Top 10 Reads: EPF Loyalty Bonus, French Elections, Indian Bonds, L&T Guns, Market Valuation, North Korea Crisis and more….

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Slack is where the daily action happens. We take pride in our diverse and always helpful member community which includes value investors, fund managers, and professional traders. Here are the top 10 interesting things discussed there in the last few days. Find all older ones here.


#general: Be Very Afraid of These Markets?

Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones has a message for Janet Yellen and investors: Be very afraid. The legendary macro trader says that years of low interest rates have bloated stock valuations to a level not seen since 2000, right before the Nasdaq tumbled 75 percent over two-plus years. That measure — the value of the stock market relative to the size of the economy — should be “terrifying” to a central banker, Jones said earlier this month at a closed-door Goldman Sachs Asset Management conference, according to people who heard him. Pension Pulse

#stock: L&T to make artillery guns in India with Korean defence firm Hanwha Techwin.

The Army will get its first made in India self-propelled howitzers next year. Larsen & Toubro has signed a deal with Hanwha Techwin of South Korea to jointly manufacture guns urgently required to maintain a conventional edge over Pakistan. L&T on Friday announced a contract with the Korean defence firm to execute an order for 100 ‘K 9 Vajra T’ howitzers by the Army. The order is worth Rs 4,500 crore for the first batch, with additional numbers likely to be added over the next few years to meet the requirements for a fast moving, mobile artillery gun on the border. Economic Times

#stock: Jolt for Ola, Uber as banks decide to stop disbursing loans to drivers

India’s top lenders, alarmed by the rising tide of defaults on vehicle loans by drivers on ride-hailing apps, are applying brakes on fresh loan disbursals in certain cases and pushing to recover dues even as the once-speeding industry shifts to a lower gear to rein in costs. With nearly a fifth of its loan book in Bengaluru defaulting, State Bank of India has stopped vehicle loans to drivers plying cars for Ola in the city. The southern metropolis is the country’s largest market for Ola in the city. The southern metropolis is the country’s largest market for ride-hailing apps. Economic Times

#bond: Every thing you want to know about Indian bond market but were afraid to ask

A senior executive of an old private bank who had spent many years in a large state-owned bank’s treasury was all smiles last week, narrating to me what happened in the bond market on 3 April. “The foreign banks were begging for securities… They were shorting the market, bringing down the prices. How long the public sector banks would tolerate that and make losses? Why would they lend securities to the short sellers to meet their delivery obligations?” he asked. The short selling and short squeeze that the market witnessed were hotly debated early this month at the Fixed Income Money Markets and Derivatives Association’s annual offsite in Sydney which this gentleman attended. Livemint

#general: Deutsche Bank: Your Guide To The French Elections

This weekend, the first stage of water promises to be a very eventful European election takes place in France. The first round of the French presidential elections will be held on Sunday 23 with polls expected to open early in the morning and close at 8 PM. The first exit polls should be published at this time, and by midnight local time, we should have a clear idea of which candidates have made it through to the second round. Check your out guide to the French elections. Value Walk

#general: EPF Loyalty Bonus and EDLI Insurance

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On 12 Apr 2017, the EPFO has proposed to provide benefits of up to Rs 50,000 at the time of retirement to subscribers who have contributed to the scheme for over 20 years to all those members on retirement at 58 or 60 years. It has also proposed a minimum sum assured of Rs 2.5 lakh in the event of the death of a subscriber. This article covers what is EPF Loyalty Bonus? Who will get it? How much is EPF Loyalty Bonus? When will you get EPF Loyalty Bonus? What is minimum sum assured in EDLI Insurance? Be Money Aware

#stock: NSE to delist Deccan Chronicle, Koutons Retail, 17 others

Leading bourse NSE has decided to delist as many as 19 firms including Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd and Koutons Retail India Ltd from its platform from next month. This is in addition to 70 companies that were delisted by NSE in August and March. The National Stock Exchange said it has now “decided to delist (withdraw the admission to dealings in) equity shares of the following companies with effect from May 12, 2017 as per Chapter V of SEBI (Delisting of Equity Shares) Regulations, 2009“. Chapter V of SEBI deals with compulsory delisting. The market regulator has been pushing for delisting of over 4,200 listed firms whose shares are not being traded. Hindu Business Line

#macronomics: Marketing in a generics-rich environ

There is never a dull day in the pharma marketer’s life!  Respected Mr. N Modi, PM of India, has sent shivers down the spine of pharma marketers – on 17.4.17 at Surat during a hospital inauguration: Mr. Modi announced in his speech there that the central govt. will bring in a law to ensure doctors prescribe generic drugs (Ref.: The Times of India, page no. 1 headline, Ahmedabad edition).  The reference was that doctors should write unbranded generic drug names on prescriptions ie., for example, doctor will not prescribe Dolo 650, he has to prescribe paracetamol 650 mg! Pharmaceuticals Healthcare

#general: Aadhar for cows to check smuggling, Centre tells SC

The Central government today submitted its report in the Supreme Court on cow protection and smuggling of cattle across the India-Bangladesh border. The Centre’s report on the issue states that the “Responsibility of safety and care of abandoned animals is mainly of the State government. Each district should have a shelter home of capacity of at least 500 abandoned animals,” Centre states in the report. The report also adds that, “each cow and its progeny across India should get a Unique Identification Number for tracking, which will help reduce smuggling.” Rediff

#general: Diversification, Adaptation, and Stock Market Valuation

Looking back at asset class performance over the course of market history, we notice a hierarchy of excess returns.  Small caps generated excess returns over broad equities, which generated excess returns over corporate bonds, which generated excess returns over treasury bonds, which generated excess returns over treasury bills (cash), and so on.  This hierarchy is illustrated in the chart and table below, which show cumulative returns and performance metrics for the above asset classes from January 1926 to March 2017. Philiosphical Economics

 

#general: Bomb shelter sales soar as Japan braces for North Korean missile attack

As a US aircraft carrier group steams towards the Korean Peninsula and the regime in Pyongyang steps up its threats of retribution, the Japanese public is taking no chances. Sales of bomb shelters and air purifiers designed to keep radioactivity and toxic chemicals at bay have soared in recent days, with suppliers saying they are unable to keep up with demand. “A year ago, we were getting maybe five calls a day about air purifiers, but it is 30 a day now”, said Shota Hayashi, a spokesman for Kobe-based Oribe Seiki Seisakusho. Telegraph

#general: Donald Trump summons entire Senate to White House briefing on North Korea

The entire US Senate will go to the White House on Wednesday to be briefed by senior administration officials about the brewing confrontation with North Korea. The unusual briefing underlines the urgency with which the Trump administration is treating the threat posed by Pyongyang’s continuing development of nuclear weapons and missile technology. It follows a lunch meeting Trump held with ambassadors from UN member states on the security council on Monday where he emphasised US resolve to stop North Korea’s progress. The Guardian

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