, 20 September 2022

SEBI put in abeyance the IPO of Go Digit General Insurance; backed by Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma and the Canada based Fairfax group. Go Digit filed its DRHP in mid-August 2022 for a fresh issue of Rs1,250 crore plus an OFS of 10.94 crore shares. Go Digit offers motor, health, travel, property, marine and liability insurance products. It is the first non-life insurer in India to be fully operated on the cloud. Gross written premiums (GWP) for FY22 stood at Rs5,268 crore. HDFC Bank recently bought a 9.94% stake in Go Digit.

Dish TV announced that its CEO, Jawahar Lal Goel, had resigned from the board after a prolonged battle with its largest shareholder, Yes Bank Ltd. Effective immediately, Goel will also cease to be the chairman of the board. This should bring some respite to the ongoing battle between Yes Bank and Goel. Yes Bank, with over 24% stake in Dish TV has been pushing for reconstitution of the board and removal of Goel from the board. In the June EGM, shareholders rejected the reappointment of Goel, triggering his
resignation.

The stock of McLeod Russel was surprisingly locked in 20% upper circuit for the second day in succession. In the last 2 days, it rallied 42% with a major surge in volumes. The trigger came after Carbon Resources bought 4.95 million shares of McLeod Russel representing 4.73% of total equity. The
promoter stake is down to just 6.25% after shares pledged by the Khaitan family were sold by the financiers. McLeod has the largest tea plantation comprising 33 tea estates in Assam and Bengal with a robust market in Europe.

Defence companies are on a roll with Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) scaling a new high of Rs976 on BSE. With the armed forces hiving off most orders to domestic defence companies, BDL’s order book is expected to double to Rs25,000 crore in next 2 years. In the last 1 year, BDL stock is up 140% when the Nifty is almost flat. BDL is a major beneficiary of the restrictions imposed on imports in terms of negative list of imports in Defence. BDL’s Akash Weapon System is also attracting a lot of export interest. BDL exports torpedoes.

Bengaluru based Ola Electric, electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, plans to lay off 200 engineers as part of its restructuring exercise. Ola has already shut down its used cars business (Ola Cars) and its quick- commerce service (Ola Dash), to refocus on the two-wheeler EV business. That would constitute nearly 10% of its total 2,000 engineers and is likely to reduce redundancy. Bulk of the lay-offs were software engineers, who became redundant after Ola Electric shifted focus to non-software engineering domains.

With nearly 70 million TPA of cement capacity under his belt via ACC and Ambuja Cements, Adani is all set to double cement manufacturing capacity to take Ultratech head on. Adani also plans to create the most profitable cement manufacturer in India. Adani expects the record breaking economic growth to translate into exponential growth in cement demand resulting in margin expansion. After the Holcim stake sale, the open offer was not too successful. However, the gap will be filled up via private placement of warrants.

India’s sugar bowl state of Maharashtra is all set to churn out record sugar output for the second year in a row. Farmers have substantially expanded the growing area for the sugarcane. However, higher sugar prices normally weighs on local prices, in which case the government may enhance the export quota. The sugar cycle extends from October to September and it is expected to produce 13.8 million tonnes in the next year. India plans to allow 5 million tonnes of sugar exports in 2022-23, but may expand it
further.

Google has been asked by the Indian government and RBI to introduce stringent checks to curb the use of illegal digital lending apps in India. Google Pay being an extremely popular platform, government and
RBI want to ensure that Google cooperates in weeding out illegal digital lending apps. These illegal apps had become popular during the pandemic, but also raise security concerns. Currently, RBI is preparing a white list of approved lending applications. In India, 95% smartphones are based on the Android platform.