Companies & Sectors
Merrill Lynch Fund Manager survey warns of IT bubble burst

The survey said a sharp drop in expectations of corporate profit growth has weakened investor confidence and global investors have scaled back technology holdings with just 32% of them remaining overweight on IT

Mumbai: American investors have signalled a possible bursting of the IT bubble after the technology sector remained a favourite for global investors in the past three years, says a survey according to a PTI report.

According to the Bank of American Merrill Lynch (BofAML) survey of fund managers for July, technology has been a favourite sector for global investors for the past three years, but US investors have signalled a possible bursting of the IT bubble.

Overall, a net 22% of US respondents to the regional survey are overweight on technology - a sharp fall from a net 41% a month ago. Within those figures, 19% of the panel are underweight IT, up from 9% in June, the survey said.

Global investors have also scaled back technology holdings. A net 32% was overweight on technology, down from a net 41% in June.

US equities have declined in popularity as global asset allocators have cast their net around the world. A net 14% of respondents are overweight on US equities, down from a net 31% last month. At the same time, asset allocators have reduced their underweights in euro zone, UK and Japanese equities.

The survey said a sharp drop in expectations of corporate profit growth has weakened investor confidence.

BofA Merrill Lynch's Growth Expectations Composite has fallen to 37 in July from 43 in June and 54 in May. A severely deteriorating outlook for profits is driving the fall in confidence. A net 38% of investors say corporate profits will worsen in the coming 12 months - compared with a net 19% a month ago, it said.

Expectation that corporates can grow profits by 10% or more is at its lowest point since April 2009. A net 69% of the panel expects corporates profit growth to be less than 10% in the coming year. A net 58% says operating margins will decrease, up from a net 41% in June.

Both broader macro-economic outlook and risk appetite have stabilised after two months of sharp deterioration. A net 13% of the respondents said the world economy will weaken in the coming year, a drop of two percentage points after a fall of 26 points from May to June, said the survey.

BofA Merrill Lynch's Composite Indicator for risk and liquidity rose slightly month-on-month as investors reduced average cash holdings in portfolios to under 5%. Most investors expect further quantitative easing, but few expect this to happen in the third quarter.

Investor perception of risk in the eurozone shifted in July. The proportion of respondents who see the risk of a negative shock around Germany's economy has more than tripled to 32%, up from 10% in June.

Concern about France has risen with a majority of investors (55%) believing the French economy could present a negative surprise this year, the survey said.

Fears that Spain or Portugal could spring a negative surprise have fallen, while expectation of good news from Ireland is growing - 32% of investors hope for a positive surprise from Ireland this year, up from 16% in June.

Confidence in Greece has fallen, however. The proportion saying Greece will avoid exiting the euro fell to 37% from 44%, it added.


University textbook declares Mukherjee as 14th President!

Chapter 4 of the book 'Democracy in India', has a chart of the Presidents of India in which Pranab Mukherjee has been mentioned as "the 14th President of India"

Gadchiroli (Maharashtra): Though Presidential polls are yet to held, Gondwana University has already described United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Pranab Mukherjee as "the 14th President of the country" in a just-published textbook, reports PTI.

The book, 'Democracy in India', has been prescribed for first year students of BA (Political Science) for the ongoing academic session of the newly-formed varsity.

Page number 84 under chapter 4 of the book, published under the heading 'Union Executive', has a chart of the Presidents of India in which Mukherjee has been mentioned as "the 14th President of India".

The book was released a couple of days ago at a function attended by Dean of the Department of Social Sciences of Gondwana University in presence of over 40 lecturers of political science belonging to colleges under the varsity.

Sanjay Gore, Chairman of the Board of Studies of the University and Madhukar Arjunkar, a scholar of political science, are the authors of the book.

Meanwhile, distancing itself from the controversial textbook of political science which has declared Pranab Mukherjee as "14th President of India" before the Presidential election, Gondwana University said it had not sanctioned its publication.


Vice Chancellor Vijay Ainchwar said the author, Sanjay Gore, was called to the University office and given a strict warning. "We had not given any permission to the author to write this book or to publish it," Ainchwar said.


