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Airlines Finally Allowed to Operate at 100% of Capacity

Airlines Finally Allowed to Operate at 100% of Capacity
by 5paisa Research Team 13/10/2021

After a gap of almost 17 months, airlines were allowed to operate flights at 100% of pre-COVID capacity. That effectively means all restrictions on flying have been lifted. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has not yet removed the caps on fares that it had announced. The 100% capacity flying will be effective from 18th October.

In May 2020, due to the airlines being a contact-intensive business, the flying capacity was cut to 33%. Between May 2020 and December 2020, the capacity was gradually increased to 80%, where it stayed till June 2021. In Jun-21, due to COVID 2.0, the capacity was again cut to 50% and had been scaling up gradually. Last month it was raised from 72.5% to 85%.

Check - Ministry of Civil Aviation allows Airline Companies to Fly with 85% Capacity

There were two reasons for the restoration of 100% flying capacity in India. Firstly, the vaccinations had crossed 95 crore and the incidence of COVID or its variants had substantially come down. Secondly, the government wanted to ensure enough flying capacity available to travellers during the prolonged festival season in India.

The results of higher capacity permission is already visible in the numbers. For the first seven days of October, a total of 17 lakh passengers took domestic flights in India. That is 10% higher compared to the first 7 days of September. Currently, airlines are operating at 70-75% capacity while passengers are at 60-70% of pre-pandemic levels.

India’s largest airline, Indigo Airlines with domestic market share of 55%, as it operates nearly 1200 flights a day and can restore peak capacity. Its average PLF (passenger load factor) is in the range of 75-80% and the restoration of capacity will give a further boost to the numbers and to the PLF of Indigo. This will apply to other airlines too.

Indian airline companies have been stuck between the devil and the deep sea for some time now. ATF prices are rising and low PLF has meant that the gap between the CASK and the RASK has been dipping deeper into negative zone. While ATF prices are not in their control, flying at full capacity will enable better absorption of fixed costs.

Apart from the market leader, Indigo Airways, this announcement is also likely to be positive for the Tatas who have just acquired Air India. It also may be good tidings for Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, whose Akasa Air will take off next year.

Read - Rakesh Jhunjhunwala's Akasa Air Gets Approval to Launch Operations

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Reliance and Stiesdal to Manufacture Hydrogen Electrolyzers

Reliance and Stiesdal to Manufacture Hydrogen Electrolyzers
by 5paisa Research Team 13/10/2021

Reliance New Energy has been in the news this week. After the acquisition of Norwegian Green firm, REC, and a 40% stake in Sterling & Wilson Solar, the latest deal pertains to manufacturing Hydrogen Electrolyzers. Reliance New Energy has partnered with Stiesdal A/S of Denmark and the former will be the licensee for the technology.

Also Read : Reliance to Acquire Stakes in Sterling & Wilson Solar

Stiesdal has developed its own proprietary technology for Hydrogen Electrolyzers that can reduce the cost of production of these Electrolyzers. This will help to substantially bring down the price of green hydrogen. This is an important technique in climate change mitigation, one of the big focus areas of Reliance New Energy. 

In the last Reliance AGM, Mukesh Ambani had set a hydrogen target of 1-1-1. That is an ambitious target for green hydrogen production which entails producing 1 KG of hydrogen for $1 within the time frame of 1 decade or 10 years. The global benchmark that companies are moving towards is 2 KG of hydrogen.

In addition, the collaboration of Reliance and Stiesdal will also cover other areas like offshore wind energy installations, next generation fuel cells for conversion of hydrogen to electricity for mobile and static electric generation, for long duration storage of energy and the generation of carbon negative fuels.

One of the big endeavours of the Reliance group is to make its energy mix greener and eventually  become carbon neutral by 2030. Reliance is investing up to $10 billion or Rs.75,000 crore over the next 3 years in renewable energies including the setting up of giga-factories in the Jamnagar complex.

Stiesdal, in a statement to the press, expressed its excitement about working with one of the largest countries and also the fastest growing economies in the world. Stiesdal operates through four of its subsidiaries, wherein each of these subsidiaries focusses on a separate renewable energy production methods.

Among its various clean energy products, Stiesdal has been involved in offshore floating wind turbines, storage technologies through crushed stone technologies, Clean technology for making CO2 negative fuel for aircraft and an electrolysis system that can easily convert water into hydrogen.

