Companies & Sectors
Bigadda to scale down social-networking services

While Google is renewing its focus on the social-networking space by creating Google+, the ADA group's initiative is scaling down social networking services. Bigadda, the youth-oriented social platform, may remain as a celebrity blog and gaming site, the blog and Indian youth networking site, seems to have decided to focus more on its e-commerce initiatives rather than 'free' social networking services. This may have come as a real surprise to many Bigadda users; especially when other players are launching new applications or platforms on social network sites. However, according to market sources, the social networking services of Bigadda have suffered a loss of over Rs40 crore and hence may have decided to curtail it.

Just two days ago, in order to regain space in the social networking space from Facebook and others, Internet search giant Google, has launched Google+. According to the company, Google+ would let users to post photos, videos, messages and comments on 'real-world interactions' and 'real-life sharing' basis.

Coming back to the Indian social networking space, according to some tweets on the Internet, Bigadda, the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani (ADA) group's blogging and social networking initiative would close down its social networking service as soon as by 15th July. One of the tweets read, "From Bigadda: "We are scaling down our social networking services. Download your stuff now" As of frikking July 15, they're gone!"

While social networking sites, especially Facebook and micro-blogging site Twitter has been grabbing more subscribers, the same is not true for Indian social networking sites. Even Orkut from Google is finding it difficult to keep its users from migrating to Facebook.

However, in case of Bigadda, social networking was not its only identity. The ADA group launched in 2007 with much fanfare with ambitions to gather a user base of 10 million by 2010. At that time, Rajesh Sawhney, president, Reliance Entertainment had said, "The number of Internet users has witnessed an upswing and so has their need to socialise online and gain acceptance in the virtual world. Virtual handout plays a key role, because it gives them the space to be amongst friends and peers, while sharing an image of their own, which they would like to project. aims to evolve a youth community, and create a youth culture that will be cool and aspirational for them".

However, instead of creating this platform, Bigadda came out more as a blog space for celebrities than commonplace for socializing. Even in its initial days, Bigadda was more known for Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan's blog than any other thing. Over the past few months, Bigadda also tried to concentrate more on gaming, instead of social networking services.

It was surprising but not unexpected as well. According to a study on social media usage by Nielsen and AbsolutData, nearly 30 million Indians who are online are members of social networking sites and about two-thirds of them spend time on these social networking sites daily.

More importantly, Indians spend more time on social media than they do using personal email; says the survey conducted in May 2011.

While social networking sites are attracting more eyeballs or hits, some sites, especially stereotyped Indian sites have become obsolete in terms of content and features compared with Facebook and others. Therefore, their end was written on the wall. Bigadda has just ratified the signals that its financial backing may not last long.


Share prices to move sideways: Friday Closing Report

Nifty to trade between 5,470 and 5,690 for the next few days

The market lost steam and settled in the red today, thus ending its eight-day gaining spree. Reliance Industries, which is in the news after the CAG report alleged that the company inflated costs for some exploration activities, was the biggest drag on the indices.

Gains in the global arena after the Greek government won the second vote of confidence, a criterion for getting fresh aid to save itself from a debt default, also led the Indian market to open in the green. The Nifty resumed trade at 5,706-59 points up from its previous close and the Sensex gained 129 points to open trade at 18,975. The day's opening figures were also the Nifty's intraday high while the Sensex scaled 19,031 at the day's high.

However, the market could not sustain the gains and gradually started slipping. The indices were pushed into the red around noon following news that the former Director General (hydrocarbons) VK Sibal has been booked by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) on charges of scuttling a probe into discrepancies in oil exploration. The development led to the Reliance Industries stock falling nearly 4% in noon trade and the oil & gas sector emerging as the biggest loser in trading.

The market touched it intraday low in the post-noon session with the Nifty dipping 37 points to 5,610 and the Sensex retracing 133 points to touch 18,713. The market snapped its eight-day winning streak to end in the red today. The Nifty fell 20 points to 5,627 and the Sensex declined 83 points to finish at 18,763.

In Thursday's market-closing report, we had mentioned that the Nifty may trade in the range of 5,600 and 5,680. Today, the Nifty traded in the range of 5,610 and 5,706. We expect the Nifty to make a sideways move in a range of 5,470 and 5,690.

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was positive at 842:545.

The broader markets outperformed the Sensex as the BSE Mid-cap index rose 0.69% and the BSE Small-cap index was up 0.83%.

In the sectoral space, BSE Realty (up 3.01%), BSE IT (up 0.78%), BSE Metal (up 0.57%), BSE Power (up 0.44%) and BSE PSU (up 0.33%) were the top gainers. BSE Oil & Gas (down 1.84%), BSE Consumer Durables (down 0.79%) and BSE Healthcare (down 0.34%) were the top losers.

