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Motilal Oswal

By Motilal Oswal 17-May-2010 | 10:44

Telecom regulator (TRAI) released drastic recommendations on spectrum management and licensing framework this week. The recommendations propose significant changes including:


(1) One-time pay-out for spectrum allocation beyond 6.2MHz for GSM operators,


(2) Hike in annual spectrum charges (linked to revenues),


(3) Significant pay-outs for spectrum (linked to 3G auction winning price) and return back of spectrum allocated in 800MHz (CDMA) and 900 MHz (GSM) on license renewal,


(4) Phased decline in license fee (charged as a percentage of AGR),


(5) Tightening of roll-out obligations,


(6) Linking of spectrum allocation beyond start-up spectrum (4.4MHz for GSM and 6.2MHz for CDMA) to roll-out obligations (vs. subscriber base currently), and


(7) De-linking of future licenses with spectrum.

 

Most of the recommendations, except proposed decline in license fee and incentive for rural coverage, are negative for incumbents. The recommendations, though subject to approval by the department of telecom (DOT).are retrograde in nature. It will bring down the overall profitability of the sector in a major way. Already the sector is in big stress and these new regulations will be like a nail in the coffin. I fear the sector might be headed the airlines way depriving it of the necessary investments….something which the country badly needs.

 

Additionally, gold has touched new 52 week highs, metals remain very weak and crude oil has broken $ 75 on the downside. All of this is plating out as anticipated before. Internationally steel scrap prices  have started falling in some markets following a sharp global run-up from the end of 2009.Scrap prices are a leading indicator of the steel demand and the decline in the scrap prices could therefore signal a coming slowdown in the global demand growth for steel .Steel stocks should therefore be sold or shorted as a fresh trade

 

Industrial output expanded by 13.5% yoy for the month of March .manufacturing expanded by 14.3%, Mining by 11% and electricity by 7.7%.Overall, FY10 was characterized by a sharp recovery in industrial output, I expect this momentum in industrial output to be maintained for FY11 driven by strong economic growth particularly in the agriculture and the services sector. As far as monetary policy stance of the RBI is concerned, I think they will continue with baby step increases in policy rates slowly and steadily. Nonetheless, if inflation shoots up due to global conditions or hike in fuel prices, they might tighten rates very swiftly and sharply. Immediately, this does not look like happening