BSE
BSE

Market continues to frown upon the announcement of fiscal stimulus- or the lack of it. As the discussion continues on the government's announced fiscal stimulus, two of the market 's erstwhile favourites hit a 52-week low in today's trade.

Out of around the total package of Rs 20 lakh crore, the government has already announced the stimulus worth Rs 19 lakh crore. Interestingly, out of the total announcements, cash outflow for the government is worth only Rs 1.88tn, loan guarantees and subsidies form the rest of the 17.12 lakh crore.

The market after the initial sell-off recovered sharply to get a decent closing. Sensex closed 0.08% down at 31,097.73 while Nifty closed 0.06% down at 9,136.85. Vedanta (up 4.26%), BPCL (up 2.74%) and Bharti Airtel (up 2.64%) were the major gainers of the day while M&M (down 4.78%), Bharti Infratel (down 3.41%) and Axis Bank (down 3.33%) were the major losers of the day.

The government has been forced to keep an eye on India's global ratings while announcing the package. Fitch and S&P currently rate India one level above so-called “junk” status, and Moody’s rank us two levels above.

Under the impact of lockdown, India is already set to breach its fiscal deficit target to 6.0% from 3.5% set in the budget. Further increase in fiscal deficit could have resulted in further downgrading for India, paving way for a potential outflow of foreign capital.

Multiplexes: A Love affair that led to tragic heart-break

Not so long ago, PVR and Inox had emerged as a mirror of growing India's increasing appetite for leisure, backed by the higher spending power. The market loved their flare and kept falling for them, avoiding the valuation concerns. However, almost two months into the lockdown, the story which started with much fanfare now seems to be heading towards a tragic end.

Both the stocks have hit the 52-week lows today as the Maharashtra government extended lockdown in Mumbai, Pune and other hotspots in the state till May 31. Apart from that, major film makers are now opting to release their content on the OTT platforms and escaping the traditional route of theatrical release.

OTT (over-the-top) platform Amazon Prime Video has acquired seven Bollywood and regional films, including Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmann Khurrana starrer 'Gulabo Sitabo' and Vidya Balan-starrer 'Shakuntala Devi' for direct-to-digital premiere.

As multiplexes were the first to be shut and could be the last to be opened, the market value of these stocks have more than halved from their peak. Inox Leisure and PVR have tanked 62% and 60% respectively from their respective 52-week high values.

The question that arises here is that by opting for OTT platforms over the theatrical release, have the filmmakers set up an alarming precedent? Given that malls and multiplexes were among the first to be locked down and will be the last to come out of it, there lies a fear of viewers adjusting to the new normal. If that happens, then a multiplex story runs the risk of dying before it could fully blossom.

Key takeaways:

Releasing movies directly on OTT platforms could be a concern not just for multiplexes but even the malls at large could see their footfalls falling, given that a large population walks into a mall only for cinema.

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