In a major development, the title of India’s biggest shipping company has been won by a new shipping company.
Shipping Corporation of India Ltd. which enjoyed the position of the biggest shipping company of India for long has been overtaken by the Great Eastern Shipping Co Ltd who have increased their fleet size phenomenally, making it the biggest shipping company of India.
According to media reports, Great Eastern ceded the higher market capitalisation slot to SCI as its scrip galloped in the run-up to the issue of expression of interest for the privatisation of the state-run carrier.
For years SCI has topped the charts owing to its fleet size. At present Great Eastern has 69 ships which is greater than 10 ships of SCI whose fleet size now stands at 59
SCI’s market cap was at ₹3,994 crores at ₹85.75 a share whereas Great Eastern was at ₹3,858 crores at ₹262.55 a share when the Bombay Stock Exchange closed price on Tuesday.
Owing to a lesser number of equity shares, Great Eastern enjoyed a lower market cap than SCI despite having a high share price. Great Eastern is at 14,69,66,484 while SCI is at 46,57,99,010 in terms of equity shares. The last time this happened was back in 2011 when SCI market cap went over Great Eastern.
With its 59 ships, SCI stands at 5.29 million DWT which is 35% of the country’s total shipping tonnage. Whereas Great Eastern’s 69 ships fleet size has a total tonnage of 3.86 million DWT which is 25% of the country’s total shipping tonnage.
FY21 Revenue Earning
While SCI earned revenue of ₹2,055.30 crores in FY21 first half while Great Eastern earned revenue of ₹1,930.67 crores in FY21 first half.
SCI earned this revenue from its 59 ships including 13 crude oil carriers, 2 container ships, 15 dry bulk carriers, and 1 LPG carrier along with 13 product carriers, 5 VLCCs and 10 offshore supply vessels.
Great Eastern earned its revenue from its 69 ships including 17 product tankers, 11 crude oil tankers, 5 LPG carriers and 13 dry bulk carriers along with 4 oil drilling rigs and 19 offshore vessels.
Trading in the Second-hand Market
Great Eastern did this by being active in the second-hand market where it bought 9 ships and sold 7 ships for scrapping and trading purposes. In contrast, SCI has only bought 3 ships and sold 9 ships since FY18. Its last addition to the fleet was a gas carrier back in September 2017. Most of the ships sold by SCI during this period were for scrapping.
A shipping industry executive reiterated this by stating that “despite having greater financial freedom that comes with its ‘navratna’ status, SCI has stayed clear of buying second-hand ships for various reasons, one of which is to avoid the glare of the government auditor”.
The government started the privatisation process of the company when the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) invited proposals for selling 63.75% of its stake in SCI.