Thursday, April 19, 2012

Equities in April:The Monsoon prediction...

It was interesting to read Mr Mahindra's tweet about India where we join the ICBM club by successfully testing a missile with 5,000 Kms range and our railways leaves 3 dead in Mumbai due to a faulty tower placed dangerously close to the tracks,all in the same day!

That sums up the contrasts that make this country interesting and a hugely difficult read for many analyts even today.The markets have been relatively flat and not reacted to global news.Some of my analyst friends say that the Nifty might mirror the fate of the rereleased 'Titanic'but I am yet to come round to that view.Greece may need another bailout and Italy bond yields have gone back to the 8% levels so a fresh,immediate crisis seems unlikely.The growth in US markets,although stilted is still above worst case projections.No fresh Euro nations look to be in serious trouble.

For this month I would again buy on any dips unless the 4900-5000 levels are violated on a closing basis on the Nifty.

In fact,I see some re-awakening of interest in riskier assets across the globe.I continue to be bullish on Indian real estate and those with slighlty conservative habits might be interested to invest in Hindusthan Unilever or other consumption stories.I feel tempted to risk investing in KRBL(biggest Indian basmati rice exporter),some power producers like Powergrid,NHPC,REC or even Areva.

Even this year is likely to be a stock picker's market.I bet on Kingfisher airlines hanging in there at a price of Rs 16 and in One month its moved to 10-20 levels.With the passenger traffic growing close to 23% YoY basis and some downshift in jetfuel prices I would be tempted to hold this for a couple of years.

There are many interesting stocks like this in the market right now.If the Met's prediction of a normal Monsoon holds,if my prediction of some cooling in commodity prices worldwide holds THEN Indian equities will once again outperform the global indices...!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The last Institution...

It has been disappointing to see the Army getting embroiled in matters of Politics.We who have had so many family members serve in the armed forces recollect the discipline,uprightness and the positive force that shaped and formed what is and remains the Indian Army.

I thought when one of the brighest and most tech savvy of generals became the chief that now India as a nation would match its economic might with the military equivalent.But as often happens those on whom we have the most hope disappoint us the most!

Going to court rather than retiring gracefully,bringing up allegations a year or two from the date they happened reeks of a calculated strategy.Of all the institutions in India I would dare to say that the citizens considered the Army to be uncorruptible and above any religious or class bigotry.What a disaster its turning out to be.

What the brave jawans lacked in weaponry,armour or equipment they made up through sheer bravery and the derring-do of the brave young officers as attested by the Kargil War.The same leadership that made it unmatched in internal or external conflict today shows a crevice as  deep as its wide.

With the newspapers trying to up their circulation and seeing shadows where there are none leads to such negative publicity for an institution that has won wars,stopped riots,terrorism etc

 I remember my uncle(then a captain in the sappers) telling me that during the Golden Temple attempt to takeout Bhindranwale,the jawans took of their shoes and ran into machine gun fire so as not to harm or give offence to the Akal Takht,the temporal seat of the Sikh religion...!!

Young men and women who should be persuaded to join the army and put the nation above self(at least for a couple of years)are reading this trite in the daily newspapers....impressions are not hard to guess.

I just hope that this last bastion of India emerges unscathed and continues to  modernise and be the effective fighting force it has been as its a major part of statecraft.Read Chanakya and his Arthashasthra to understand the importance.