Financial

November 29, 2010

List of Top Real Estate Companies in India;A Sector Plagued by Scams and Scandals

Organized Real Estate Industry in India is only a couple of decades old .Real Estate Industry in India took off with the global boom in the Realty Sector which percolated down to India as well.Lack of clear land titles and litigation has made this industry one of the most opaque and corrupt ones.Due to the massive price appreciation and huge valuations,Land Scams have become quite common with Chief Ministers,Generals,Top Bureaucrats all involved in the murky environment of Real Estate in India.The most recent scam related to bribing of top public banks officials in the LIC Housing Finance Scandal has again put question mark on the fundamentals of the industry.Valuing the industry and making a real estate investment remains one of the most difficult investing tasks in the Indian Stock Market.Even Fund Managers are staying away from the Sector due to lack of trust in the Financial Statement given by the industry.That said modern India presents a booming picture of tall buildings and huge office areas & shopping malls. A list of the chief players in Indian market is given below:
November 28, 2010

Nira Radia Wire Tap Reveals Big Business Takeover of the Indian Government

Nira Radia one of the top lobbyists in India has been exposed through wire taps done by Indian investigative agencies which has been leaked to the media.The conversations in the tape have revealed how this lobbyist has India's top politicians,bureaucrats,journalists at her beck and call.While it is known that corporate interest wield huge influence amongst Indian government officials,the tapes reveal that Big Business has the government almost completely in its pocket.The 2G Telecom Scam had earlier shown that how top ministers had connived with capricious business houses in swindling the Indian taxpayers of billions of dollars.LIC Housing Finance Scam which has been recently exposed has led to top government company officials being arrested for taking bribes in sanctioning loans to top realty and infrastructure companies.This had been done by a financial intermediary listed on the stock exchange and which had top investors like Goldman,GMO,Fidelity and Morgan Stanley.With the scam exposed these top investment banks have lost their shirt in this investment.
November 26, 2010

How GMO,Goldman,Morgan and Fidelity got Conned of Millions by Indian Financier

India's new Corruption Scandal involving a Housing Loan Scam involving Bribes paid to India's top public bank officials has ensnared top notch financial institutions in the West as well.The whos-who of Wall Street got dazed by spectacular growth and profits of a 3 year old financial outfit in India which had been built on a foundation of lies and bribers.This Corruption Scam was started by a Financial Outfit called Money Matter Financial Services which started as a 2 person outfit.However through arranging of debt to big corporate houses by paying bribes to top officials of India's large government owned institutions such as Bank of Indian,PNB and others,the outfit saw its share price increase by 7 times.
November 24, 2010

LIC Housing Finance Crashes with PSU Bank Stocks on Loan Scam in a Satyam Deja Vu

LIC Housing Finance is one of India's Largest Home Lenders with a huge distribution network around the country.LIC Housing Finance Stock has been on a roll propelled by fast growth of the company and the housing loan growth sector.The Company was a relatively safe investment being promoted by Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) which is India's largest insurance company owned fully by the government.The Foreign Ownership of the LIC Housing Finance Shareholding is quite high at 40%+ due to its relative safety and high growth.However the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) raids on the company has resulted in a sharp 20% price fall.The company's top officials have been implicated in misappropriation of money and home loan scams along with a company called Money Matters.
November 18, 2010

Soros,Khosla backed SKS Microfinance Debacle Exposes India Regulatory and Governance Risks

India's Fast Growing Economy based on Consumption rather than Exports has made it a Darling for International Fund Managers.When the whole world is suffering from some structural crisis or the other,India seems an like an oasis in the desert.However like a Mirage,the Governance and Regulatory Shortcomings make India look much better than what it is.$90 Billion of Record Foreign Inflows have been invested into India mostly into the booming Stock Market even as Indian Retail investors have fled.The dichotomy is perhaps explained by the problems faced by people on the ground who have a better sense than Fund Managers sitting in their Glass Towers in Singapore,New York and London.Insitutional Investors in India are mostly Compromised or Incompetent in my view herding into the Indian Markets dazed by the positive aspects of the Indian Economy while glossing over the Risks.Crushing Income Disparity where a $2 Billion Home is constructed while 80% of Indians live on less than $2 day,Pervasive Corruption with Billions being Swindled in Telecom and Land Scams,Massive Red Tape and Policy Bankruptcy has been ignored.However these Risks remain as can be seen by the SKS Microfinance Debacle.
November 17, 2010

Top 10 Companies in India are mostly concentrated in the Financial and Oil/Gas Sectors

India's Fast Growing Economy is seeing substantial churn in the Top 10 Rankings for Companies.Coal India which recently did a successful IPO straightaway went from being a Government Owned Private Company to the Top 5 in Market Capitalization Rankings.The Top 10 Rankings are dominated by State Owned Companies known as PSUs in India.Despite Privatization in the 1990s,Government Companies Lead the Rankings.Note the Top 10 Rankings don't have any Private Companies because of the lack of good information about their Financials.Note Most of the Largest Companies in India are related to Banding and Oil/Gas as is the case worldwide.India's Technology Companies like Infosys,TCS and others are still way behind in Revenues compared to the dominant Materials,Fossil Fuel,Industrial and Financial Sectors.However note that the diversity is much greater when you rank the companies by their market capitalization.TCS and Infosys are both amongst the top 5 recovering strongly in 2010 from their 2008 underperformance.You also see a Capital Goods and Telecom Representation in this Top 10 Rankings
October 18, 2010

Best Investment Option Amongst Different Ways (ETFs,Banks,Jewellers) of Buying Gold in India

India is one of the largest consumers of Gold in the world with a strong cultural and religious affinity for this "barbaric relic".Giving of gold jewellery during marriage is sort of compulsory and is even bought as an investment.The high prices of gold has failed to dampen the enthusiasm for gold amongst India's increasingly wealthy classes.While Silver is also bought during some auspicious days such as "Dhanteras",Gold rules the roost as far as precious metals are concerned.Traditionally Gold has been bought from jewellers in the form of jewellery by Indians,however sophistication of the Indian Financial Industry has increased the gold buying options for Indian investors.Here is examining some of the pros and cons of different investment options . Summary The best way to buy gold in India is through Gold BeEs ETF for low expenses and liquidity.However if you want to buy physical gold then your trusted family jeweler may the best choice as Banks and Reputed Retailers of Gold charge an exorbitant 8-10% transaction cost one way on gold.Can't understand why the Banks have to fleece the customers in case of selling Gold.But knowing Indian Banks who love Regulation in fear of competition amongst each other it does not come as a big surprise.
September 5, 2010

The Global Financial Epicentre is Shifting from the Western World to Asia

.Europe and UK remain in equally difficult conditions suffering to some extent from the debt induced overhang.Hong Kong and the rest of Asia in comparison have escaped relatively unscathed and countries in the region have resumed their strong growth trajectory.Its not a wonder then that global talent is looking at Asia for newer growth opportunities.Non-Resident Indians are migrating back to their homeland in record numbers to take advantage of the booming economy.Its the same in case of other Asian centres like Singapore,Hong Kong and Shanghai.Asian companies are now raising money from capital markets in HK rather than NY.