Sunday, May 22, 2011

Great Expectations

So I have seen History being made,a new Chief Minister in Bengal on 20th May 2011 and the 1st Lady!She has quite contrarirly to my analysis made a very determined businesslike start to her tenure.

What struck me were the muted celebrations and lack of victory processions that have been the norm after previous elections and I am sure the restrain did not come easy after winning a Three decade struggle.

Industry,Infrastructure,Administration.After Ratan Tata led Tatas did CM Mamata Banerjee the favour of handing her an emotive issue for an aggitation that has culminated in her  siting at Writers Building will he do her another by building a factory on the remaining 600 acres for a job hungry Bengal.

Without doubt we have enough intellectual capital for high end industry to establish and flourish.Howrah has the people to make it the Sheffield of India(its a misnomer as Sheffield is no more the industrial buzzword).The coming weeks,months will be crucial...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ratan Tata behind Mamata Sweep in Bengal?

Had the Tata's not decided to start the Nano manufacturing in Singur,Bengal and the Left Front's ham handed approach,Mamata Banerjee would not have got an opportunity to do 'dharnas' and resurrect a fading  movement.

The thing about real leaders is that they persevere.Almost three decaded after she came to prominence in 1984 she has finally managed to overthrow the Left.I saw her getting lathi-charged at Esplanade in 1989 and the strength of the woman was amazing then as it is now.Then she was alone and i guess she has not forgotten that even amidst the sea of humanity that surrounded her after the win yesterday.

A Salute and a long hard road ahead.....a bankrupt state,poor infrastructure and crony capitalism,the signs are bad but all in ingredients for a fairytale story are present,the cost is a once mighty State's turnaround.If only she can walk the talk now!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Friday the 13th Election Results

Have heard most of the exit polls and we have have seen how spectacularly theu can be wrong.Bengal looks certain to go with a new Government which is more a vote for change after 34 years than any real commentary on the opposition.

Tamil Nadu might just keep the encumbent Karuna Govt in power because Jayalalita madam hasn't distinguished herself in anyway.

Kerala again will be a vote for change.Begets the question,why the politicians see formfter a biting a government to fill the coffers rather than make any meaningful policy or infrastructural changes.

After a bit of mayhem Life will settle down into its routine and the Indian Summer will exact its humid toll on all of us lucky enough not to have flown to the hills or Switzerland.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Summer Vacation-yachting on the Hooghly

There are days when you just want to stay away from the markets if you are a trader.The 1st week of May has been one such period when thoughts turn maudlin and wander.

The cooler climes and the old treks in the Himalayas remind me that time is flying past and one needs to find a diversion lest the mind becomes the devil's playground.Kolkata having the Ganges(or Hooghly) passing right down the middle has been unable to turn it into another Thames.I see no Yachts in the Hoogly yet but the opportunity of Leisure activities in the middle of the city is too good to pass up.

Mumbai has more boating activity and I am hard pressed to find a travel guidue or even a boat building firm in Kolkata that has any concrete plans.The potential to develop water sports a la Hussainsagar Lake in Hyderabad is immense but who will come forward?

The Buggattis,Feraris and Audis have made their mark and I strongly feel that this is going to be the next big thing in India.So lets wait and watch and in the meantime lemme find a few sailor types!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Uncle Sam, the Osama Obsession and a Pandora's Box...

So Osama Bin Laden is dead and the US rejoices as they should.10 years of manhunt and a few billion later the USA finds him in the heart of Paki country and not the Tora Bora or other mountain fastness.American Technology wins the day!

I feel strongly that a Pandora's box has been opened yesterday and the biggest reason for believing that is despite huge rewards there was no HUMINT(human intelligence) about Bin Laden.So the Al Qaida brotherhood held its secret and there was no betrayer.It suggests a deep seated hatred/fear of the anti-islam factions despite all the conciliatory noises made by them.

ELINT(electronic intelligence) with the pilotless drones,spy satellites etc can provide critical pointers but its the lack of  inside news on the ground that leads to strategic battle wins.The Soviets controlled Kabul but their lack of support in the countryside meant they did not control the night.Even the Spetznatz and their Hind gunships could not do the long range patrols necessary to keep out the opposition strike corps.

I hope that the terrorists have been disabled but Bin Laden at best had become a figurehead and a lot of the Al Qaida thinktank sits in shadowy Yemen and even Saudi Arabia.Either the US Army takes them down or we will hear the reveberations of yesterday for the years to come..

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Invest in Infosys

Now that Mr Kamath is expected to work the same magic as he did at ICICI Bank over the last quarter century,some of the uncertainty that surrounded Infosys is history.

Adjusted EPS of Rs 99.46,Current Ratio 4.28,Dividend Payout ratio28.84,trailing P/E of 25.9.Lets put aside the cold stats for a while and remember the words of Mr Buffett,"Be greedy when others are fearful and be Fearful when others are Greedy".

All the analysts I talk to seem to be 'fearful" for the future of INFOSYS what with TCS,Cognizant snipping at its heels,the Leadership looking defensive and margins slipping.

It makes a compelling case for a 5-10 year investment.IT will be more than a need,its already a necessity,could be Cloud Computing,Nano networks or simply vanilla outsorcing.I see Infosys adapting to the market changes in the coming years and its formidable reputation alone will win it many mega $ contracts.

I see a huge opportunity in Africa and South America so the next contracts could be in pesos,Rand etc
At current market price of Rs 2900 its a BUY with additions at every dip.Have the courage to hold it for 5 years and the Dividend(tax free) alone will make it worthwhile.