Thursday, 17 January 2008

The Rs.10 Coins.

In India, you get to see currency notes with all sorts of dirt, Holi colours on it, some pieces held together with adhesive tape, something scribbled on them, from numbers to names, to places, etc. Sometimes you are not able to read numbers printed on the note. They are found with several folds, carried as per the holder’s convenience.

When I was some 11 or 12 years old, I use to get fascinated by new rupee notes. Even today I stop for a moment when I see a fresh new currency rupee, as it is difficult to find fresh notes in circulation. I use to collect them, the clean clean and kadak kadak notes of rupee, mostly in ones, twos, fives and tens of denomination. At that time, I thought that probably I would never spend them.

I also use to get fascinated by coins with different impressions, like those with some leaders picture impression on coins or Indian flag, or something or the other. I witnessed history, when Rs. 5 coins were released in India for the first time. I planned to collect all the Rs. 5 coins present in India at that point of time. I even converted few of my 10s and 50 rupee notes into Rs. 5 coins. I use to scan my mummy’s purse and take all the Rs. 5 coins. (It was also a trick to increase my pocket money.)

I feel great that I witnessed something new as it happened back then. And here’s another change to witness history. The Government is planning to roll out Rs 10 coins during Diwali. The finance ministry will soon invite global tenders for manufacturing 30 crore pieces of Rs 10 coins amounting to Rs 300 crore. The coin will be of 17-mm diameter, an alloy of copper and nickel (cupro-nickel) while the rim will be of Al-Bronze (aluminium, copper and nickel). It is believed that only foreign suppliers will be able to supply these coins due to their unique composition.

Let’s collect them all!

Monday, 14 January 2008

Economics and US Presidential Candidates

As the US enters recession, I believe it has already, and I would be substantiating it in my subsequent posts, and as the US elections campaigning is charging up, I see a contrasting difference between how elections are fought in India and in US. Though as US is a developed country the political parties never have roti, kapda or makaan on their agenda. Surely, they do not have to promise such basic necessities to their citizens.
In India, elections are mostly fought luring voters by giving them liquor, money or increasing quotas to gain minority vote banks. You see different shades in different region in India. In recent past, you get to hear 'India shining' as the buzz word. Infrastructure Development is the fresh dish on the menu in Indian political scenario. Increased corporate support, encouraging entrepreneurs, favorable policies can be seen as trump cards now. With elections coming in 2009, surely all parties are gearing up.
On the contrary, in US you can see candidates promising high speed internets, cut in power bills and heat bills or even support to families that are finding difficult to pay their obligations.

I read an article which asked the candidates about their understanding of ‘Economics’. It’s a surprise that they are so blind about the issue. This is because Americans focus more on trying to divine the candidates’ characters by scrutinizing their tone of voice and facial expressions. Let’s see what some of the candidates feel about their economic policy.

John McCain admitts that economics isn’t his thing. “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,” he says. “I’ve got Greenspan’s book.”
Alan Greenspan is the same person who refused to regulate the subprime lending.

Rudy Giuliani's answer to the economy’s short-run problems is a huge permanent tax cut, which he claims would pay for itself. Surely, he wants the entire American to get broke.

Mike Huckabee — well, what can you say about a candidate who talks populist while proposing to raise taxes on the middle class and cut them for the rich?

According to Mitt Romney, Republican, low taxes and a pro-business environment is what he feels would solve the problem. Safe bet isn’t that. But in the long run US economy would never be able to recover if his proposals are accepted.

John Edwards, Democratic Party, proposed aid to unemployed workers, aid to cash-strapped state and local governments, public investment in alternative energy, and other measures.

Hillary Clinton offered a broadly similar but somewhat larger proposal.

Mr. Obama seems to be very confused. Initially proposing for tax cut, as a measure for recession then came out with offerings similar to that of democrats.

Its fun to know what the “going to be president” of largest economy feels about economy. It would have been a better article if I would have discussed about their tone, facial expressions, their hair style or clothes.

