Fix Your Finances
Money is one of the most important facets of our lives. Most of us work hard primarily for money and money is what helps us live a life we aspire for. And, yet, managing our finances is one of the most vexing issues we face. Why is this so? For a start, financial products are boring and complex.
For the average saver, to understand everything—from surrender charges of life insurance policies, to inflation-adjusted value, is tough. The regulators and policy-makers tell you to get financially educated; but, is this practical? 
Then we have too many products to choose from: thousands of mutual fund schemes, hundreds of insurance products and fixed-income products, thousands of actively traded stocks… etc. Where is the time to deal with all this? The only time we can fix our finances is over the weekend. But the weekend is for friends and family and leisure. Who would want to waste it on figuring out financial products? Especially, when the field is so vast and confusing. It is, therefore, common to find even otherwise smart people, financially confused.
Hence, we decided to check with our readers how financially savvy they are. The results of the survey, of over 1,000 readers, form our Cover Story this time. Turn to page 30 and check where you stand vis-à-vis important financial questions.
Recently, Robert Vadra was captured on camera angrily asking a TV reporter ‘Are you serious?’ when questioned about a possible investigation against him for his land deals. This clip was played a million times on TV. Sucheta picks up that now-popular phrase to ask government officials and financial regulators are they serious about their concern for citizens or consumers?
Don’t miss this piece on page 16. In her Crosshairs section, Sucheta comments on how the Modi government, like the previous governments, has stepped in to bail out cooperative banks with taxpayers’ money.
As always, do write in with your suggestions and spread the word about our free helplines. 


Nifty, Sensex will face selling at higher levels – Thursday closing report

Nifty needs some strongly positive news to rally higher and sustain it


Out of the past three trading session, the NSE’s CNX Nifty managed to reach two new life time highs but the moves were weak. We had been mentioning for the past week that the index is struggling to move higher and is most likely to give up gains. Today the index closed in the red.

The S&P BSE Sensex opened at 28,049 and was followed by a range bound session for little while when it hit its intra-day high at 28,099. Nifty opened at 8,405 and hit its high almost at the same level. Immediately, the indices plunged in to the negative.


Efforts to revive did not succeed. Sensex hit a low at 27,823 and closed at 27,941 (down 68 points or 0.24%), while Nifty hit a low at 8,320 and closed at 8,358 (down 25 points or 0.30%). The NSE recorded a volume of 97.76 crore shares. India VIX fell 4.40% to 13.8000.

The government will unveil WPI inflation data for October 2014 on Friday.

The government has raised the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs1.50 a litre to mop up additional revenue of about Rs13,000 crore.

Reports, quoting Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman said that India and the US have resolved their differences on public stockholding of food and this opens the way for implementation of the WTO trade facilitation deal.

Coming back to markets, Amtek Auto (8.67%) was the top two gainers in ‘A’ group on the BSE. It has been reported that it has plans to diversify into new areas such as aerospace, railways and oil and gas by utilising its core forging and casting business.

Bajaj Electricals (11.53%) was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE. It posted weak September 2014 quarter result which pulled it lower today.

Infosys (1.77%) was the top gainer in Sensex 30 pack. the stock hit its 52-week high today. Infosys is apparently in the race to acquire CIMPA, the engineering services unit of Airbus. However, the company clarified on BSE that such news is a speculative one.

Sesa Sterlite (2.50%) was the top loser in Sensex-30 stock. It announced that it would invest $782 million over a three-year period in southern Africa to tap the region's large undeveloped deposits of the metal. The amount will be used to develop an open pit zinc mine in Gamsberg, South Africa, as well as the conversion of the Skorpion Zinc refinery in neighbouring Namibia.


US indices closed Wednesday flat.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota said on Wednesday financial markets could face less than placid waters in coming years. In his formal remarks, Mr Kocherlakota repeated his belief that a US central bank rate increase next year would be a mistake. Inflation is unlikely to reach the Fed’s 2% target until 2018, and because of this outlook, “it would be inappropriate for the [Federal Open Market Committee] to raise the target range for the fed funds rate at any such meeting” occurring in 2015, he said.

Asian indices showed mixed performance. Nikkei 225     (1.14%) was the top gainer while NZSE 50 (0.46%) was the top loser.    

China's industrial output growth in October unexpectedly dropped, reflecting the continued headwinds faced by the Chinese economy, official data showed today.


Value-added industrial output in China rose 7.7% in October from a year earlier, slowing from an 8% on-year increase in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said.


Industrial production increased 0.52% in October from September. In September, it had climbed 0.91% from the preceding month.

China's retail sales rose 11.5% in October from a year earlier, slowing slightly from an 11.6% on-year increase in September. Retail sales increased 0.98% in October from September. In September, retail sales had risen 0.86% from the preceding month.

European indices were trading in the green. US Futures too were trading higher.

Germany's inflation rate was confirmed flat at 0.7% in October.


Mumbai Metro 2: R-Infra, Maharashtra govt cancels concession agreement

Both Mumbai Metro Transport, a unit of R-Infra and Maharashtra government agreed to terminate concession agreement for Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro at no cost or claim to either party


Reliance Infrastructure on Thursday announced the cancellation of Mumbai's Metro Line 2 project citing non-fulfilment of certain obligations by the Maharashtra government.


In a statement, the company part of Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani (ADA) group, said, "Mumbai Metro Transport Pvt Ltd wherein Reliance Infrastructure holds 48% of the equity and government of Maharashtra have terminated the concession agreement for the Mumbai Metro Line 2 Project (Charkop -Bandra-Mankhurd corridor)".


In 2009, the state government awarded the project to Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium through international competitive bidding. The estimated cost of the project was about Rs12,000 crore.


"Due to non-fulfilment of various critical obligations, by GOM/ Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the project could not take off. Even after four years, despite the best efforts of the Maharashtra government, various project impediments could not be resolved," Reliance Infrastructure said.


Both parties agreed to terminate the concession agreement at no cost or claim to either party. The government of Maharashtra will return the bank guarantee (of Rs160 crore) to Mumbai Metro Transport Pvt Ltd.


With the termination of the agreement, all commitments or liabilities of Reliance Infrastructure towards the project including the commitments towards funding the project have been annulled with immediate effect.



Adi Daruwalla

3 years ago

The reason for this is that there are many infrastructural hurdles.
Some of them being removing of encroachments, rehabilitation of PAP's project affected people, special land acquisitions in the Metro 2 project path etc. etc. These have to be looked at, from the very commencement of the project. These cancellations cost in terms of TIME and escalations of costs. MMRDA should continue to look at other METRO routes and not stall the development of further routes. Also Reliance has now proven by doing a good job of Mumbai Metro 1, and we need more coaches, we need 6 coaches on each Metro train, then the existing 4 coaches that run on the Versova Ghatkopar route and vice versa. The rush is perpetual trough out the day with a slight relaxation in loads between 1pm - 4 pm. Also there is a need for more automated kiosks, and manned ticket slaes counters at Andheri Main metro station and Versova and Ghatkopar to reduce the serpentine human queues. The planning for coaches and ticket kiosks should be taken into account o have increased numbers with the bursting Mumbai population already in advance.

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