Niveshak March 2011 Issue

Saturday, March 19, 2011 , Posted by Team Niveshak at Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dear Niveshaks,

The last few months have been bad for the world economy in general. The Libyan Crisis, high oil prices, European debt woes and now the Tsunami in Japan, there seems to be no respite for the global markets. The latest natural calamity in Japan sent shock waves across the global markets and pounded commodities and equity markets worldwide. Japan, the world’s third largest economy is also the world’s third largest energy consumers and imports almost all its energy needs. As a result, the rally in the oil market came to a halt and the crude slid below $100 for the first time ever since the beginning of political unrest in the oil-rich Middle East and North African regions. As far as the equities markets are concerned, the MSCI’s entire country world index fell to a five week low and most of the Asian markets tumbled including Sensex which fell by 154 points on back of the Japanese disaster. The IIP numbers for the month of January that came on March 11 also didn’t present a rosy picture. The industrial growth was a meagre 3.7% as compared to a robust 16.8% in the same month last year. The sectors mainly responsible for the tepid overall growth, as measured by IIP, were manufacturing and mining which witnessed significant deceleration in output. One of the reasons for the dismal IIP numbers over the last few months has been the tight monetary policy of RBI to curb inflation. Against a slowing industrial growth, it would be interesting to see the policy measures taken up by RBI in its upcoming policy review meeting on March 17.

The other big story this month has been our Union budget. The three key macroeconomic concerns before the Union Budget 2011-12 were high inflation, high current account deficit, and fiscal consolidation. Additionally, there was an expectation that the government would restart the reform process. The Budget has made an attempt to address all these issues. By and large, the budget was a balancing act. It ventured little and gained little. As far as the market reaction was concerned, no bad news was good news and the markets saw a short lived rally post budget. The three key themes of this year’s budget were fiscal consolidation, inclusive growth and focus on agriculture and infrastructure financing. The greater outlay and liberalization of FDI/FII in infrastructure is an example of Government’s renewed focus on infrastructure sector. Social sector spending too remained one of the top priorities of the government. However, refraining from announcing new schemes, the budget laid stress on providing reasonable allocation to the existing schemes, in order to curb fiscal deficit and provide room for the already committed Right to Food Act.

The month’s cover story on ‘Union Budget’ delves further into various aspects related to the budget and the impact it will have on various industrial sectors. Given the focus of the budget on inclusive growth and infrastructure, the ‘Article of Month’ explores the topic of Housing Microfinance and its role in supporting affordable houses for masses in India. The other big news this month was about General Atlantic buying a tenth of Facebook and valuing the company at $65 billion. Earlier in January, Goldman Sachs had valued the company at $50 billion. The present issue features an article on the Facebook valuation and digs into whether the high numbers truly reflects Facebook’s value. The issue also features an article on the ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in the Middle East and its impact on the inward remittances to India. Lastly, the month’s classroom focuses on the option trading strategy ‘Dividend Arbitrage’ and the type of securities it is best suited for.

Stay invested.

Rajat Sethia
(Editor -Niveshak)

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