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APSEZ leads global associates in market value as cargo volumes surge

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AHMEDABAD : Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd.’s market capitalisation has climbed to about $37 billion, overtaking peer Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Railway Co. Rising cargoes and entry into India’s benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index may extend its rally.

“It’s the beginning of a journey for Adani Ports,” said Deven Choksey, MD at DRChoksey FinServ Pvt. Expansion is becoming more natural for the company now that it’s generating cash and can already manage millions of metric tons of cargo, he said.

Adani Ports handled about 27 per cent of India’s total cargo and around 44 per cent of container cargoes in the year to March 31, according to a company statement. Its volumes increased 24 per cent from a year earlier, with ten of its domestic ports recording their highest-ever cargo volumes, the statement said.

The company’s “acquisition appetite” and strong balance sheet indicate further growth, said Priyankar Biswas, an analyst at BNP Paribas Securities India Pvt. Adani Ports agreed to buy India’s Gopalpur port in March and purchased a majority stake in a Tanzanian container terminal earlier this month.

The stock will also begin trading on India’s benchmark equity gauge starting Monday. Its admission is expected to bring in flows of $252 million, according to Nuvama Alternative & Quantitative Research.

Still, Adani Ports faces several risks following India’s election, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Denise Wong. Its stock fell more than 20 per cent on June 4 after Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s alliance won a surprisingly slim majority, though has since recouped some losses.

“Adani Ports may have an uncertain earnings growth outlook under India’s new coalition government,” Wong wrote in a report. “Adani Group firms could also be vulnerable to renewed regulatory scrutiny.”

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