Indian Roads Sector – A Delightful Drive Ahead?

  • Date 26th April  
  • Industry – Roads Construction 

Summary

Here is a snapshot of the interesting Roads Sector. We sense a revival, and a number of players are active here.

Additional Roads Sector Reports from JainMatrix Investments

  • Please read our Feb 2018 report on HG Infra IPO by clicking on LINK.
  • And our July 2017 report – IRB Infra Developers – In Invit We Trust – LINK
  • Additionally do read our Aug 2016 report on Dilip Buildcon IPO by clicking on LINK.
  • We share a Nov 2015 Roads sector report – LINK

Introduction

  • The development of any nation depends on transportation networks, and this is applicable to India with its varied terrain ranging from mountains to plains to coast. Transportation includes Roads, Railways, Airlines and Shipping, however in this note we will focus on Roads.
  • India has the 2nd largest road network in the world, aggregating to 61 lakh kms. Roads are the most common mode of transportation and account for 86% of passenger traffic and 65% of freight traffic. In India, NHs with length of 1.04 lakh km are just 1.7% of the road network, but carry about 40% of the total road traffic. On the other hand, state roads and major district roads at the next level carry another 60% of traffic and account for 98% of road length.
  • There are 2 Govt. bodies which award road projects at the central level, NHAI which is in charge of the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), which covers those highways not under NHDP. In addition, it also awards projects under Govt. schemes like Left Wing Extremism (LWE) scheme (road development in Naxalite areas), Special Accelerated Road Dev. Programme for North-East Region (SARDP-NE), NH Interconnectivity Improvement Project (NHIIP), etc.

jainmatrix investments

Road Projects Progress

  • From Fig 1 and 2, we can see that road projects awarded and completed flattened out during FY12-FY14. Delays in land acquisition & receipt of environment/forest clearances, economic slowdown and cash flow issues faced by developers had adversely impacted the sector. From the Fig 3 below we can see the transition of project awarding to new modes over the last few years.

jainmatrix investmentsFig 1 – MoRTH projects Awarded / Fig 2 – NHAI projects / Source: MoRTH / NHAI ARs 

  • In FY16, the NHAI introduced the Hybrid Annuity model (HAM) as the earlier BOT-Toll based awarding caused financial distress to the developers and the EPC model involved high upfront investment of funds. In HAM, 40% the Project Cost is to be provided by the Govt. as ‘Construction Support’ to the developer during the construction period and the balance 60% as annuity payments over the operations period along with interest on outstanding amount. This model has received good response from industry and investors.

jainmatrix investmentsFig 3 – NHAI project awarded

  • CRISIL Research expects investment in road projects to double to Rs. 10,70,000 cr. over 5 years.
  • Investment in state roads are expected to grow steadily, and rise at a faster pace in case of rural roads, on account of higher budgets for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) since FY16.
  • The GoI approved the Bharatmala program under which 53,000 kms of national highways have been identified to bridge critical infra gaps. It will give the country 50 national corridors as opposed to 6 at present. Phase I will be implemented from FY18-22 with 24,800 kms of construction expected.

Key Players

  • In Q4 FY18, the MoRTH had aggressively awarded projects to further accelerate the pace of road infra development. See the order book position of a few listed road developers, Fig 4 and Fig 5.

jainmatrix investmentsFig 4 – Order Books of Roads players / Fig 5 – Order Book FY18 / Fig 6 – Benchmarking 

  • Note: FY18# is the order book basis 9M FY18 data and documents available on the exchange.
  • In Fig 6, we have done a benchmarking exercise to compare a few sector players.

Conclusion

  • The development of road infra in India is witnessing great momentum. Robust demand, higher investments, favourable policies and government’s willingness has changed the face of the road sector in the country. The construction of roads per day hit a new high of 27 kms/day for FY18, which is much higher than what was achieved earlier.
  • The momentum of building a stronger road network in India is likely to improve as it generates mass employment and leads to significant growth in contribution to the GDP. Given the current roads sector scenario, investors should definitely not miss this exciting opportunity.

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Disclaimer

This document has been prepared by JainMatrix Investments Bangalore (JM), and is meant for use by the recipient only as information and is not for circulation. This document is not to be reported or copied or made available to others without prior permission of JM. It should not be considered or taken as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The information contained in this report has been obtained from sources that are considered to be reliable. However, JM has not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the same. Punit Jain has positions in IRB Infra since Feb 2008 and H G Infra post listing. Other than this, JM has no known financial interests in IRB Infra or any other firm mentioned in the article. Neither JM nor any of its affiliates, its directors or its employees accepts any responsibility of whatsoever nature for the information, statements and opinion given, made available or expressed herein or for any omission therein. Recipients of this report should be aware that past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance and value of investments can go down as well. The suitability or otherwise of any investments will depend upon the recipient’s particular circumstances and, in case of doubt, advice should be sought from an Investment Advisor. Punit Jain is a registered Research Analyst under SEBI (Research Analysts) Regulations, 2014. JM has been publishing equity research reports since Nov 2012. Any questions should be directed to the director of JM at punit.jain@jainmatrix.com.

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