A range-bound trading market settled in the positive zone supported by Reliance Communications and Bharti Airtel stocks, which were up by 11% and 5%, respectively. The Sensex was up 169 points at 16,741 (up 1%) while the Nifty was up 50 points at 5020 (up 1%). The indices were up in the early trading session, taking cues from the Asian markets. The bourses traded range-bound for most of the day. The market witnessed a sharp rise in the late trading session and ended near the high point of the day.
Asian stock markets were mixed on concerns about the political situation in Japan. Key benchmark indices in Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong were down by 0.13% to 1.28%. On the other hand, indices in China, Indonesia and Singapore were up by 0.12% to 0.47%. The market in South Korea was closed for local elections.
The US market was down on Tuesday over the concerns of new banking problems in Europe and a slowdown in Chinese growth. The Dow was down 112 points (1.1%), at 10,024. The S&P 500 was down 18 points (1.7%), at 1,070 and the Nasdaq was down 34 points (1.5%), at 2,222.
Manufacturing growth slowed down across the globe in May. In the US, the headline number showed a slight decline but new orders and exports were stable. The index of national factory activity was at 59.7 in May from 60.4 in April in the US. The index's employment component rose to a six-year high, while new orders were unchanged at 65.7, and exports increased to 62 in May from 61 the previous month.
Closer home, the auto sector posted a firm growth in May. Maruti Suzuki India sold 102,175 vehicles in May, the most for any month and up 28% from a year earlier. Hyundai Motor Co’s Indian unit sold 46,808 units in May including exports, an annual increase of 7%. Two-wheeler manufacturers also posted positive growth in May. Hero Honda Motors posted 14% growth in sales to more than 435,900 units.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that inflation remained higher than its comfort level, signalling that the bank could raise interest rates further. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were the net sellers of Rs526 crore on Tuesday. Domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs210 crore yesterday.
Shiva Cement (up 1.9%) said that the dispatch of cement and clinker during the period April-May, 2010 was up by 5.5% in comparison to April-May, 2009. However, during May 2010 the figure was down by 1.8% in comparison to the same month last year. Infotech Enterprises (up 0.04%) has signed a long term Master Service Agreement with Seawell AS of Norway to provide engineering support services. Seawell is an international drilling & well services company. This agreement with Infotech would enable Seawell to further expand its engineering capacity and improve competitiveness.
The board of AIA Engineering (up 1.7%) has recommended a final dividend of Rs1.70 per equity share of Rs2 each on 9,43,20,370 shares for the year ended 31 March 2010. Aditya Birla Nuvo’s (up 0.4%) subsidiary, Aditya Birla Minacs Worldwide Ltd has acquired Bureau of Collection Recovery (BCR), a leading US-based accounts receivable management company. With this, Minacs' clients will now have access to BCR's team of collections experts and its experienced top management. Post acquisition, BCR will operate as a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Minacs. Take Solutions (up 6%) has entered into strategic partnership with Reliance Life Sciences to supply its unique and innovative PharmaReady eCTD, SPL and PPM modules. The seamless integration of Take Solutions' technologically advanced products will not only support Reliance Life Sciences in strengthening its product development services, but these customised IT solutions will add a cutting-edge finesse to the present line of business.
The market regulator is putting together guidelines for banks and national distributors to check mis-selling of mutual funds
Market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is mulling further strengthening the mutual fund (MF) distribution system to prevent possible cases of mis-selling by banks and national distributors. Recently, the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) had sent a strict warning to national distributors like HSBC, NJ India Invest, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank who were actively engaged in the AUM transfer business. Incidentally, Moneylife had reported about such practices by national distributors earlier. (Read here: http://www.moneylife.in/article/8/3697.html). However, these entities in their reply to AMFI did not show any signs of strengthening their guard against mis-selling.
SEBI has now proposed that the risk appetite, investment objective and affordability of the customer should match with the product. Besides, national distributors and banks will have to seek an acknowledgement document from the clients before a client invests in a scheme. The acknowledgement document will contain the customer category and a statement of fee earned from a particular product. The market regulator has also suggested recording the calls of all relationship managers with the customers for auditing and has also proposed periodic auditing and compliance of these new norms.
SEBI is working along with the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) to formulate the guidelines. The working group committee will also include representatives from banks and national distributors.
However, industry experts believe that mis-selling cannot be completely ruled out.
“Some amount of mis-selling cannot be avoided in any profession. Some doctors prescribe medicines suggested by a pharmaceutical company. Some coaching classes don’t teach properly. In a democracy, nothing is mis-sold; it is either sold or not sold. If something is sold that means both parties have agreed. Mis-selling is more prevalent in Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) and insurance but the regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is defending it. Mis-selling should be curbed by creating investor awareness by SEBI,” said a top official from a leading fund house.
“These recommendations are not feasible. All relationship managers will start calling from public booths. You can’t record conversations on mobile phones. It will deter national distributors from mis-selling but in some or the other way mis-selling will continue,” said a Mumbai-based financial planner.
Recently SEBI had asked fund houses to disclose all complaints received by them on their respective websites and in their annual reports by 30 June 2010 in order to increase transparency.
Television channels are coming up in India at a mind-boggling rate—there’s a launch of a new channel almost every week. But regulating these channels is turning out to be a tough, if not impossible, task
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has asked all TV channels to provide details of their respective Wireless Planning & Coordination (WPC) licenses by 11 June 2010. WPC licenses are issued to satellite channels when they are given the authorisation to broadcast. According to estimates, there are 512 channels which beam into the country’s households on a daily basis. Sources close to the matter say that almost 100 applications are waiting for clearance for additional channels. India must be the country that has the maximum number of satellite television channels in the world—which is proving to be a regulatory nightmare.
In 2009, the minister for information & broadcasting, Ambika Soni, had written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India regarding the breakneck speed of proliferation of TV channels across the country, due to issues like excessive spectrum utilisation. On 18 January 2010, the ministry had reiterated its concerns over the mushrooming of channels saying in a note: “The spectrum and transponder capacities for satellite TV channels are not unlimited.”
This is not the I&B ministry’s first diktat. Earlier, it had issued a notice to all satellite TV channels on 25th March seeking details on their WPC licences, asking them to reply within 15 days. Sources close to the matter confirmed to Moneylife that a number of channels did not respond, so the ministry was forced to extend its deadline and issue a fresh diktat on 11th June.
We tried repeatedly to get through to the ministry on this issue, but neither the minister nor any of her staff could be reached. The I&B ministry’s website also does not give any details on which satellite channels have not responded with the requisite details.
Despite being in the business of ‘information’, none of the satellite channels have responded to our queries till the time of writing this report.
Professor Priya Raj, professor of marketing consulting from the Asia Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi, told Moneylife, “The main idea of the ministry is to look at the validation of these (WPC) licenses. It is quite logical because there are channels that have kept their documents on hold for various reasons and are sitting on them. The ministry has to keep a tab on which licenses are in use or not in use, to clear pending applications.”
Is this another case where companies are openly flouting rules because of the absence of a regulator specifically for the satellite industry? Is the ministry at Shastri Bhawan just another toothless tiger?
And why cannot TV channels respond to such a simple issue—does it require an application under the Right to Information Act to get these details?