Reluctance to lower prices a hurdle for growth

Indian currency

The economic value of cutting prices should not be underestimated. In March 2004, Procter & Gamble cut prices of Tide by 47% and Ariel by 28%, challenging Hindustan Lever’s pole position in this market. HLL responded in like and a furious battle ensued. How this ended is another story. What’s relevant is this: P&G’s volume growth did increase, but HLL’s growth did too, and so did its market share. Continue Reading →

Why the RBI is in no hurry to cut interest rates (in charts)

Inflation and interest rates

The RBI is in no hurry to cut interest rates despite inflation trending low for several months now and there being no obvious immediate reason why it should move up sharply. Raghuram Rajan, the RBI governor, may have good reasons to be cautious though, considering what happened during the previous governor D. Subbarao’s tenure. He took charge as the governor in September 2008 and stayed on for 5 years. His tenure’s start coincided with the global financial crisis. The governor and the government joined hands with a monetary and fiscal stimulus to protect India’s economy and financial markets. Continue Reading →

Fulford’s parent Dashtag rethinks delisting, stock falls by 20%

Fulford (India)’s parent Dashtag, a subsidiary of Merck & Co.  has postponed its delisting plans, a decision it has attributed to a sharp rise in Fulford’s share. But a reference to Sebi’s decision to amend the delisting regulations indicates some influence from that side as well. Shareholders reacted with dismay, sending the stock down by 20%on Tuesday to Rs 1,417.3–locked at the lower end of the circuit filter. Dashtag informed Fulford in a letter that it has received all approvals needed for it to make an open offer. Continue Reading →

United Spirits shareholders reject UB group-related transactions

Diageo's Clynelish Distillery

The relationship between Diageo-controlled United Spirits and the UB group has taken a curious turn. A company meeting called last week to put to vote a number of related material party transactions, saw minority shareholders vote against all UB group-related transactions except for one. Link. In another development, shareholders rejected a postal ballot for a related party transaction, in which United Spirits was to enter into an arrangement with Diageo, to make and sell products under license and also market products made by Diageo. This resolution required three-fourths of non-promoter shareholders to vote in favour, but it got only 70.2% votes in favour. Continue Reading →

Rajasthan reforms labour laws, will other states follow?

The new Bharatiya Janata Party government in Rajasthan was first off the reform block. Its move to liberalise the state’s labour laws is targeted at attracting more investments by projecting an employer-friendly image. Of course, labour is just one of the factors for investing in a state, along with others such as ease of doing business and getting approvals, transparent policies and infrastructure.


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State Bank of India to raise Rs 11,576 crore equity capital

State Bank of India has got government approval to raise equity capital Rs 11,576 crore in equity capital. SBI said that it will raise Rs 2,000 crore by way of a preferential equity issue to the government, which is its main shareholder, and also raise Rs 9,576 through a qualified institutional placement. The government’s approval is subject to its stake in the company not falling below 58%, from the current level of 62.3%.


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Market crash-Part II: the RBI and government should join hands

In the previous article, the main problems facing the government and the RBI were listed –a falling rupee, slowing growth and rising inflation. What is needed at this stage is confidence-building measures rather than the fear-inducing steps taken, such as the one imposing capital controls. Foreign investors have been caught on the wrong foot in many countries, where they were prevented from taking their dollars out. They need to be reassured that option is not on the table. Continue Reading →

What does the US Fed statement mean for Indian markets?

Equity markets in the emerging market sphere are celebrating after the US Federal Reserve’s statement issued on July 31. The Fed’s statement, that the US economy grew at a modest than expected pace in the first half, has been taken as a sign that the Quantitative Easing ‘taper’ is nowhere in sight. They may be right but they should also pay heed to the Fed’s statement about the improving health of the US economy, and if upcoming indicators point to a recovery on expected lines then the Fed may commence a taper.

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Vivimed acquires Actavis drug facility for Rs 122 crore, gets US generic entry

Vivimed Labs is acquiring a drug-making facility in India, that comes with regulatory approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA), giving it acess to the US market. It will get two products as part of the deal and some outsourcing contracts that will give it access to quicker revenue streams. In the longer run, it plans to file to sell new drugs from this facility.


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