In September last year, we had given a Buy call on a unique capital goods player that has delivered in a tough market, that has picked up newer opportunities and has the potential to grow well. With the March 2022 quarter results out, markets have reacted.
While one doesn’t know enough yet to comment on the veracity of these allegations, this does shine the spotlight on the issue of governance at mutual funds. There’s a lot of song and dance on whether listed public companies are managed in the interests of their shareholders. But what about mutual funds?
MFs are essentially custodians of public money, where both profits and losses are entirely passed on to unitholders. I give money to a fund manager to deliver a certain return from an asset class. But I am paying a fixed fee to him which he gets whether he does better or worse than the market. This pass-through nature of mutual funds means that the unitholder is most affected when the fund is mis-governed or mis-managed.
We upset a few of you with our call on some of the Axis funds last week 😊 Some of you commented on the blog and others raised tickets. We thought it would be better for us to respond through an article for the benefit of others as well.
Last month, we analysed the cement industry in detail. In this analysis, we’d noted a few points – one, that there has been consolidation in the space, two, that companies had been deleveraging, and three, that margins have been under threat owing to pricier energy and inputs.
Axis Mutual Fund issued a public notice removing and replacing two of its fund managers, Viresh Joshi and Deepak Agarwal, from seven of its schemes — Banking, Technology, Consumption, and Nifty ETFs and Axis Value, Quant and Arbitrage Funds. This move was accompanied by speculation that the managers were suspended on front-running charges. Axis Mutual Fund hasn’t explicitly mentioned front-running charges, but it has confirmed that it has been investigating “potential irregularities” with the help of external advisors.
A year ago, when we did the result review of the IT stocks after the Q4FY21 earnings, the sector was moving to a new orbit on the back of robust growth prospects.
The Covid-19 pandemic increased the urgency of digital transformation for enterprises across the globe, and this paved the way for the IT sector to emerge as a strong growth story. Since we wrote about this last year, the sector has delivered stellar earnings performance during and post pandemic.
Godrej Agrovet is a conglomerate with businesses spread across the agriculture and protein supply chain. It is in animal feeds, palm oil extraction, agrochemicals, dairy and frozen foods. The business has commoditised parts, seasonal parts and valued added parts.
The Indian government, deciding to take its chances with market moods, has launched the long-awaited IPO of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). This is entirely an offer for sale by the government to offload 3.5% of its holdings (2.21 crore shares) to the public, at an offer price band of Rs 902-949. LIC will not receive any proceeds from the sale. Retail bidders will get a Rs 45 discount while LIC’s policyholders will get a Rs 60 discount.
In an M&A, company A buys out company B, triggering positive and happy noises in the market. Share prices of both companies jump in joy on the announcement. The news then gets digested and analysed. Shareholders of both companies realise after a bit, that they should have sold out in the first few days after the announcement, rather than swallow stories of ‘synergies’, ‘cost savings’, ‘market leadership’, ‘inorganic growth’ and other jargon that are usually peddled to sell mergers, in company releases and analyst reports.
A few weeks ago, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway announced the acquisition of Alleghany Corporation with a $11.6 billion deal, its largest buy-out deal in six years. The decision has come at a time when the general insurance industry has faced headwinds in the last 2-3 years. But there is no one better than Buffett to understand the prospects and valuation of an insurance company. Berkshire Hathaway owes its long-term wealth creation success to excellent underwriting skills in its insurance subsidiaries and clever usage of the float from insurance to build a long-term equity portfolio.
India’s cement industry has always been a good proxy for the core economy, with steady volume growth and players enjoying considerable pricing power unlike other commodities. With cement industry leaders such as UltraTech Cement, Ambuja Cements, Dalmia Bharat and Birla Corporation correcting between 10% and 20% in the last 3 months, could there be an opportunity? We take a deep dive into the cement industry to assess its prospects.
When good quality businesses get beaten down in the markets, unexpected corporate actions and events sometimes act as a trigger to their re-rating. Is the HDFC merger with HDFC Bank a positive?