Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Birthday Wishes

This is one birthday I can not forget
Happy Birthday

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Loans for TCS IPO

Well this is radical. I went to Bishtupur (the popular market here in the Jamshedpur) this evening and from a moving auto saw two men holding a banner which read Loans available for TCS IPO. Couldn't see the name of the bank whose initiative it was but never the less its amazing in more ways than one. 

-> The banks seems have become really aggressive. How often would you found them jumping at opportunities like this.

-> Indian advertising is reaching out to make an impression in all nooks and corners of the country. Earlier I   Thought you could find such advertising only in hep places in metros (Multiplex complexes in Delhi for example)

-> Last but the not the least, the days of IPO are back. Another good sign for stock market. While at work back in May in remember how one company asked the underwriting firm (my summer internship co) to go slow with their IPO after the stock market crash. Maybe they too would have come back now. Thank you TCS, its good for you too.

->What is also evident is that retail investor is focus of everybody's attention. He is expected to be interested in and important enough to provide an opportunity big enough for launch of schemes targeted at him

Good days ahead for all three kinds of players here if these expectations are meet.
Searched the net to come across this article:  India's Uco Bank Extends Finance for TCS Float

Friday, July 23, 2004

The 9/11 investigation report is out too

NDTV.com - US welcomes 9/11 report Interesting coincidence (?) this. My watching of the movie coincided with release of this report which blames the 9/11 attack on "failure of imagination" (gosh really interesting terms these - open to interpretation :). Well the report blames US government, the institutional shortcomings but spares the US president. Coming in the wake of impending November presidential elections, this is definitely a relief for republicans and Bush Junior. As I listened to BBC news no wonder Bush welcomed the report and talked about fast implementation of the recommendations of the commission. As did the Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. So just as it happens in India I guess there is just going be a lot of talk and little or no walk with both sides trying to cash in on the report in elections.

Its 5:00 am, am far from sleeping. Its high time I get my body clock in order & catch up on some studies. As the yahoo status message of a friend states..from tomorrow change ;)

Tomorrow is the only day in the year that appeals to a lazy man. ~Jimmy Lyons

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11 - About freedom of expression and corruption.

I have become a total nocturnal animal. Its 6:00 am and I have just finished Farenheit 9/11. The movie was thought provoking. That the US interests in Iraq were oil is wide known but movie made me think about something else. Some time back in a curruption index ranking India was ranked 83 among 133 countries. Tried to look for USA, it was way up at no 18. Am still wondering is this too is a case of halo effect (or arm twisting ?) for a developed nation. No this is not to say I believe everything that is depicted, infact the political associations and message of the movie seems to be too obvious. But never the less, the even if half of it happened, its enough to change my view that politicians in our country seem to be the worst lot.

But I can't deny one thing, in India you could not have had public screening of such a movie. In no way could it have CNN.com - 'Fahrenheit 9/11' breaks records - Jun 27, 2004">broken records. Infact the wounds of tehelka are still fresh. The largest democracy of the world is definitely is not open to criticism or people pointing fingers at the skeletons in its closet

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Sony and BMG - The german japanese marriage

The two strategy courses really intererst me this term. For example the news of the upcoming merger of Sony and BMG. Together they command would 25% industry share (second largest after Universal). With the top four players cornering 80% of the market share, no wonder the independents and other small players are crying foul about the BBC NEWS | Business | Sony and BMG merger backed by EU">EU approval of the merger. All might not be good for small consumers as the companies together will be able to crack down better of piracy and cheap music, the major problems faced by music industry. The merger is still undergoing antitrust review in the US though.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Technology Companies test the market

The IT success story had been watched the world over. Google created ripples earlier this year by launching the gmail service that redefined the standards for free email services.(That reminds me my two invites are still open). The company has now filed $2.7 billion IPO. The IPO is being handled by Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston but, what is interesting is Merrill Lymch pulled out of the IPO citing poor profit potential. This unofficial site discusses the IPO. Analysts advise investors to buy it and then sell ASAP considering the possibility of hyped valuations.

On the Indian scene after last two years of dilly dallying, TCS is finally coming to the market. The company has already submitted its red herring prospectus to SEBI. Last heard it was supposed to be priced around Rs 800/share. Unofficial word says the company plans to launch its IPO on July 29, which coincides with be centenary celebrations of the group.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The Budget

The Economic Times article does not mention how much is the excise duty on computers. If you have similar problems access the full text of budget here

Anyways what affects people like me majorly

- The 8% excise duty on computers has been removed. My new computer should cost Rs 2000 less atleast.
- The collateral requirement has been waived for educational loans up to Rs 7.5 lakh from Rs 4 lakh (Doesn't help much. Banks did not follow this anyway)

Anyways this is what I could make of the budget, trying to address the concerns raised by Stephen of Morgan Stanley.

+ Plans to make procedures for registration and operations simpler and quicker for FIIs
+ Investment ceiling for FII's in Debt funds has been increased from US$1 billion to US$ 1.75 billion;
+ As far FDI is concerned, caps have been raised in Telecom (74%), Insurance(49%) & Aviation(49%)
- Disinvestment targets for 2004-2005 reduced to Rs 4000 crore
- Profit making PSU's not to be sold
+ If your taxable income is below 1 Lakh no tax (Rs 9000 saved/year)
? Non Resident Deposits no longer welcome(interest to be taxed)
+ Reasonable Fiscal Deficit at 4.4% of GDP

Capital Gains Tax
- Long term capital gains tax abolished
+ Small investors - Short term capital gains taxed uniformly at 10%from earlier 10%/20%/30% regime.
These two apparently led to the a lot of selling pressure from small investors.