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Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd Q2 Results for September 2021

Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd Q2 Results
by 5paisa Research Team 13/10/2021

Infosys Ltd – Q2 Results (Sep-21)

For the Sep-21 quarter, Infosys reported 20.48% growth in total revenues Rs.29,602 crore. Revenues were sequentially higher by just about 6.12%. Net profits for the quarter were up 11.9% YoY at Rs.5,421 crore while sequentially the profits were up by a moderate 4.35%.


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The big story was that the heavyweight regions also grew the fastest. North America makes up 62% of revenues and grew at 23.1% while Europe makes up 24% of revenues and grew 22.8%. The big story was the focus on digital revenues. Total digital revenues for the quarter grew by 42.4% YoY in constant currency terms while the share of digital in total revenues went up from 47% to 56.1% on a YoY basis. Manufacturing, Life Sciences and BFSI were the top growth verticals for Infosys.

Finally, on the guidance front, Infosys raised its revenue growth guidance from the range of 14-16% to a higher range of 16.5-17.5%. Operating margin guidance has been maintained at 22-24% range. For the quarter, Infosys reported OPM of 23.6% and new deals of $2.15 bn.

Check - Infosys AGM 2021

Wipro Ltd – Q2 Results (Sep-21)

For the Sep-21 quarter, Wipro reported 30.29% growth in revenues at Rs.19,669 crore. Revenues were sequentially up by just about 6.51%. For Sep-21 quarter, net profits were up 18.9% YoY at Rs.2,931 crore but profits fell -9.77% on sequential basis.

Among major growth areas, the North American region which accounts for over 60% of revenues grew by 25% YoY. The European operation accounting for 30% revenues grew by a whopping 50% YoY. The growth in the APMEA region was more subdued at around 10%, but it is much smaller in relative size.


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Guidance for Wipro is more subdued. Wipro is expecting revenue growth of just about 2-4% and operating margins to hover around 17-18%. The only area of concern, apart from the sequential fall in profits for Wipro will be the sharp spike in the attrition rate to above 20.5%.

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PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan – Infrastructure Big Push

PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan – Infrastructure Big Push
by 5paisa Research Team 14/10/2021

Just a couple of days before Dussehra, Prime Minister Modi announced the ambitious Gati Shakti (National Masterplan) for multi-modal connectivity. Apart from de-clogging these infrastructure projects, the PM Gati Shakti also endeavours to adopt a more integrated approach to mission-critical infrastructure projects. “No more silos”, is the message.

The PM Gati Shakti will be integrated in the sense that a total of 16 government departments will be updating and monitoring progress through a standardized dashboard. Some of the key departments with strong infrastructure implications include Railways, Highways, Hydrocarbons, Power, Telecom, Shipping, Aviation, among others.

Here is the gist of the PM Gati Shakti (National Masterplan)

I) A major roadblock for infrastructure projects has been the plethora of approvals leading to delayed clearances. This initiative will ensure single point clearance to all such clogs.

II) The PM Gati Shakti will encompass existing and proposed initiatives of various ministries and departments in one centralised portal and leverage technology to speed up things.

III) As the PM pointed out, there was a huge gap between macro level planning and micro level implementation. That catch will now be addressed by the Masterplan.

IV) Common dashboards to monitor progress of projects with clear accountability at various levels will ensure that projects do not get delayed for very frivolous reasons.

V) As per the latest estimates of ongoing and proposed projects, mega projects worth Rs.110 trillion in the National Infra Pipeline will be monitored under the PM Gati Shakti.

VI) One of the big advantages of this Gati Shakti initiative will be that complex projects like Bharatmala, Sagarmala, UDAN and Inland Waterways can be implemented with minimal time and cost overruns.

Project targets that will be fast-tracked under the Gati Shakti

Here are some of the key targets set under the Gati Shakti for diverse infrastructure projects.

I) A total of 11 industrial corridors with defence turnover potential of Rs.170,000 crore as well as 38 electronics clusters and 109 pharma clusters will be fast-tracked by 2024-25.

II) A total of 200,000 KM of national highways and 5,590 KM of 4/6 lane highways along coastal areas to be fast tracked by 2024-25. This includes full North East connectivity. 

III) Railways to handle 32% higher cargo of 1,600 million tonnes, decongesting half the Railway network and completing 2 Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) by 2024-25.

IV) Enhancing the aviation footprint from the current 111 airports to 220 airports by 2024-25. Shipping cargo capacity to be enhanced by 37% to 1,759 MMTPA by 2024-25. 

