Bilimoria’s BluFin to launch stock indices by month-end

According to the BluFin chief executive it does not need permission from market regulator SEBI so long as the indices are not traded on the bourses

Mumbai: Financial information and content company BluFin will launch a set of stock indices by end of this month, a top official said.

“Our objective is to offer a comprehensive set of stock market indices of at least 1,500 stocks, so that it can better reflect the overall picture of the capital market,” Blufin chief executive Rashid Bilimoria, told PTI.

“The proposed indices will be divided into 15 buckets, with sub-indices like M-cap, Macro, Mega, Micro, and Value among others. The index will be benchmarked from the 1990s,” he said.

When asked whether he has secured permission from the markets watchdog SEBI, he said, it is not needed so long as the indices are not traded on the bourses and would be contemplating to get the indices traded only a few years down the line.

Elaborating on the rationale for introducing new stock indices, he said, the country follows the US of the 1960/70s in forming the stock market indices methodology.

That apart, the 30-share Sensex and the larger 50-stock Nifty don't reflect the actual mood of the markets or the investing community, Mr Bilimoria added.

The company last month launched the country's first monthly consumer confidence index.

BluFin is owned by Mr Bilimoria and private equity fund Zodius Advisors chief executive Neeraj Bhargava, who also is the chairman of BluFin.

The BluFin consumer confidence index for March, which is the country's first monthly index of consumer confidence, showed a very pessimistic score of just 39.9 indicating consumers are pessimistic about the economy and their lives going forward.

The index was arrived at after interviewing as many as 4,000 urban consumers in person spanning 18 cities and has data from October last.

“Our index is unique in the sense that it is the first monthly one, apart from being fully customised for the country and is done physically unlike other consumer indices which are done globally,” Mr Bilimoria said.

It is also planning to launch seven more indices on a similar ser of sectors going forward, he said.

He said a third index called Leading Biz Indicators Index, which will be launched in June. However, he did not offer details on the other indices.

The consumer confidence index broadly covers four segments -- general economic sentiment, inflation sentiment, employment outlook and spending outlook, Bilimoria said.

The index is designed to measure how consumers are feeling about the economy and their ability and desire to spend.

The BluFin consumer index is a key aggregate indicator that assesses the sentiment of the urban consumers with regard to the economy and spending behaviour. The aggregate CCI consists of two key components-the present situation index and the future expectations index.

Mr Bilimoria said, the city-based company will launch the April CCI on 9th May.

Market research firm TNS India is gathering feedback from 4,000 urban consumers from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Bangalore amongst others every month.


Hindustan Unilever’s strong margin expansion shows consumption is one bright spot in the Indian economy

The fast moving consumer goods company posted robust results and the stock has hit its 52-week high, buoyed by higher sales and lower advertising expenditure

Hindustan Unilever (HUL), a fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company has posted strong margin expansion, indicating that consumers are flocking to stores and buying basic goods like soaps and detergents, which is a healthy sign for the Indian economy. India’s economy has been facing strong headwinds in the last few months, with high inflation, high fiscal deficit and a weak rupee. During the fiscal, the operating profit margin of HUL grew from 12.63% to 14.14%, helped by higher sales and lower advertisement expenditure. Sales grew 17% to Rs22,987 crore while ad spend declined by 4% to Rs2,696 crore during the year. Sales was boosted by the Home and Personal Care division, which saw its revenues rise by 19% for the period, while the foods division grew at 13%.

Almost all its divisions saw increased sales during the March 2012 quarter, which is a confirmation that consumption is broad-based and not confined to a particular product segment, and has begun to pick up. Soaps and detergents grew 28%, beverages grew 8%, which was helped by double-digit growth in coffee, personal products grew 17% led by strong volumes, packaged foods grew 10%—buoyed by Kissan and Kwality Walls.

The company has reported a rise in its net profit for the fiscal 2011-12 to Rs2,691 crore, up 17%. For the overall year, the domestic consumer business grew by 18% with 9% underlying volume growth. The stock has hit its all-time high of Rs433.8 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). The strong fiscal results was helped by a strong March 2012 quarter, with a rise in net profit of 21%, to Rs687 crore. The quarter saw robust domestic consumer business grow at 20% with underlying volume growth of 10%.

The company had sold off its property, Gulitha, located on Worli Seaface in Mumbai, to the Piramals, for Rs452.5 crore. This one-acre property, which was used to house a training centre and private residences of senior executives of Unilever's Indian arm, has now been shifted to its Andheri headquarters.

According to the press release, other exceptional items for the March quarter also include profit on sale of properties Rs3,473 lakh, loss on sale of a stake in a subsidiary Rs68 lakh, provision for retirement benefits of Rs578 lakh arising out of change in actuarial assumptions, restructuring costs of Rs73 lakh, write back of provision against advance to a wholly owned subsidiary of Rs668 lakh, loss on capital reduction of a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rs613 lakh.

The board of directors recommended a final dividend of Rs4 per share, for the financial year ended 31st March, 2012. Together with the interim dividend of Rs3.50 per share, paid on 22 November 2011, the total dividend for the financial year ended 31 March 2012 works out to Rs7.50 per share of Re1 each. The earnings per share (EPS) stood at Rs10.53.



Anil Agashe

5 years ago

It just goes to show that advertisement expenditure does not necessarily lead to higher sales. I hope the company learns the lesson and reduces advertisement expenses further and focuses it better. This will improve profits and make shareholders happy. Marketing people have only one answer to all problems-more advertising which is not true.Actually good products should require less advertising! And look at the brads the co advertises the most the ones which are doing well!

Regulatory uncertainty to impact future of telecom industry: Bharti

Recent regulatory developments in telecom sector will have significant implications on the future of telephony and broadband says Sunil Mittal, the chief of Bharti Airtel

New Delhi: Recent regulatory developments, which have led to huge uncertainty, could have significant implications for the future of telecom sector and impact India's global competitiveness, telecom giant Bharti Airtel's Chairman Sunil Mittal said on Wednesday.

"The recent regulatory developments in India will have significant implications on the future of telephony and broadband, as well as India's global competitiveness," Mr Mittal said in a release announcing the company's results for FY12.

Meanwhile, Bharti Enterprises deputy group CEO and MD Akhil Gupta told reporters at a conference, "This was perhaps the most disturbed year (2011-12) on the regulatory front...The uncertainty not only continues but it is huge."

Mr Gupta said the Indian government should take pro-customer and pro-industry decisions with regard to the spectrum pricing.

The comments follow the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently issuing recommendations for the sale of spectrum, after the Supreme Court order that cancelled 122 licences for 2G (second-generation) telephony.

TRAI has suggested a base price of Rs3,622 crore for a megahertz (MHz) of pan-India spectrum, which is around 10 times higher than the price at which 2G licences bundled with 4.4Mhz spectrum were allocated in 2008 under the then Telecom Minister of India A Raja.

According to TRAI, a minimum of 5Mhz spectrum should be allotted, which means that pan-India airwaves in 1800MHz band will cost Rs18,000 crore.


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