We envisage another solid year for cement manufacturers, with private and public demand set to be major fulcrums. This prognosis on cement consumption is likely to reflect the knock-on effect of increased government spending and greater Public-Private Projects (PPPs) by institutions like RITC and INFRACO.

Despite our broadly positive view on the sector, likely temperance in CAPEX implementation (as is often the case in most pre-election years), possible increase in market competition, and FX devaluation are likely to be of concern in the current financial year. Investors are, however, likely to remain excited about prospects for better near-term rewards from cement players, with DANGCEM set to lead the way with the second tranche of its buy-back program and WAPCO likely to further reward shareholders, after the well-received interim dividend payment.