India: Government plans to increase spending on infrastructure projects will benefit LafargeHolcim according to Moody's Investor Service. The second largest cement producer in India will gain from uneven regional demand, with a much larger scale and more prominent operations in northern India, where it sells almost 42% of its local cement volume.
LafargeHolcim and other European cement manufacturers with a presence in India are likely to benefit if the Indian government's plans to ramp up infrastructure spending happen in the next 12 to 18 months. The 2016 Union Budget contained plans to hike public infrastructure spending, especially on roads, which could revive stagnant cement demand in the country.
According to the government's 12th Five Year Plan (2012 - 17) investment in infrastructure should increase from 7.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 to 9% in 2017. However, cement demand for government-funded projects has been weak in the last four years with many construction schemes delayed or put on hold. As a result, while infrastructure investment will be a key growth driver, the timing of such investment remains uncertain.
However, Moody’s also noted that European multinational cement producers based in the south of the country with limited geographical spread would be more exposed to local overcapacity in this region. This included HeidelbergCement, Italcementi and CRH.