For November 2021, India reported record high trade deficit at $23.27 billion. This was the preliminary trade data put out by the Ministry of Commerce. Merchandise exports in Nov-21 were up 26.49% at $29.88 billion, helped by engineering, petroleum, chemicals and marine products. However, imports surged to a record high of $53.15 billion in Nov-21, leading to yoy doubling of trade deficit. For the first 8 months of FY22, the merchandise trade deficit stood at $121.98 billion on higher oil and gold imports.
In what could be a major positive for fertilizer companies, India plans to double the fertilizer subsidies for FY22 to Rs.155,000 crore or approximately $20.65 billion. The idea is to avoid shortages in the midst of a sharp increase in global prices of chemicals. Currently, India is a major buyer of diammonium phosphate or DAP needed to feed its huge agriculture sector. Global fertilizer prices have rallied by over 200% due to record rises in the price of coal and natural gas. This will be the highest fertilizer subsidy pay-out ever.
Gross GST collections for November 2021 scaled Rs.1,31,526 crore, the second best month on record since GST commenced in Jul-17. GST revenues climbed 25% yoy, but that may not be a very valid comparison due to weak conditions last year. However, economists felt the collections were low compared to the e-way bills generated. India had recorded the highest ever GST collections in the month of Apr-21. The GST Council confirmed that the rise in revenues were also a result of better compliance and plugging leakages.
Raymond Ltd plans to list its subsidiary, JK Files & Engineering, and mobilize Rs.800 crore through an initial public offer. However, Raymond group has confirmed that even after the IPO, JK Files & Engineering will continue to be a subsidiary of Raymond Ltd. The entire IPO will be an offer for sale (OFS) as per the filings made by the company to the stock exchanges. The IPO will allow Raymond to monetize some of its holdings in the subsidiary and help deleverage the group. Raymond is currently restructuring its business.
Birla Estates, the real estate subsidiary of Century Textiles, will launch a mixed-use project in upmarket Worli in Mumbai. It will comprise premium homes, offices and retail spaces. Birla Estates will initially develop 14 acres out of the 30-acre land parcel and invest Rs.1,500 crore to develop the project. The apartments will be priced between Rs.4.50 crore and Rs.20 crore. The project will include a 75-storey residential tower, 1 million SFT office space and high street retail with potential value of Rs.20,000 crore.
Swiggy, a close competitor to Zomato in the food delivery business, is about to close its $700 million funding at a potential valuation of $11 billion. Invesco will be the lead investor in this round and the deal is expected to be closed during the month. Swiggy is also in talks to acquire Dunzo, a hyperlocal delivery service. Currently Swiggy is backed by Softbank and Prosus. If this valuation works, it would be twice its last fund raising valuation. Swiggy has also diversified into pick-up-and-drop service with Swiggy Genie.
Tata Power has been awarded a project to build a 100 MW EPC solar project by Solar Energy Corp. This will be combined with a 120 MWh utility scale Battery Energy Storage System. In terms of value of contract, this will be the largest in this field at Rs.945 crore. The project is expected to be completed over next 18 months. Tata Power currently has an EPC order book of Rs.9,000 crore. The scope of the project includes engineering, design, supply, construction, erection, testing, O&M and commissioning of projects.
Recently listed fashion platform, Nykaa, has announced plans to more than triple its brick-and-mortar stores to 300. This was confirmed by Falguni Nayar. Nykaa is looking to rapidly ramp up its physical presence to complement its digital franchise. Nykaa will target 100 cities, in addition to the 84 retail outlets it already operates across 40 cities. In the fashion and lifestyle business, touch-and-feel products are critical building block. Fashion market has potential of $70 billion and grows during wedding season.