Friday, 11 January 2008


News - Politics & Economics:

  • Indian companies raised a record US$17.14 bn through private equity deals in 2007, according to data from Grant Thornton. (BS)
  • Within a week of the Tamil Nadu goverment’s threat of nationalisation, private cement manufacturers have offered to make available 20 lakh bags of blended cement every month in all districts of Tamil Nadu at a subsidised price of Rs200 per 50 kg bag. (BS)
  • BSP chief Mayawati has threatened to withdraw support to the central government while alleging that some Congress leaders are planning to kill her. (FE)
  • Liquor might cost the same across country as the States have agreed on uniform duty structure. (ET)
  • Supreme court has ruled that ESOPs cannot be considered taxable income and the company is not obliged to deduct tax at source on the same. (BS)
  • Government has denied that it has any plans to sell the Dabhol power plant. (BS)
  • Government has accorded low priority to natural gas utilization by new power plants. (FE)
  • Beer consumption has grown just 14% in the first nine months of FY08 as against 28% in the last financial year. (ET)
  • Cement sales for the December quarter were up 2.1% YTD. (BS)

One Lakh Car - Reations from Industry.

Jagdish Khattar, former managing director Maruti Suzuki,
"The car is good to look at. There is a space in the market between two-wheelers and the 800 (Maruti's small car). It will be a success if they deliver what they promised. And I see no reason why they can't."

Ramesh Suri, Chairman Subros,
"The best thing is that they have kept the price at levels promised at concept stage. It is good to look at. I can't say about the driving experience as I have not taken a trial."

Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd,
"We cannot make a cheaper car. We don't know how to make a Rs 1 lakh car unless we sacrifice something. We won't go below the 800 in our product line-up, but this car may impact some of our Maruti 800 sales"

Anand Mahindra, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd,
"I think it's a moment of history and I'm delighted an Indian company is leading the way."

Venu Srinivasan, Chairman & Managing Director, TVS Motor Co,
"It is fantastic, outstanding engineering. It helps redefine the sector in the country. It has established new grounds."

P Sam, Group Head, Marketing & Sales, Yamaha Motor India Sales Pvt Ltd,
"The Rs 1 lakh rupee car is not going to impact our potential customers. Our customers would buy our products for the sheer joy of riding."

Onkar Kanwar, Apollo Tyres Ltd,
"I congratulate Tata. He has delivered what he promised."

Ashok Singh, Delhi Police Constable,
"It is a dream come true. I look forward to buying that car. My wife will be really happy."

G Colquhoun, Reader in Manufacturing Systems, School of Engineering, Liverpool,
"This is an important step for Asian markets. I look forward to this car being introduced in European markets."

Karan Agrawal,
" Tata Nano is value for money. At this price you cannot ask anything else. It is going to be a big hit."

Tata Nano - Launched.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Exclusive Report - One Lakh Car is a realty!

Mr. Ratan Tata unveiled Rs 1 lakh car, 'Nano' at the 9th Auto Expo Show in Delhi. With this a new segment is created in the auto industry. Tata Motors now offer from trains to trucks to even the most affordable car of the world!

"That's what drove me -- a man on a two-wheeler with a child standing in front, his wife sitting behind, add to that the wet roads - a family in potential danger," Mr. Tata wrote on the company website.

''Since, promise is a promise the standard dealer version will cost Rs 1 lakh,'' said Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata. He also said that that the car is eight per cent smaller bumper to bumper, than the Maruti 800 but at the same time 21 per cent larger in its interiors and can sit up to four people. Talking about the safety of the car, Tata said, ‘‘the car has passed the full-frontal crash and the side impact crash''.

The car will be available in many variants, which will include one standard version and two deluxe versions with AC.

Small Wonders - features:
* 624 cc engine
* Mileage of 20 kilometers per liter
* Passed full frontal crash test, the offset and side-crash test
* Legroom is expected to be 21 pc more than Maruti 800.
* The car meets the Bharat 3 (Euro 4) emission standards.
* The car that will come in two variants - AC and non-AC
* Will comes a dealer price of Rs one lakh plus VAT and transport charges.
* Commercial launch in mid 2008-09

BOSCH - Alternator; Brakes; Fuel injection system; Ignition system. LUMAX AUTOMOTIVE - Headlamps. RICO AUTO - Engine blocks. NK MINDA - Switches; horns. SONA GROUP - Steering columns. GABRIEL - Suspensions. KINETIC ENGINEERING - Gears. FEDERAL-MOGUL GOETZEE - Engine pistons. JK TYRES - 12-inch tyres.

