‘India Inc’s investment activity limited to some pockets’

Chennai, Nov 12: Investment activity by the India Inc is not yet broad based but limited to some pockets, states a research study by Bank of Baroda.
According to the report, from the financing point of view, it is uncertain whether or not investment has picked up or not in the current year.
Bond issuances or borrowings from banks by large corporates appear to be restrained. Bank credit growth to the large industry was just 6.1 per cent on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis while aggregate credit growth was 20 per cent as of September, the report said.

All other sectors had registered higher growth in credit. In case of the bond market 84 per cent of the total funds of Rs 4.12 lakh crore raised for the first 7 months were by finance companies, the report said.

According to the Bank of Baroda report, the data on investment intentions based on announcements is also not very encouraging as there is no broad based picture revealed. Eighty-three per cent of such announcements came from transport, power and chemicals with transport having a share of 57 per cent.
The total of gross fixed assets and capital work in progress as per the balance sheets of the companies were summed and compared over time.
September 2023 is compared over March 2023 to reckon growth rate which is compared with the same for 2022, the report said.

At another level the growth rate over September 2022 is reckoned which is the year-on-year concept. The key takeaways were: (a) Growth in stock of fixed assets for a sample of 1,420 companies was higher at 3.6 per cent over March compared with 2.1 per cent in the six month period March-September 2022.
Hence while the growth rate is higher than last year, the stock has grown at a relatively subdued rate and (b) On a year on year basis growth was 7.9 per cent for year ending September 2023.

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As per the report, companies in infrastructure sectors and some in media and retailing had increased their fixed assets post Covid induced lockdown.
Consumer durables did register a higher than average growth though the growth over March was lower in 2023 compared with 2022 which had witnessed higher growth due to the investments made to meet pent up demand which has weakened over time.

Diamonds and jewellery has witnessed sharp growth in fixed assets which can be corroborated with the high growth in production witnessed due to robust demand conditions. However, sectors like FMCG, hospitality, paper, electricals, non-ferrous metals and logistics witnessed growth lower than the sample average in September 2023.

In terms of growth over March, which represents activity in the financial year so far, there was a recovery over last year. These industries include FMCG, hospitality, and logistics among others, which were affected by the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 and have been witnessing stable recovery.

Growth in fixed assets as can be seen has however been subdued during this period.
On the other hand, growth in fixed assets lagged in sectors like power, automobiles, auto-ancillaries banking, telecom, IT, healthcare, textiles, realty, plastic products and trading, Bank of Baroda in its report said.

Source

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