India Morning Report: And here we are 5850 and nary a huff puff break!

The early morning run for the Nifty has panned out really well, with the 5850 mark looking as enticing aas the hitherto 3800 mark(5600 from August) and no employment for traders yet again on the upswing or as now most would like to say in the week of consolidation after it ends the day after expiry without new brilliant moves of mathematical elasticity of direction brought about by Expected returns of each stock. algorithmic/Program trading however is different yet and with new regulation pon HFT preceding other countries’ attempt at controlling the HFT beast, Goldman Sachs trading rooms and that o f JP Morgan will continue to resemble SOHO offices trading the solitary Gilt in action.

The OMO scheduled as promised after a big break that definitely helps the cause at many ratings analysts’ desks is still required though for what would have been $3 B but is considerably depleted in Dollar terms . Similar problems with credit growth data also top up your and my morning cuppa as the absolute growth of INR 300-500 B every fortnight is now going to be a below par performance especially for one of Asia’s Top 5 equity markets of 2012 and probably the Top 3 in 2013 as Phils and Thailand are probably over the hill from all the buying un abated since china’;s slow poke began in an atmosphere of  European banks’ left with Asia as the only profitable franchise in 2010 and continuing through their liquidity squeeze on Asia and post the ne liquidity moves of 2012.

The Euro is king right now among currencies and that means the Gold and Silver tunder will be missing for some more time though buying has begun. China’s industrial demand for silver had thoughtfully started increasing this quarter but accordding to somenon conventional indicators china is still a long way away from a beneficial breeze starting to blowin new custom even as impports continue to rise optimistically keeping retail sales steady on month.

Back home in Mumbai, Bharti infratel IPO is finally up and running and seeming there is more clarity in the CDS market for insurance cmpanies as well which could be the leather for the leather hunt required in fixed /income markets to keep the comeback int he currency markets esp for those longer term rupee investors which have stuck around after banks withdrew fromtheir Bullish rupee positions just last quarter albeit a bit too soon. Despite market movers, I am not very fine with the move in Canara Bank or other PSU banks that are keeping the Banknifty abreast. Its pure sacrilege of the same variety that brought the house down last time. NMDC should be a good issue and good pricing will bring good treasury gains to banks supporting Divestment OFS issues like the one priced at 155 last fortnight

India Morning Report: Yes this is the bull run in progress :)

Though it would not seem like it to you and me and even those who were lucky to get into the hallowed portals of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs before us, this is a continuing bull run ith just too many interruptions and cavilling to ignore. Witness how there are not more than one nay sayer in a crowd of 50 commentators. Witness also how market traders like Ashwini Gujral and SS keep trying to put out short picks every now and then but come back empty handed at 3:30 pm. Also witness how the ruepee’s weaknness making the IT sector attractive means suddenly all other fundamentals are “poof” vanished in the air. Importantly, as someone caught me on telly today, ( I opened the screen to TV18 as he wasz speaking the subject) , portfolio inflows are strengthened by Rupee’s unbroken move towards the lowest on record 56 levels and odollar sales are washed up by the high tide of month end Oil purchases and the burgeoning trade deficit as is usual for our second half of the fiscaal, and for the second year running, we follow up on daily tidbits of how India will no t be able to manage the fisc target but the bullishness remains on call.

Securities and Exchange Board of India
Securities and Exchange Board of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did i cost you a fortune? I may have because as a single hand I was unable to suitably direct you on big time nbullish calls like Stride Arcolabs which has always been an emergent blue chip on my card like much of the remaining sector including the crop of MNC pharma led by GSK which as known for ages is going in finally for a fresh buyback to bring its stake up to the now standard 75% for MNC players in line with SEBI requirements of a public company. But I do not regret sending more the way of IDFC who also has an active PE arm in non infraco projects apart from its starting blocks it purloined from StanChart’s Mutual Fund in India.

On global cues, both Europe’s new Greek agreement and China’s slowdown had nothing new to offer for global portfolio investors and hot money trade fronts while FDI related or otherwise Policy execution remains on hold in India that also been duly discounted by the market aand any pyrotecnhnics by flailing oppositions and Catalonian adventures are unlikely to firm up as a new trend into the mix, favoring the recovery of Europe into a mild recession and now despite growth in UK and Germany while the fiscal cliff seems to be ready to become a new non event yet someone should not get their hopes all up too soon.

Gold and Commodities look unwilling to make a move but the Dollar is not getting any stronger and the Rupee’s weakness is another capitulation to current deficit demands by our policy makers as our champions of growth budgeting find themselves unable to get to the next watermark or making a stand in execution or in substantial politics.

And Hindustan Copper is back to 155 as the price was marked in the Offer for Sale, letting investors keep hope in the IPO process ( with due discounts and ready profits without issues devolving on others – excepting LIC’s coffers that are now an unbridled part of India’s budget machine)


India Morning Report: Here comes the Winter session..NDA, No Confidence, no market action?

Markets for the proverbial retail trader are now right next to that other veritable institution in inaction and ‘eyes glued to electronic networks and news papers’. Yes, the market action , especially the lack of it, comes a close second to the inaction created by NDA in the upcoming Winter session with a few failed No Confidence motion attempts. One already wonders if the markets will expect further implementation at 5550 levels and react negatively  to such non action like the straitjacketed range of now, enticing increasing short positions strategies but one still considers that extremely unlikely.