What is missing in the car apart from a reasonable luggage space is power steering. The car also said to have one wiper instead of the customary two.

Tata Motors has gone all out to make sure Ratan Tata's plan of a rupees one lakh car is fulfilled.

Surely, owning a four wheeler has now become affordable in India.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Rupee near record

The rupee climbed again today to reach its highest level in almost a decade as the benchmark stock index rose to a record, raising expectations global funds will buy more local equities. The rupee gained for the fourth successive day after Citigroup and Deutsche Bank said in research reports that the Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, will add to gains for the seventh year in a row as a near-record pace of economic growth boosts company earnings. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said ``conditions are favorable'' for the nation to sustain a growth rate of between 9 percent and 10 percent in the next five years. The currency gained to 39.275 against the dollar at the 5 p.m. close in Mumbai, the highest since Feb. 26, 1998, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It closed at 39.295 yesterday. The rupee, which last year posted the biggest annual gain since at least 1974, may reach 39 this month according to many observers.

Monday, 7 January 2008

ICC New Rules

(1) Ricky Ponting – (THE TRULY GENUINE CRICKETER OF THE CRICKET ERA AND WHOSE INTEGRITY SHOULD NOT BE DOUBTED ) should be considered as the FOURTH UMPIRE. As per the new rules, FOURTH UMPIRE decision is final and will over ride any decisions taken by any other umpires. ON-FIELD umpires can seek the assistance of RICKY PONTING even if he is not on the field. This rule is to be made, so that every team should understand the importance of the FOURTH UMPIRE .

(2) While AUSTRALIAN TEAM is bowling, If the ball flies anywhere close to the AUSTRALIAN FIELDER(WITHIN 5 metre distance) , the batsman is to be considered OUT irrelevant of whether the catch was taken cleanly or grassed. Any decision for further clarification should be seeked from the FOURTH UMPIRE. This is made to ensure that the cricket is played with SPORTIVE SPIRIT by all the teams.

(3) While BATTING , AUSTRALIAN players will wait for the ON-FIELD UMPIRE decisions only (even if the catch goes to the FIFTH SLIP as the ball might not have touched the bat). Each AUSTRALIAN batsman has to be out FOUR TIMES (minimum) before he can return to the pavilion. In case of THE CRICKETER WITH INTEGRITY , this can be higher.

(4) UMPIRESshould consider a huge bonus if an AUSTRALIAN player scores a century. Any wrong decisions can be ignored as they will be paid huge bonus and will receive the backing of the AUSTRALIAN team and board.

(5) All AUSTRALIAN players are eligible to keep commenting about all players on the field and the OPPONENT TEAM should never comment as they will be spoiling the spirit of the AUSTRALIAN team. Any comments made in any other language are to be considered as RACIALISM only.

(6) MATCH REFREE decisions will be taken purely on the AUSTRALIAN TEAM advices only. Player views from the other teams decisions will not be considered for hearing. MATCH REFREES are to be given huge bonus if this rule is implemented.

(7) NO VISITING TEAM should plan to win in AUSTRALIA. This is to ensure that the sportive spirit of CRICKET is maintained.

(8) THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE : If any bowler gets RICKY PONTING - "THE UNDISPUTED CRICKETER WITH INTEGTIRY IN THE GAME OF CRICKET" more than twice in a series, he will be banned for the REST OF THE SERIES. This is to ensure that the best batsman/Captain will be played to break records and create history in the game of CRICKET.
These rules will clarify better to the all the teams VISITING AUSTRALIA.


Thnx a lot whoever composed it.

Sources: Got through a mail.

Saturday, 5 January 2008


NEWS section would focus mainly on big news that would have some impact on Economy, Markets, etc.

