Reads: Twisting Ireland’s Arm, Alarming Startup Cash Burns, Axing IIPM….

Monday reads:

IIPM can’t call itself a management institute, says Delhi High Court. The organization – it’s hardly an institute – has been making fools out of students for many years, putting full page ads and talking about MBAs from unknown sources in Belgium and so on. I used to spend a lot of time trying to debunk their claims a long time back, when they threatened bloggers and put silly cases in strange places on anyone who wrote honestly about them. Well, it’s payback time, and it’s going to get a lot worse.

Exotel, a startup, blames another startup for spreading rumours they’re shutting down. The founder of Exotel, which provides voice telephony solutions to customers, has sent a mail to its customers saying they’re not shutting down, and has posted emails by its competitor which it says spread the rumour that Exotel is on the verge of going belly up.

The […]

By |September 29th, 2014|Categories: Readings|1 Comment

Sunday Read: The Story of Sheetal Mafatlal and Her Fake 100 cr. Art Theft

This is one incredible story, from the Mumbaiwalla stable. Of the trendy Sheetal Mafatlal and how she stole family-owned paintings, got them faked, and implicated her friends for having stolen the originals. (HT @venkatananth)

For the house proud mistress, Sheetal Mafatlal, it was just one amongst an impressive collection signed mostly by Raza, Husain, Souza, Sabavala andAnjolie Ela Menon. Collectively valued at nearly Rs 100 crore, they were a constant source of pride and the few remaining reminders of the past glory of the House of Mafatlal. The only ‘family silver’ worth anything substantial, so to speak.

Today Bawa’s much admired Goat is lying forlorn in humble wrapping under police custody with the rest of them, but still commands a strategic advantage – it’s one of the key pieces of evidence which unlocked the tangled knots in a case being described as the most audacious art heist in India.


By |September 21st, 2014|Categories: Readings|3 Comments

Reads: IT Scrutiny, Loan Dis-Waiver, Retail in F&O, VC Changes

Income Tax Department to run a city specific tax scrutiny: Co-op bank deposits in Bangalore, Cars in Lucknow, Films in Kolkata (Times of India). Nothing wrong with this drive, black money doesn’t sit in Swiss banks anymore, it is largely in India. But I just wish they explored real estate – it’s a far bigger black money source.

Andhra farm loan waiver turns into recast, but RBI says there’s no justification (Business Standard) Oh, those pesky election promises.

Modi’s “New” India is off to a Bad Start (Bloomberg). We won’t give up our food subsidies, no matter what. But then, neither will the US or Europe.

On that note, V. Anantha Nageswaran argues that India’s stand is right. (Livemint) There is really no need to benchmark to 1986 prices, for max-support metrics.

Reliance Power will acquire JP Power’s 1800 MW Hydel Plants (Livemint). Stock gains big […]

By |July 29th, 2014|Categories: Links, Readings|Comments Off on Reads: IT Scrutiny, Loan Dis-Waiver, Retail in F&O, VC Changes

Reads: Companies Act, Dartboard Picks, Vadra’s Real Estate Portfolio

Monday AM Reads:

Mauritius Court Freezes Shiv-Vani Oil’s Offshore Assets after it Defaults on $84 million (Economic Times)

Companies Act Likely To Hurt Realty Firms (Business Standard)

What the 1% Don’t Want You To Know (Bill Moyers, Truth-Out)

Throwing Spaghetti Against a Wall (Prashanth)

Japan Shows Deficit of $14 trillion, Yen Falls (Bloomberg)

The Business Interests of Karti Chidambaram (LiveMint)

Robert Vadra’s Real Estate Empire (WSJ)

Just returned from another weekend trip out of town, lots more to come.

By |April 21st, 2014|Categories: Readings|Comments Off on Reads: Companies Act, Dartboard Picks, Vadra’s Real Estate Portfolio

Reads: Infy Warns, Sun Pharma Alerts, New Zealand Raises, Bull Market EndGame

In News:

Infy says it might not make as much money as it thought. Revenues at lower end of guidance, clients aren’t spending. Stock down 8%. (SmartInvestor)

Sun Pharma sees the FDA put an import alert on the Karkhadi plant and the stock’s down 3.5%. (Economic Times) Wonder why it’s singled out in this fall – mentioned in the FDA report are: Ranbaxy (all plants), Aurobindo Pharma (1 plant, stock is up!), Wockhardt (2 plants).