DLF (up 4.85%), Hindalco Industries (up 2.98%), Reliance Communications (up 1.78%), Sterlite Industries (up 1.22%) and Bajaj Auto (up 1.05%) were the major gainers on the Sensex. RIL (down 3.95%), Bharti Airtel (down 2.99%), Maruti Suzuki (down 2.18%) Hindustan Unilever (down 1.75%) and Mahindra & Mahindra (down 1.43%) were the main losers.

The top Nifty gainers were DLF (up 4.99%), Cairn India (up 4.51%), Hindalco (up 3.77%), IDFC (up 2.90%) and GAIL India (up 2.15%). The top laggards were RIL (down 4.30%), Ambuja Cement (down 2.84%), Bharti Airtel (down 2.82%), Ranbaxy (down 2.65%) and Hindustan Unilever (down 2.21%).

Markets in Asia, with the exception of the Shanghai Composite, settled higher in trade today. Easing of the debt problems in Greece offset the dismal economic news across the region. The quarterly tankan index of sentiment at large manufacturers fell to minus 9 in June from 6 in March, the Bank of Japan said in Tokyo today. Large companies said they will boost capital spending 4.2% in fiscal 2011, higher than analysts' forecasts for a 2.4% increase.

Also, Chinese factory output expanded in June at its lowest pace in 28 months to 50.9 in June from 52 in May, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said.

The Jakarta Composite surged 0.99%, the KLSE Composite gained 0.25%, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.53%, the Straits Times advanced 0.60%, the Seoul Composite jumped 1.19% and the Taiwan Weighted was up 1.01% today. However, the Shanghai Composite shed 0.10%. The Hang Seng was closed for a local holiday.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs1,591.34 crore on Thursday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net sellers of shares worth Rs773.38 crore.

Bharati Shipyard managing director PC Kapoor termed as baseless reports that the promoters are looking to exit the company. He added that the company has just completed an extensive expansion plan. The stock ended 1.81% higher at Rs129.65 per share on the BSE today.

Petronet LNG is eyeing US suppliers and is in talks with US companies including Cheniere Energy for liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies. Recently, the company said it is eyeing to set up a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the east coast in a bid to meet demand in the central and eastern parts of the country. The proposed LNG terminal would have capacity of up to 5 million tonnes a year. Petronet LNG rose 0.15% to Rs135.85 per share on the BSE.

Cairn India settled 4.81% higher at Rs325.70 while RIL plunged 3.95% to Rs862.15 today. Cairn India jumped after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs yesterday approved sale of 40% stake to Vedanta Resources. RIL fell on news that the Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a first information report against former director general (DG) of hydrocarbons VK Sibal for allegedly favouring a private firm in carrying out speculative seismic exploration and searched his premises in Noida.


DSP BlackRock launches another global fund—the Emerging Europe Fund

Another fund that would invest your money abroad. For a change it is emerging Europe

On 4th May, (DSP BlackRock brings its foreign funds to India), we had written on DSP BlackRock filing an offer document with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch three global funds—DSP BlackRock Latin American Fund, DSP BlackRock World Agriculture Fund and DSP BlackRock New Energy Fund. All three were open-ended fund of funds (FoF) schemes investing in international BlackRock funds.

Now, DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund has filed another offer document with SEBI to launch one more global fund—the DSP BlackRock Emerging Europe Fund. It's an open-ended FoF scheme, again investing in BlackRock's international funds.

Moneylife has been wondering whether funds that put your money in other countries offer another round of diversification. Another issue with these funds that bet on global markets is that it is hard to find the details of where exactly your money is being invested.

We had mentioned earlier that Indians have not been keen to channel their savings into domestic mutual funds—for a variety of reasons—despite the excellent performance of many schemes over the past decade. So, it comes as a surprise that fund companies think Indian savers would be keen to invest in funds for overseas markets. The number of fund houses that have planned to raise money from Indians, to invest in overseas securities, is actually turning into a torrent.

DSP BlackRock Emerging Europe Fund plans to invest in units of BlackRock Global Funds-Emerging Europe Fund (BGF-EEF). It has given a return of just 4.3% over the past five years and 17.9% since its inception (1 September 1998).

BlackRock Global Funds-Emerging Europe Fund invests in sector such as financials, energy, telecom services, materials and consumer stables, among other sectors. The fund is also benchmarked to MSCI EM Europe 10/40 (net). The benchmark has given a return of 5.6% over the past five years and 15.8% since inception, while the Sensex and the Nifty have returned 12% CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) over the past five years. Again, both these indices have returned 16% (CAGR) since 1 September 1998.

The top five holdings of BlackRock Global Europe fund are OAO Gazprom, Sberbank, Bk Pekao, Lukoil and OTP Bank.




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