I refer to the current issue of your magazine in which you have covered the efforts of Sangit Mahabharati in conserving Indian music. I am an occasional reader of your magazine and one of those who begins reading it from the last page. I like your “Beyond Money” column, which has covered some of the active NGOs, like Bodh and Umang, in Jaipur. It is efforts of such NGOs and dedicated people who do selfless service that make for the social cohesion that Indian society is known for. And your effort, to show to your readers - who are making a lot of money - avenues to undertake personal philanthropic work either by directly working with such NGOs or at least contributing some part of their wealth to supporting such causes, is laudable.
I have been involved with preserving traditional knowledge in Kathak dance by documenting it and have just published two books: one containing some rare technical compositions (“farmaishi parans”) and the second “kavit bols” in various “taals”. So I am fully aware of the constraints under which an institution like Sangit Mahabharati must be working. It is difficult to find funding for the research - and having done the research, to find a publisher for it because for them also it is not a commercially attractive proposition. The article rightly points out that with the patronage of maharajas and the nagarsheths for the performing arts gone, it is now for corporates and other wealthy people to fill this gap. We as artistes are aware that digitisation technology has made conservation possible today, but we don’t have access to the technology because of lack of funding. I appeal to your readers to extend financial help in these efforts.
Dr Geeta Raghuveer, 16 Kailash Path, Surajnagar West,
Civil Lines, Jaipur 302006, by email
FOOD FOR KIDS
I refer to “Eating Habits of Children” (MoneyLIFE, 22 November 2007). While watching TV, people, especially children, have a habit of eating junk food which is unhealthy. Definitely, TV is an idiot-box meant for idiots only! Also it is corrupting young minds -- as violence in day-to-day life is increasing. This is the result of violence shown on TV channels. From an early age, children watch mindless violence and crime -- such scenes are stored in their subconscious mind and could surface later in life. They feel there is nothing wrong in violence and their mindset becomes like that because of the influence of TV programmes.
Mahesh Kapasi, B-49, Gulmohar Park, New Delhi-110 049, by email
I liked Sucheta Dalal’s column in which the Suryalakshmi episode was mentioned. I made good money in Suryalakshmi. And if Karvy’s recommendation had influenced my decision to sell it, I may not have been in the market today. I am proud of myself for trusting the fundamentals and my inner voice. Reliance Infrastructure, RNRL and RPL are all in a hurry to create something for India. But the valuations are dangerously high for anybody to enter at the current levels. In fact, the last 4,000-5,000 points rally in the Sensex was only due to three-four stocks. Bullishness is always directly proportional to dumbness because, when the market falls, it has the maximum impact on stocks which haven’t moved up in the rally. This always causes retail investors to lose faith and move out of the market. I was reading your old issue “The New Bull Market” and I re-read some of your recommendations. Apart from L&T and BHEL, you have recommended GMDC, GMR Infrastructure, Noida Toll Bridge, which are all great. And MoneyLIFE now has caught the investors’ fancy. It was bound to happen. MSP Steel is in the upper circuit since you recommended it. Cochin Refinery is another good stock. Believe me, no other magazine, broker, or even paid subscription has informed us about this stock. I was expecting some Diwali picks in the current issue. I am preparing a list of stocks which will benefit due to rising oil prices. You can make a cover story on it. Also, this time, the cover story was fabulous.
Santosh Mhamunkar, by email
AN ORACLE FOR I-FLEX
I have subscribed to MoneyLIFE, I am a regular reader and highly influenced by unbiased approach towards tracking stocks as well as mutual funds. However, I would request you to throw some light on I-Flex. In spite of Oracle having a good 80%+ ownership of the stock, the share price has come down from Rs2,500 levels to sub-Rs1,400 levels. Is there something that the retail investors can’t see?
Jatin Mehta, by email
Yes. Retail investors cannot see and, if they see, they do not remember, several things in cases like these.
1. A holding of 80% by one group is not always a good thing. In this case, the holding is with a dominant US-based company, much bigger in size than I-Flex, which has no interest in the valuation that I-Flex is getting in the Indian stock market. This may be a deterrent to other buyers of the stock.
2. The price had run up to Rs2,500 level on the expectation that Oracle would keep raising the delisting price much above the intrinsic value and the market price, until it gets complete control.
3. All stocks and sectors move in cycles. It took Infosys six and a half years to cross the peak price of Rs2,000 and many others haven’t crossed those levels even now. Wipro’s current price is 25% of what it was in March 2003 and Azim Premji holds 80% of the stock.
4. When a sector goes out of favour, all stocks in the sector can fall very sharply from their euphoric levels. Currently, software stocks are out of favour - Editor
PLEASE RESEARCH WALCHANDNAGAR FOR ME
I am a regular reader of R Balakrishnan’s articles. I have a small query regarding a company. I would like to know about the financials of Walchandnagar Industries and its growth prospects. Could Mr Balakrishnan please research it and let me know the prospects of this company over the long term. I have read that the price will reach Rs15,000 in the near term and Rs25,000 over not a very long timeframe. Can it reach such levels? I hope you will be kind enough to enlighten me on the subject.
Manoj D Makhija, by email
Mr Balakrishnan tells me that he has no clue about this company and that he does not do research on request.
If investment is all about risk and return, the life of Bill Gross illustrates it very well....