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Zomato falls 15% in four sessions; Rs 15,624 crore investor wealth wiped out

Since January 17, Zomato has fallen nearly 13%. The stock debuted on the bourses in July 2021 with an issue price of Rs 76 apiece and settled with a nearly 65% premium at Rs 125.85.

January 21, 2022 / 05:52 PM IST
 
 
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Shares of Zomato Ltd on January 21 closed below their listing level as the stock continued to fall for the fourth straight session amid a sharp decline in the domestic equity market. The four-day fall has eroded investor wealth worth Rs 15,624 crore or $2.10 billion.

Zomato eventually settled at Rs 114.10 a share, down 8.9% from its previous close, while benchmark index Sensex ended 0.72% lower at 59,037.18 points. Since January 17, Zomato has fallen 15%. The domestic equity market, too, slid for the fourth session on Friday, thus sliding 3.6% owing to the expectation of a Fed hike in the US.

Zomato debuted on the bourses in July 2021 with an issue price of Rs 76 apiece and settled with a nearly 65% premium at Rs 125.85.

The stock, since then, has been favorite among investors. However, recent reports suggesting Fed rolling back liquidity amid higher inflation and indicating multiple interest rate hikes this year, have weakened the case for investment in richly priced technology stocks with no near-term visibility on profitability.

Shares of One97 Communications, CarTrade, PB Fintech, and Fino Payments Bank have slid between 10 percent and 50 percent from their IPO prices. Shares of Nykaa parent FSN E-commerce have sunk 21 percent from their highs post-listing.

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Recent news reports suggest that the government is planning a wage code bill, which, if implemented, analysts say, will drastically alter the way industrial houses treat their employees and also impact the working hours, take-home salaries, and other rights of employees.

The Labour Code on Wages was passed in August 2019 but is yet to be rolled out. Once implemented, there will be a new national wage floor that will benefit workers, while informal and gig workers will get a social security net as per the proposed provisions.

Year Ender: Labour reform slowed down in 2021; will it pick up pace in 2022?

A change in the definition of wage as suggested in the code also may impact the take-home salary of workers but will increase retirement savings – something that some entrepreneurs and employers oppose because it could increase their employee cost in the short term as it will have on gratuity and leave encashment rules.

A government panel is now working on devising a national mandatory minimum wage floor for the whole country, and possibly another national wage rate for sectors under the central government. At least 24 states and UTs had framed draft rules for the wage code so far and for a simultaneous rollout of the labour codes, the centre, and all the states need to be on the same page.

Also read: - Exclusive: Centre likely to come up with two minimum wage rates by April

"Superior growth potential aside, we sniff potential regulations considering the market power and control exercised by online delivery apps at large on gig workers. The shape and form of such regulations are not yet clear, but look quite probable over a medium-to-long-term", said Edelweiss Research in its November report.

"To be sure, markets love Zomato’s delivery story, but in the first few months since listing, its quality of disclosures has been sub-par. If this continues, valuations could take a knock. And also with food delivery apps demonstrating monopolistic nature, Zomato must decisively outdo Swiggy, a well-funded large player chasing it fast in its playfield", the brokerage added.



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Ravindra Sonavane
first published: Jan 21, 2022 02:52 pm
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