New Zealand is the first developed country to raise rates (Bloomberg)

Mutual funds find it difficult to oppose the Maruti Suzuki Gujarat plant but still ask Maruti to park excess cash in its debt schemes (Investors are idiots)

How to tell when the bull market is turning bear (LiveMint)

By |March 13th, 2014|Categories: Readings|1 Comment

Reads: Synchronized Tightening, Buffett Letter, Marketing Amortization and more

Think before you buy with a credit card: The taxman will track individual spends. (SmartInvestor)

Buffett’s annual letter to investors. A lot of stuff there I don’t agree with, in the sense that it’s not the only way to invest. But it’s made him a substantial amount of money, and good for him! As usual though, great investing letter. Remember, read what Buffett says, but don’t bullshit yourself that it applies to anything beyond just that; unnecessarily broad usage of statements like “don’t lose money” have lost people more money than dear old Noida Toll Bridge. Do what works for you.

Professor Bakshi talks about the relative unattractiveness of Relaxo footwear after it went up nearly 65% in about six months when he first pitched that it’s a cool company. The Bakshi Effect? Can’t underestimate the power on a low volume stock!

(Note: I went through the analysis and wasn’t very confident […]

By |March 3rd, 2014|Categories: Readings|Comments Off on Reads: Synchronized Tightening, Buffett Letter, Marketing Amortization and more

Reads: Hawala Premiums, Chinese Taper, Airtel Loses, Don’t Go To Jail

Hawala premiums for gold smuggling are up to 4%, says Business Standard.

Bad Housing Starts data in the US? No, says Calculated Risk; it’s the cold weather and higher prices.

Why I didn’t go to jail, writes Ben Horowitz, on doing the right thing instead of doing what other people are doing.

China’s flash PMI for Feb falls to 48.3, a seven month low and takes European stocks with it.

Bharti Airtel loses appeal in case to Econet Wireless in Nigeria, has to pay $3 billion to Econet which was wrongfully denied its shareholding in the company acquired by Airtel from Zain. Airtel has to pay to acquire Econet’s minority shareholding, and this is the third setback in the case (which has seen unfavourable judgements from an international tribunal and then two lower courts in Nigeria). Share’s fallen to Rs. 298.

Whatsapp founder was once on food stamps. […]

By |February 20th, 2014|Categories: Readings|Comments Off on Reads: Hawala Premiums, Chinese Taper, Airtel Loses, Don’t Go To Jail

Reads: Killing BitCoin, More Taper, Bad Debts in India

The Glitch that will kill Bitcoin (Bloomberg).

Bad jobs report won’t change the Taper (CNBC)

Government Jugaad: Asking RBI to pay interim dividend to meet fiscal targets (Livemint)

What Indian regulators are getting wrong (Business Standard)

Tata Housing Screws Low Cost Housing Flat Buyers (Alphaideas) Or, why you should not buy under-construction properties, Tata Housing Edition.

The Bad Debt Problem exacerbates in many Indian banks (Livemint)

No more 26% cap on lending rates for Microfinance companies (ET)

SEBI: Brokers must use multiple trading software in case one vendor goes bust (ET) Seems to target FT which has been in trouble lately and owns more than 50% of the broking technology space.

By |February 12th, 2014|Categories: Bitcoin, Readings|Comments Off on Reads: Killing BitCoin, More Taper, Bad Debts in India

Reads: Dropping EM Currencies, Of Mad US Housing, Apple Drops 8%, Aam Aadmi Airline Regulation

Via @palmerandrew: Chart of EM Currencies:

Embedded image permalink

51 million iPhones, 26 million iPads, in one darn quarter. But Apple’s $13 billion earnings was a tad lower than the previous year, and lower than street estimates (which nowadays are a bigger thing than reality, it seems). The stock is down 8% in after-market trade as a consequence.


Parag Parikh on why closed ended funds are becoming seriously popular:

For simplicity’s sake, let’s ignore the regulatory slabs for expense ratios and assume a fund can charge 2.5% as expenses per year. Say for instance a fund is closed end for 5 years, it can have 12.5% as expenses. The AMC of such a fund would offer anywhere between 7 to 8% to the distributors. Their job is to get an investor who would be locked in for 5 years. And for getting that money for five years the distributor is rewarded with an upfront commission. This has got […]

By |January 28th, 2014|Categories: Readings|6 Comments

Real Estate: Builders Not Delivering, High Unsold Inventory and Then, Defaults

In real estate, for you on a Monday, is not good news. They aren’t finishing their projects, says Mansi Taneja at Business Standard.