- Transaction tax on all securities (15 basis points)
This one sent the capital markets on a nosedive. Would majorly affect big players, brokers and mutual funds who churn their portfolios often. More so beacuse its across the board and cannot be escaped. (Future and Options and bonds included).The FM also planned to put an end to bonus and divident stripping. No longer can you make a killing by those bonus shares. I hope dad has booked some of his profits.

All the direct taxes of course need to be approved by the parliament first.The criticism of the budget is though it promised "Growth, Stability and Equity", And it does seem to be satisfy the last two of its objectives , the growth part seems to be meant for certain sectors like agriculture

Anyways here it direct from the horse's mouth. An interview with Mr Chidambaram after budget

Controversy Sells ?

Well I wonder if that's a question. But it came up again in class during the discussion of ethics at workplace . The professor referred to increasing reporting of interpersonal abuse in the media as proof of its increasing clutches on our society.

I think the reality is different. With survival pressures heating up in all sectors. Organizations are thinking of ways to sustain and grow their market share. Strategies like innovative advertising, new products, added functionalities etc do not work in case of newspapers websites and other such means of communication. For a newspaper TOI (Times of India) defied the assumption that you can not anything innovative to it by 'giving readers what they want'. (Check out a previous post here).It today is the market leader. If I look around, the same phenomenon exists everywhere. Talk of websites like Indiatimes. All those who have learnt that you can't sustain by catering to the elitist customer. Post a controversial news/spicy photo/article and the no of hits to your sites multiply many times. Catering to people who want celebrities and other such news on page three is a thing on the past. Now such articles occupy their proud place on front page. The increase in no the hits or circulation once you publish something is definitely worth it, seems to be the consensus. Parveen talks about an incident reflecting this in his blog.

This is one issue I have told many people about...So here it goes again...

We had this Kamasutra sex survey a month ago, the results of which were published in many leading magazines.The Times of India had published them too, in the front pages of its supplement, The Hyderabad Times. The next day, a guy wrote a letter to the editor. I don't remember it verbatim, but I'll try...

"Sir, Nowadays we have been seeing that the Times is publishing more non-news items than news items...Many people in my organization are thinking of stopping the newspaper, since there are kids at home who read the same stuff...I don't think you should have published such stuff in the main pages...."

The reply from the editor was..
"Dear Reader, Thanks for your valuable opinion. May we suggest, our esteemed sister publication, "The Hindu"

The message being there is no moral dilemma what so ever. No wonder most of our class is circumspect about the media. We have learnt not to take things at face value.

Thomas Jefferson, the third president of USA and a co author of Declaration of Independence wrote in a private letter, "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man". His opinion of newspapers was

" The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper."
" The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."

Anyways coming back to the issue the professor raised, I think increasing reporting reflects something else, that there is increasing awareness, that what was under the carpet is being talked about and rectified. That hence is a reason for hope, a step forward
People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news. A. J. Liebling (1904 - 1963)

Monday, July 05, 2004

Stephen Roach's (MD, Morgan Stanley) take on India

The onus of good interview lies on the interviewer. An interviwer who knows his subject and asks good specific questions can definitely make the interview much more interesting. I realized this as I read a conversation with Stephen Roach telecasted on CNBC TV 18 (The article doesn't mention the interviewers).

Over the last few months, there has been a lot of concern about what Foreign Investors think about the future of Indian economy. Many half baked articles/analysis tell you how they will be concerned about 'reforms' etc. Stephen Roach clearly specifies his watchlist - Privatization, Infrastructure, and Foreign Investment. But the real beauty of the analysis is that the interview takes the issue deeper. Privatization- why ? What do the foreign investors want? Efficiences in Indian industries or just reduced deficits. Would diluting stakes do or is strategic sale the only option? Foreign Investment - What do the FI's want - would better procedures bring them back or an increase in caps would be needed?

The interview also analyses the Indian growth story - If services, then why? Is the government wrong on going back to the Manufacturing and agriculture? Lots of issues like this which concern those who have been watching the markets and policy announcements.

Now that you have read my views on the article, you can read the full text here

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Export orders for Indian Concept Car - Reva

I fell in love with that pleasing green coloured small small car when I saw Reva for the first( and last so far) time in a road in Rohtak, Haryana.Reva -the electric car made by Reva Electric Car Company has got export orders of 500 units from British company Going Green Plc according to this ndtv article . Reva was developed as a choice for clean city driving. The car has classy looks. It can seat 4 people (2 adults and 2 children ) comfortably. The car travel up to 80 kilometres in the city once fully charged (6 hours/9 units/Rs. 35-40 approx) and is easy to drive with no clutches and gears or engine vibrations for that matter. Its easy to park too because of its small size.

Reva is an joint venture with 80% Indian stake. With a production capacity of just 6000/year I won't say Reva has changed the face of Indian roads but it definitely is the shape of things to come.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Job fairs arrive in India

I just read that an IT Job Fair is coming up in New Delhi on July 3, 4

A job fair is a place where a lot of recruiters come together at a common place to recruit candidates. The purpose of a job fair is to provide a common place for candidates to look for suitable employment and offer an army of highly qualified candidates to a desirable employer as this article on strategic recruitment using job fairs describes. World wide job fairs are one the most commonly used method of recruitment. However the concept is not that popular in India unless you consider the on campus placement of major institutes. This on campus placement has restricted access and is on a much smaller scale.

But such recruitment techniques will definitely make both job seekers and providers life easier.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Gmail invites on auction ;)

I have just realized I have more email space than I need (or can handle)- 1 GB each of rediff and google. And also on traditional mail providers as yahoo and hotmail.

I haven't even used my Gmail invites yet. Its a little late but I am still sure many visitors to this mail would be interested in this. So do write back with your bid.....