In today's weekly wrapup, we will discuss how Infosys managed to become carbon neutral, why China is importing large quantities of castor seeds from India, how coal auctions this year are shaping up, why the Ant Financial IPO was halted, and why India is running short of shipping containers.
But before that a note on this week's Finshots Markets.
Hero MotoCorp put out its sales figures for the month of October and it surprised almost everyone. The company said it had recorded the highest sales figure ever and experts were visibly surprised with the announcement considering we are in the midst of a pandemic. So we thought we could look at Hero, its current performance and see how the company has fared over the past couple decades. Read the full story here. (Or listen to this story on your favorite podcasting app.)
How do you go Carbon Neutral?
On Monday, we analysed how Infosys managed to turn carbon neutral 30 years ahead of the 2050 timeline. Now, a carbon footprint as the amount of polluting gases (primarily CO2) someone releases into the atmosphere. And for big corporations, a lot of things can contribute to it. For instance, for Coca Cola, its carbon footprint would include the net amount of carbon dioxide emitted to produce, store, ship, use and dispose of the millions of Coca-Cola bottles manufactured each year. This means you have to look at your suppliers, your customers, and your own facilities to calculate the true impact. In fact, measuring this impact itself can cost quite a bit of money.
The Chinese Castor Seed Connection
On Tuesday, we talked about China, castor seeds, and conspiracy theories. Castor oil is beautiful. You can use it in cosmetics. You can use it in adhesives. You can use it as a lubricant. You could even use it as a laxative. It’s really quite something. And India happens to have a virtual monopoly in the castor oil segment.
The country exports roughly ₹6,000 crores worth of castor oil and castor-oil related products annually. That’s 85–90% of the total global supply. And we have this kind of influence because we are the only country that grows the key raw material — castor seeds, in such large numbers. And so, when reports arose of China buying large quantities of castor seeds over the last few months, it definitely ruffled a few feathers. And here's what the Red Dragon's new interest could mean. (Audio Link)
Coal Auctions with a pinch of reform
On Wednesday, we spoke about the first coal auction since the reforms. You see, India has been doing coal auctions for a while now. But until last year, mining licences were only offered to companies that used the coal themselves. Say, a steel plant that needs a lot of power. And as such, mining for commercial purposes was all but restricted.
But then the government decided to switch things up. They introduced a new set of reforms and set aside these restrictions. Any company registered in India can now try and produce coal. Also, they can use it any which way they like. So this time the ongoing auctions are expected to be a bit different.
The Dramatic Twist in the Ant Financial IPO
On Thursday, we talked about why Ant Financial's plans to go public went awry at the last moment. Ant Financial is massive right now. Over 80 million merchants use its Alipay app, and over 711 million monthly active users transact with it. The company made revenues of close to $10 billion in the six months leading up to June 2020 and $3 billion in profits during the same period.
The time was ripe for a public offering. And when Ant Financial put up ~10% of the company for sale in a bid to raise $34.5 billion from the public, everybody thought the IPO was going to be the largest public offering ever. So how did things go so horribly wrong? We'll tell you all about it here. (Audio Link)
When Shipping Containers Disappear
On Friday, we talked about a unique problem India is facing right now. Shipping products to global destinations ought to be an easy affair. At least in the 21st century. You plonk items into a container and then get a shipping line to move them to your desired location. It’s that simple. However, what happens when you start running out of containers? Or even worse, what happens when you pay through the roof to get access to one of these units?
And with that, we come to the end of another weekly wrapup. Catch you on Monday!