Till July this year, of the committed supply of 406,539 housing units, only 143,838 had been completed, according to data from real estate research firm PropEquity. That comes to 35.38 per cent — just a tad more than a third.

In Gurgaon, the committed supply was 22,571. But till July, only 7,645 units, or 33.9 per cent had been delivered by developers. In Noida, of the 36,847 units promised, only 7,672, or 20.8 per cent, were delivered. Mumbai fared a little better, delivering 7,990 of the 18,725 promised units — 42.7 per cent. Pune also scored much better than the National Capital Region (NCR)by delivering 26,376 of the 59,766 units committed (44.1 per cent).

This means they took money and haven’t delivered their projects yet. […]

By |September 23rd, 2013|Categories: Defaults, Readings, RealEstate|12 Comments

Readings: Greece Broke, Slumdogs Into Millionaires

The Prospectus For Silicon Valley’s Next Hot Tech IPO (which sounds like most Indian IPOs)

Greece Warns of Going Broke as Tax Proceeds Dry Up (NYT)

Nearly 6.5 Million Linked Account Passwords Posted Online (PCW)

And in that vein, Jeff Atwood Makes Your Gmail Hacker Proof (Read Now) 

Turning Slumdogs Into Millionaires: Of Pabrai’s Focussed Charity in India (Forbes)

How To Keep Your Financial Advisor Honest (CBS). I wonder if this will work in India.

When the Fake @jhunjhunwala met the real one (Sruthijith at ET)

By |June 7th, 2012|Categories: Readings|Comments Off on Readings: Greece Broke, Slumdogs Into Millionaires

Readings: Buying India Abroad, Spain, Fed and Jelly Donuts

Ajah Shah on the moving of trading of Indian instruments outside Indian shores.

The CEO of SGX wakes up in the morning and thinks about competing with NSE. The CEO of NSE wakes up in the morning and thinks of an array of weird things.

I’m not all in agreement – Nifty futures have more OI in Singapore for other reasons also: they
trade longer, they can be traded in the night, and they are US dollar These factors are quite important now as suddenly RBI will do a policy change in non-market hours, or some company will release results
post-market etc. Secondly, you have the SGX Nifty + NSE Nifty + Rupee arb. But the post does apply – it appears that trading Indian instruments is better done outside India.

David Einhorn on Fed’s Jelly Donut Policy.

The […]

By |June 1st, 2012|Categories: Readings|Comments Off on Readings: Buying India Abroad, Spain, Fed and Jelly Donuts

Readings: TMC Madness, Goldman Sucks, Reliance GRMs

  • Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi announces a hike in raild prices, and immediately Mamata Bannerjee, head of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) opposes it. The funny part: Dinesh Trivedi is a member of the TMC.
  • Why I am leaving Goldman Sachs: Greg Smith says the culture of helping customers is gone. If you read Traders, Guns and Money by Satyajit Das, it went a long time ago. No one now expects your bank to think in your favour.
  • Jet Airways NOT in financial distress, says Naresh Goyal, Chairman. Don’t believe any news till it has been officially denied.
  • Wipro’s founders were selling 3.5 crore shares (1.4% of the company) at a floor price of Rs. 418, which seems to have got only 71% subscribed. This auction thing will soon be replaced with promoters selling in the open market and then saying, oh, we sold it off.
  • Reliance has some GRM worries, says Deepak Singh
  • Chinese stocks fall 2.5% as Wen Jiabao says […]
By |March 14th, 2012|Categories: Readings|Comments Off on Readings: TMC Madness, Goldman Sucks, Reliance GRMs

Readings: DLF Overpriced, Greek Default, RE Losses

Subramoney on Losses in Real Estate Deals. (But success stories are equally incredulous. I have seen money doubled between a pre-construction purchase, waiting for three years until it’s evident builder isn’t anywhere close to finishing, and then selling off the flat; and the flat is still a LONGGGG way from completion)

Monika Halan on why banks should not be allowed to be insurance agents. (or must be liable for their mis-selling)

A Veritas Report (I don’t have a copy) says DLF is overpriced and it should be worth Rs. 100. They claim “aggressive accounting” overstated profits. They used to sell what they built to DAL at inflated prices to show profits, eventually having to buy the promoter owned DAL back at an extremely high valuation. They’ve given up on projects (Bidadi, Dankuni, NCR convention center etc). A stretched balance sheet, no free cash flow, and a slowing real estate market are quoted as reasons to downgrade. These are not […]

By |March 4th, 2012|Categories: Readings|3 Comments