The management of Sun TV has often maintained that its business is independent of the government in power, but the market seems to be understanding it differently. A second term of the AIADMK could prove to be tougher for the family as it does not have the cushion of a friendly regime at the Centre.
Another media baron who could face the heat is Aveek Sarkar of the Kolkata-based Ananda Bazaar Patrika (ABP) Group. In interviews after her win, Mamata Banerjee accused the ABP Group of being part a conspiracy along with rival political parties to discredit her.
Reports have talked about how the media group has already taken a hit on revenues due to a blockade on government advertisements. Things could get worse before they get better.
Meanwhile, Juggernaut Books, a new-era publisher floated recently by Sarkar’s daughter Chiki, on Thursday released Didi: The Bengal Tigress by Jayanta Ghosal, a senior ABP journalist.
In Kerala, the CPI (M)-controlled Malayalam Communications, which runs a clutch of television channels including the popular Kairali, is a likely gainer with the return of a Left front government.
In Assam, the businesses to watch would be that of AIUDF’s Badruddin Ajmal, who lost in the Assembly elections. Ajmal’s perfume business, touted as one of the largest in the world, could come under the curious eyes of the new BJP government.
Ajmal’s family owns most of Hojai, a town of 36,000 people. It also runs the largest agar plantation near Hojai, Asia’s richest NGO named Markaj-ul Maaris and Asia’s largest rural charitable hospital — the 500-bed Haji Abdul Majid Memorial Hospital & Research Centre, a recent Hindustan Times report said. Another Assam company to watch is Pride East Entertainments. BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma’s wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma is the managing director of this firm. Fortunes are likely to change for some businesses that did not have any direct political linkage, too.
Revenge of the revellers
In both Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where prohibition was an election issue, the results would leave the liquor businesses on a high. The AIADMK has said it would implement prohibition step by step against the DMK’s immediate and full prohibition plank. In Kerala, while the UDF which talked about bringing prohibition in 10 years, LDF, which has been voted back to power, has suggested abstinence in place of prohibition.
Shares of liquor companies showed a mixed trend. While United Spirits fell by 3.69 per cent and Radico Khaitan lost 1.95 per cent against a 1.1 per cent Nifty fall, Tilaknagar fell 0.31 per cent. But, United Breweries gained 0.61 per cent.
The future of Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (Tasmac), wholesale trader of Indian Made Foreign Liquor, is uncertain.
Sunshine on Adani
The continuity in government is likely to help the proposed Rs 4,356-crore solar project in Ramanathapuram by the Adani group, which had drawn criticism from the opposition for the procurement price of Rs 7.01 per unit. The project is close to commissioning.
Trouble for GAIL?
GAIL is building a 925-km Kochi-Kottanad-Bengaluru-Mangaluru pipeline. Tamil Nadu, in 2013, wanted the pipeline be laid alongside national highways without affecting the agricultural lands. Though the Supreme Court has given its nod, the AIADMK’s return adds to the uncertainty. GAIL shares fell 2.5 per cent.
Red carpet for Didi
In Kolkata, Sanjiv Goenka and Harsh Vardhan Neotia, who were seen as industrialists with proximity to the Left Front, were quick to heap praises on Didi. The overwhelming majority could help bring in more investments to the state. Singur is more likely to be resolved once the Supreme Court comes out with a verdict. Banerjee said on Thursday that the matter as sub-judice but the “land is with us now. We will return 400 acres and industry could come up on 600 acres.”