Image representing Hewlett-Packard as depicted...
Image via CrunchBase

If you are exiting positions such as J&K Bank (cnbc commentary) or Jubilant ( despite the recent Goldman Sachs upgrade bump, which could just be a wall strategy from the brokerage) do not put all your eggs in an illiquid Karur Vysya or a tenacious VIP both of which are just likely to be jettisoned to their ever steady lows they flatline to. Silver would hit the high bars by 63000-64000 range if it crosses 63000 and Gold is just not going any higher from here till I would prefer some certainty in political climes for a chaneg as I would prefer gold investors take this time to reevaluate the soveriegn hedge of all depressions, recessions and even repressions on the back of a host of currency action in this second cycle to stake the global weakness in USD and the likely continuin gweakness in Oil. After all like its name Gaza is just a strip in the world of OIL incapable of escalating to a real resolution of Palestinian woe. I am still adding positions in ICICI Bank and IDFC.

The troubles of HP are likely going to be instructive for India too and the vaunted distributor tentacles could be wiped out for many MNC franchises in India to come, led by the large wins (finally) in retail space from Dominos and Jubilant, encouraging the JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs’ and the Apples and the Dells to consider an expansive lurch into this market like in China instead of the fool’s gold pricing strategy and a CIB franchise in rare climes.


BofA – A business blueprint for 2010

When May 2009 began, the stress test results more or less indicted Bank of America asking it to raise $34 billion in fresh equity to cover its gap. This came on the heels of its questionable act ( Kenneth Lewis is still responding to the resulting enquiries) in first accepting and then trying to finagle out of the Merrill Lynch takeover using the MAC clause. But all that is past as BofA successfully raised the required capital and closed the second quarter with exceptional trading profits of $6.7 billion and a top line of $33.9 billion showing its old magic and leaving the markets with a lot of positive expectations. The market reaction has not been that positive in terms of actual stock performance as people wait for the next few steps to show and prove that this is indeed the best investment american investor should make. 
Wells Fargo had a far worse business performance but they were only $17 b short in the stress test, as BofA was one of the biggest mortgage and trading players, not good old WFC. Probably that image gap is the first thing BofA must prioritize for 2010. Where it was the strongest retail brand in the US after its 2001 takeover of Fidelity in the east, today it looks like it may be playing second fiddle to others. Not only because it had to cough up more capital, but also because it is one of the very few who sold their crown jewels outright in China and other Emerging Markets and whose global presence is now severely in question.
While the US Economy suffered a 6.1% deceleration in Q1 of 2009 and passed a shaky $3.9 trillion Budget for 2009 after much soul searching, Non Performing assets continued to grow at the bank rising to $31 billion at June 2009. The bank is currently on its way to sell Columbia Asset Management for an expected $2 b in pre tax gains and will likely report $12-13 b in pre tax profits in each of the remaining two quarters thus maintaining profitability after paying preferred dividends to the Government and even paying off some of the $45 b it had to borrow from the government. It is also selling the Asian real estate investing business of erstwhile Merrill Lynch. (Merrill’s Asian Business Drawing Strong Interest)
Will BofA therefore be able to act as the Market Leader American Investors expect it to be from here? There is no other way. However, it cannot sell all the banking businesses it acquired albeit in the last 5 years like MBNA (2000-1) and hope to do so. The Merrill Lynch units in Asia and at home in North America also have to turn in a good performance as the investment banking business becomes the most profitable at current valuations. It’s higher fees on retail accounts by itself will not be able to absorb rising credit losses as retail customers implode on current accounts ( overdrafts) , cards and mortgages. 
To quote Ken Lewis at a recent Town Hall meeting in LA where he was addressing the Countrywide/Mortgage issues – “The bad news is that consumer confidence is at its lowest point since 1992. It’s easy to see why. Here in Los Angeles, distressed home sales are up from 3 percent of total sales in spring of 2007 to 30 percent in spring of 2008; 3.7 percent of all homes are in foreclosure; and across California, home sales prices are off almost 30 percent. And that is not to mention $4 gasoline and record food and commodity prices that are pinching household budgets.” In mortgages, the market will return to more traditional products also, along with Home buyer education and renegotiation of defaulting loans and that is no small exercise, but financial innovation has to continue as well. At this stage, while BofA consolidates it has to invest in more of market development efforts thru its extensive network and refocus on producing returns from the world’s nook and corners like in China and Brazil where there is more and more business as BRIc countries maintain their growth. BofA has to find robust business models and risk management while increasing its presence in Europe, LatAm and the developing world without decimating itself in the crisis and imploding on itself. Direct Banking models, Prudent Credit Card lending and tapping unbanked populations in responsible lending and banking programs are but obvious choices which cannot be swept aside for feigned problems in their operating structures. Business is successful in China, there are successful Credit Card companies and you are Bank of America, not an also ran. You owe it your investor and your customer. 
Bank of America is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world and serves clients in more than 150 countries
[Tags Obamanomics, Ken Lewis, BofA, BAC, Bank Stocks, Financial Markets, TARP, US, America, Banking, Investment Banking]

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Was India ever impacted by the recession?

India’s huge market potential – Was it ever impacted by the recession? What do you think? J P Morgan recently appointed a senior ICICI Bank officer as MD and is launching retail/wealth operations

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