  • The Government is all set to remove the cap on the number of partners in partnership firms as well as in banking companies regulated under the Company Law. (ET)
  • There would be no dilution in the minimum number of independent directors on the boards of listed PSUs. Sebi Chairman M Damodaran has ruled out any change in corporate governance norms for PSUs as regards independent directors on their Boards. (BL)
  • Crude oil traded at $100 per barrel for the first time on Wednesday on concerns that violence in Nigeria may further cut output. (BS)
  • Sebi has said it would allow institutional investors to start short selling, which was banned way back in 2001 in the aftermath of the Ketan Parekh scam, from February 1. (BS)
  • With prices of cement in Tamil Nadu soaring, the state government has said that it may take over private cement factories in the state, if price hikes were not controlled. (BL)
  • The Government is considering an increase of Rs.4 and Rs.2 per liter in the price of petrol and diesel, respectively. (ET)

Friday, 4 January 2008

The People's Car!!!

The people's car is all set to be displayed on Jan 10th 2008, in The Delhi Auto Expo. This is Mr. Ratan Tata's dream project.

The vision of the car is to fill the gap between two wheelers and lowest priced four wheeler. The possibility of manufacturing a car for one lakh rupees has already been denied by the likes of Mr. Jagdish Khattar, the recently retired MD of Maruti Udyog. Biggies like Honda, Suzuki, Toyota and Hyundai still lives in the denial of possibility of a rupees one lakh car.

But, in a recent interview to the McKinsey Quarterly, Mr. Ratan Tata said: “If you could position an all-weather car that was not a glorified scooter or a stripped down car, then I believe there would be market potential for one million cars a year.”

And Tatas have bigger plans. Even before the launch of the car, Tata motors has submitted an application to Thailand’s Board of Investment (BoI) for an investment of around Rs 800-900 crore in Thailand for the same project. Now, that is what you call an aggressive strategy! The company already has a good presence in Thailand with its Ace, a one ton mini-truck. This would help company to further leverage its presence in the asian market.

Advertising Agency: The Diwan Arun Nanda-promoted Rediffusion has managed to bag the project. The fight was between the three Tata Motor agencies, the Piyush Pandey led O&M, Anil Kapoor's FCB Ulka and Mr Nanda's Rediffusion. Both O&M and Rediff are WPP agencies, while FCB Ulka is 100% Omnicom owned agency.

Distribution and after sales services is already present for Tata Motors. The target customers are also identified. So, if all goes well, including no technical faults, and inflation under control, there is no problem why the project won't be successful.

The car is supposed to be available during Diwali festival time.

My take: The car would do well!!!

Anil Ambani and his fancy!

A lot of huulla is going on in the market regarding the IPO of Reliance Power. The issue has raised brows right from the day, it was announced by younger Ambani. Even SEBI has to look into the matter.

Few facts:
1. Promoters contribution to Reliance Power is US$ 250 million for 100% stake. 50% would be held by Reliance Energy and 50% that is US$125 million is contributed by Anil Ambani. Of this, around 10% would be off loaded in IPO i.e. US$ 25 million for US$ 2.5bn. This would lead to world's biggest investment appreciation of 100 times in 5 months from date of inception of the company. This would be India's biggest IPO ever, beating DLF.

2. The issue is trading in grey market at Rs. 400-Rs.420 i.e it would get list at around Rs. 850-Rs. 870 levels.

3. No project has been completed till date.

Surprisingly, I have not come across any expert recommending to bet on the issue.

I am not sceptical about the issue or the abilities of younger ambani, but it would have been a lot better if he would have completed some projects and then floated the company. I am sure the issue would be a great success and the the management would rope several JVs and ties up or even acquire expertise for execution.
So, surely listing would be at 100% premium.

My call is buy as much as possible.

Reliance Power has called an analyst's meet today i.e., Friday, 4th January 2008.
Venue: The Crystal Room, Hotel Taj Mahal.
Time: 6.45 pm.
Service: Cocktail & Dinner.
Will update on the issue after the analyst's meet.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

The Tatas

The center of attraction for January 2008 in automobile sector, surely, would be Tata Motors. The company is inching closer and closer to bag the two iconic brands, Jaguar and Land Rover.
Secondly, the most eagerly awaited One Lakh car would be displayed in Delhi Auto Expo on 10th January. The car is believed to be Chairman of Tata Group, Mr. Ratan Tata's dream project.

Last year, Tata group was again in news, when Tata Steel announced to acquire Corus Steel. Though it all started with a friendly bid, went on to finish with a hostile takeover.

Surely, Tatas have drawn a road map for each of its companies to go global, and things are unfolding slowly but steadly.


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