India builds 60 km of roads every day. How you can benefit from this opportunity

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That’s correct. If and when this is achieved, it would be an unprecedented build rate. It would rank among the best road building rates in the world.

“My ministry and my team are working hard and even during the COVID-19 pandemic our (highway) construction rate was 38 km per day and my goal is to increase it to 60 km per day, that’s a goal. “

– Union Minister for Road Transport and Motorways, Nitin Gadkari

India reached a speed of 28.64 km per day in 2021-22. This was pretty low by India’s road construction standards. The pace had slowed due to Covid-related disruptions and a longer-than-usual monsoon in some parts of the country.

In 2022/23, construction activity picked up significantly. However, this was hampered by high input costs. According to a report by Crisil, India is likely to reach speeds of around 32-34 km per day.

Now that rate is pretty good too. In fact, pre-Covid India had already hit a record 37 km per day in 2020-21. But the overall goal is 60 km per day.

So how will this ambitious goal be achieved?

First of all, the two government agencies responsible for this goal are the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL).

Well, these agencies aren’t going to build all the roads themselves. They offer contracts to private actors to ensure quality and timely deliveries of various road projects across the country.

Many of these private companies and their suppliers are listed on the Indian Stock Exchange. This allows investors to benefit from the Indian road construction boom.

Keep in mind that the Indian government wants to massively promote road construction in the country. Therefore, several projects can be expected to be awarded in the coming months.

Despite a slowdown in construction activity in 2021-22, the pace of contracting has remained high. In 2021-22, the government awarded 12,731 km of road projects. The target for 2022-23 is 12,000 km.

We can expect the pace of road construction to pick up massively from next month when the monsoon ends. Even if the ambitious target of 60 km per day is not reached in 2022-23, there is a good chance that it will be reached in 2023-24.

Investors with at least a two-year investment horizon can consider stocks of companies that stand to benefit from this boom.

Companies to watch out for

Here is a list of public road construction companies that are likely to be the big beneficiaries of India’s ambitious road construction frenzy.

· IRB infra

IRB Infrastructure Developers (IRB) has extensive experience in road and highway construction. It is also present in several other sectors including real estate, airport development and road maintenance.

The company owns and manages 12,000 km of roads in ten states. It also has a 20% stake in the Golden Quadruple Highway. It runs one Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) project, two Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) projects and four Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) projects.

Going forward, the government’s continued focus on building infrastructure and IRB Infra’s ability to build its order book will drive its revenue growth.

Larsen & Toubro

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is one of the leading players in the engineering and construction sector. The Company provides Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) solutions in India and the international market.

Some of the most important business areas for L&T are infrastructure, hydrocarbons, energy, defense and information technology.

· Gayatri Projects

Gayatri Projects is one of the largest infrastructure companies in India. It is the flagship of the renowned and diversified Gayatri Group.

The company has interests in infrastructure, energy, hospitality, real estate and industrials. It is headquartered in Hyderabad.

· Dilip Buildcon

Established in 1987, Dilip Buildcon has grown into one of India’s leading infrastructure companies. It is actively involved in the development of several EPC-based road projects.

It is also among India’s fastest growing road construction companies. Over the years, the company has built a strong reputation for delivering projects on time with high quality standards.

Ashoka Buildcon

Ashoka Buildcon was founded in 1993. The Company is engaged in the construction of infrastructure facilities on the basis of Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) and on the basis of Built Operate and Transfer (BOT), as well as the sale of ready-mixed concrete.

It has sponsored special vehicles (SPVs) for some of its projects, in which ‘toll collection rights’ are purchased in exchange for construction costs.

The company has four business units – Build Operate and Transfer (BOT), Engineering Procurement & Construction (EPC), RMC & Bitumen and Toll Collection.

HCC

HCC ltd is one of India’s pioneering infrastructure companies. Founded in 1926, the company has carried out several pioneering projects.

It is present in multiple infrastructure sectors such as roads, highways, bridges, subway lines, ports, dams, tunnels, water supply, irrigation, water treatment, real estate and even nuclear power plants.

As a large infrastructure company with proven expertise, the company should benefit significantly from the Indian government’s enormous road development push.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a stock recommendation and should not be treated as such.

This article is syndicated from Equitymaster.com

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