Ayodhya connection: Stocks that have surged ahead of temple inauguration

Since the Supreme Court cleared the pathway to the creation of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya in 2019, select stocks on Indian bourses have been in a tizzy

Updated: Jan 16, 2024 09:58:47 AM UTC
Workers are pictured at the construction site of a temple to Hindu deity Ram, in Ayodhya on December 29, 2023. Image: Arun Sankar/ AFP

Ever since November 2019, when the Supreme Court cleared the pathway to the creation of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya, select stocks on Indian bourses have been in a tizzy. The local economy has seen a fair share of dazzle too, with, among other items, saffron flags bearing images of Lord Ram selling out and the temple itself seeing a huge upsurge in footfall.

Taking a stroll down the 13 km redeveloped stretch from Sahadatganj—named Ram Path—these flags are unmissable on rooftops and walkways, and cost anywhere between Rs 50 and Rs 1,000.

But it’s not just the flags. Even the equity markets in 2023 saw its second-best year of performance after 2017. Both the Nifty 50 and Sensex yielded close to 20 percent returns, with December emerged as its best month.

This has been driven by a multitude of factors, right from FPIs turning net buyers in 2023, to optimism around the anticipated global interest rate reductions, robust corporate earnings, and better-than-anticipated economic growth. And, markets expect the bull run to lead well into 2024, with the momentum expected to be cautiously optimistic.

Also Read- Ayodhya: A new economic powerhouse in the making

With less than a month to go for the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple, the temple city of Ayodhya has been the cynosure of all eyes, be it devotees, tourists, political bigwigs, or a bunch of stocks readying to ride this momentous occasion.

Riding the Dharmic wave

Select stocks across sectors have started creating ripples

1) Praveg – This Gujarat-based eco-responsible luxury tourism and hospitality firm is known for its tent cities and luxury resorts. It recently received work orders for developing two tent cities at Ayodhya—in Bramhkund and Saryughat. These are strategically positioned near to Ram Mandir. With 75 percent pre-sold occupancy, the company’s stock has seen a surge. The scrip has already given a 188 percent return since last year, while the benchmark Sensex has clocked 18 percent.

2) Indian Hotels – JLL estimates five branded hotel chains have 520 rooms under various stages of construction at Ayodhya. Investments of around Rs 350 crore are projected to go towards the building of these hotels. Be it the 80 keys Park Inn by Radisson, or Ramada Encore by Wyndham, some of these hotel chains are riding high on spiritual tourism that temple cities like Ayodhya have spurred. Indian Hotels has planned two properties under Vivanta and Ginger brands and its stock has already zoomed around 46 percent over the past year.

Also Read- News by Numbers: Inside Ayodhya's Ram Mandir

3) Interglobe Aviation (IndiGo) IndiGo and other domestic carriers are also reaping this frenzy that will commence after the temple consecration. The stock has already inched up close to 50 percent over the past year, and as more carriers ready themselves to take flight to this holy land, prices will only zoom higher.

4) IRCTC – Indian Railways plans to operate more than 1,000 trains to Ayodhya for the inauguration. The stock has returned 42 percent over the past year.

5) Thomas Cook – Tour operators will be witnessing a major surge in demand. Thomas Cook has already come up with packages like Varanasi – Prayagraj – Ayodhya, and this will notch up more as the temple construction gradually moves to completion. The stock has clocked 106 percent gain over last year.

The writer is senior director-retail and CPG industry group, HCL Technologies.

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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