V) Gas pipeline network to be doubled from 17,000 KM to 34,500 KM by 2024-25 with focus on connecting major demand and supply points. Renewable energy capacity to be enhanced from 87 GW to 225 GW by 2024-25.

The crux of the story is that this infrastructure push will not only create millions of additional jobs and orders for MSMEs, but also reduce the cost of doing business in India. In the process, it will improve India’s competitiveness in global trade.

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India China Trade to Cross $100 Billion in 2021

India China Trade to Cross $100 Billion in 2021
by 5paisa Research Team 14/10/2021

In the midst of the pandemic, the supply chain disruptions caused by China and the Doklam/Ladakh stand-off, it was expected that Indo-China trade would get impacted. But, what has happened, is the exact opposite. India-China merchandise trade looks set to cross $100 billion comfortably for the calendar year 2021 and actually end up much higher.

For the first 9 months of 2021 ended September, trade volumes (imports plus exports) touched an all-time high of $90 billion. For the first 9 months of 2021, China saw its total trade spike by 22.7% to $4.38 trillion. India has been one of the many countries that has not only imported extensively from China but also boosted its exports to China.

If you look at the Indo-China trade from India’s perspective, the total trade at $90 billion is 49% higher than the corresponding 9 months in 2020. Even if one were to argue that 2020 was an exceptionally weak base due to the pandemic, the current trade with China is 22% higher than the pre-pandemic period of 9 months ending September 2019.

In a way, the benefits of trade have worked both ways. For example, India’s total merchandise imports from China were up 51.7% at $68.46 billion. On the other hand, India’s exports to China were also up by 42.5% at $21.91 billion. That also means that India’s trade deficit with China touched a record level of $46.55 billion in the first 9 months of 2021.

The bigger worry is the composition of trade. India’s exports to China are predominantly iron ore, base metals and cotton. Most of these are low value added products. On the imports side, if you leave out the emergency imports of oxygen concentrators, the predominant imports from China were electrical and mechanical machinery.

One perspective is that the import of machinery will have productive downstream effects and hence the deficit is acceptable. However, it is also true that China now accounts for 40% of India’s total trade deficit. The bigger question is whether this trade pattern is consistent with overall policy of the Indian government that has been trying to underplay China’s role in various investments and technology on security grounds. That remains a puzzle.

Also Read:- Drop in Retail Inflation, IMF Bullish on Indian Markets

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US Inflation Touches 13-year High, What Does it Mean for India?

US Inflation Touches 13-year High
by 5paisa Research Team 14/10/2021

For the month of September 2021, US inflation touched 5.4%, largely driven by a spike in food and housing inflation. This is the highest level of retail inflation in the US in the last 13 years, and this level was last seen during the peak of the global financial crisis. On a MoM basis, the inflation was up 0.4% while even core inflation was up 0.2% MoM.

The recent Fed statement made it amply clear that high inflation was a reality and here to stay. Jerome Powell, the Fed Chair, kept repeating that the high inflation was caused by supply chain bottlenecks. Powell has now turned to the narrative that high inflation may stay put for much longer than originally anticipated.
Spike in US inflation is representative of the problem that most countries, including India, are facing.

Demand for consumer goods has spurted in the last few months in tandem with the economic recovery. However, supply could not keep pace either because raw materials were just not available or too pricey to make economic sense. This demand supply gap has given a free run to inflation.

Check:- Drop in Retail Inflation, IMF Bullish on Indian Markets

Economists are veering around to the view, that irrespective of the cockiness shown by Jerome Powell, there is only so long he can put off a rate hike. The Fed’s original inflation upper end target was 2% and it is a full 340 bps above that threshold. In terms of policy, the Fed taper could start in November and rate hikes probably in the first half of 2022 itself.

What does this US inflation number mean for India? Firstly, it is a signal that the supply chain constraints are not going away soon. India’s 4.35% inflation in September may be more of base effect, but overall inflation would still trend higher. This could have implications for cost of funds as is already evident in the rising 10-year bond yields.

The other implication is for RBI monetary policy. Over the last 10 years, the RBI has tried to align its monetary policy with the US. If the Fed gets hawkish, it is unlikely that the Monetary Policy Committee will maintain its dovish stance. Liquidity could be the first casualty, impacting Indian stocks that are largely liquidity driven. 

The bigger risk is that RBI may be forced to hike rates to keep Indian bonds competitive in risk adjusted terms. That would be a bigger challenge to contend with.