Young Investor

Markets in a minute

ANAND KALYANARAMAN | Updated on May 21, 2011

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Pinched pockets, a shocker of a result, a big-ticket deal, the high and mighty falling from grace, and more… the range of topics discussed at The Studio was quite eclectic. Here's some of the banter:

Shridhar: Suddenly, many high-fliers seem to be manifesting the Vi-ka Vi-bu syndrome.

Diya: What's that? Some kind of bug?

Shridhar: Vinaasha-kale Vipareeta-buddhi. Ergo: When destruction time nears, the mind goes wayward. What else could explain why Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rajat Gupta did what they allegedly did?

Diya: You bet. Strauss-Kahn, facing charges of sexual assault has lost his job as IMF head. Schwarzenegger's infidelity has cost him a long-running marriage. And news of Rajat Gupta's alleged private consulting business while still at McKinsey, has further dented his assiduously built reputation.

Shridhar: Sad, really. What's also getting badly dented is my pocket, courtesy the petrol price hike last weekend. Rs 5 a litre, that's the steepest rise ever. And the government does know a thing or two about timing. It slipped in the news just after the state election results were out.

Diya: Brace yourself for more. A diesel price hike is also almost certainly on its way. The irony is, all these price hikes are unlikely to help the oil marketing companies much. There's just too much of a price gap to be bridged.

Shridhar: Also, upstream companies have been made to bear more subsidy burden for FY-11. So, net-net, everyone's unhappy – consumers, oil companies, and of course the government which takes a lot of flak. Wow!

Diya: Unless the government gets its act together on fuel pricing soon, we may soon be staring at a ticking time bomb of subsidies and deficits.

Shridhar: Speaking of bombs, banking big-boy SBI threw a huge one at the markets with its March quarter results. Its clean-up bomb led to a provisioning fire which scathed its profits 99 per cent.

Diya: And the markets, mighty displeased with this unexpected accident, gave the SBI stock a sound thrashing. In the bargain though, it too got dragged down bit.

Shridhar: The markets seem to be in a state of confusion and depression since the last few moons. This week was no different. Guess, a strong dose of anti-depressants is what the doctor has ordered. More power to the likes of Bajaj Auto and L&T which posted a good set of numbers.

Diya: And also to mega deals like Glenmark's $613 million drug out-licensing pact with Sanofi. The deal which attests to Glenmark's R&D prowess, received a resounding thumbs-up from the market.

Shridhar: Speaking of thumbs-ups, governor Bharadwaj's proclamation of friendship with his bete noire, Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa would have made even the hardened cynic chuckle. Politicians, they never retire and never cease to amaze.

Published on May 21, 2011

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