Gondwana University Registrar Vinayak Irpate said a show-cause notice had been issued to Gore as to how he published the book without the Varsity's permission.

The Presidential elections, where Mukherjee will take on BJP-backed nominee PA Sangma, will be held on 19th July.




5 years ago

Being a scholar couldn't have a thought at least to convey the current situation & possibilities of Pranab having chance to become 14th President of India. How can they hide the historical mistake. Book realized date shows before 19th Jul 2012 the date of President election.
God only should save us...


5 years ago

The present dispensation i.e., the UP has taken this Country as their personal property-doing whatever they wish with it and its inhabitants. This shows which way the democracy has shifted in India. The system as been taken to its nadir. The elections to the post of President or the Vice is just a show. Things were decided even before the election and of course under the table.

meenakshi pai

5 years ago

Great to know this update,where is then the need to cast vote on 19th July?Authors/professors are trusted with knowledge which they pass on to students.....

Rajkumar Singh

5 years ago

It seems they were sure of his becoming the president, so why to delay the publication for its official declaration.

They want to move ahead instead of looking back at their backlogs of erroneous efforts!

A concerted effort, like a signature campaign, is required to stop such nuisance.

suresh kumar K

5 years ago

Its our indian Democracy and its ruined by our netas and ruled by an uncommonsence UPA top leaders.
Its like we have been raped in public day light and forced to tolerate enjoing the rape and never heard the sufferers and supressed the facts of the indians its a silent cold blood murder of an every indian.

Are brokers and investors being made ‘scapegoats’ by SEBI?

SEBI wants brokers and investors to give an undertaking that they have no connection with the company in which the investor wants to invest his hard earned money

Just two days ago, regulators including Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), released the draft “National Strategy for Financial Education” to convert savers into investors. This is needed because India's investor population is fast dwindling. However, while making an effort to increase number of investors, SEBI, is making survival difficult for those who are actively participating in the markets.
SEBI, especially its surveillance department appears to compelling brokers through exchanges to obtain certain undertaking from clients (investors) who have traded in shares being investigated. The forms being circulated to brokers are, in a way an attempt by the regulator to ‘trap’ or make a ‘scapegoat’ of broker/s in case something goes wrong in share trading. We sent mails to SEBI, BSE and NSE on 17 July at 4pm.


In an email reply, received on 19 July at 6.52pm, SEBI said, "The requirement of obtaining undertakings from clients have been formulated by Stock Exchanges (Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange) in consultation with SEBI. These undertakings are sought by stock exchanges in respect of those cases where the stock exchanges have initiated examination and from those clients whose transactions have been observed to be suspicious or prima facie inconsistent with the behaviour of a rationale investor."


"We are taking the undertaking from clients, it is a SEBI requirement," said NSE in an email reply.


BSE, on the other hand, declined to comment.
One important factor is that brokers share only a commercial relation with clients (investors) and have no statutory or regulatory jurisdiction either on clients or any third parties or listed companies. Even exchanges do not have any jurisdiction to question trading clients about their relationships with any third persons.

Yet, the undertaking by SEBI asks brokers to ratify that their client is not connected with any promoter, director, officer or an employee of the brokerage. Is also asks the brokerage to confirm that the dealings in securities undertaken by their client/s has been funded by the client himself through his own account! The brokerage even has to affirm that there is no connection among its clients who have dealt in securities of a particular company through the broker.


According to the clarification given by SEBI, objective for an undertaking from a broker is to make him exercise due care and diligence on the activities of clients. "Such a practice is in line with most developed jurisdictions where brokers are sought to be involved in better surveillance of markets as the first line of reporting suspicious transactions," it said.
“Most of the information contained in this undertaking would not be in the personal knowledge of the broker and his client. For example, it beats us totally as to how a trading client would know his relationship, “directly or indirectly” with any of the thousands of employees of a listed company. For that matter, how would he even know who are the officers and employees of the listed company? said one broker who does not want to be identified.
The brokers are not the only ones who have to give the undertaking. Even the investor has to give an undertaking that he is not directly or indirectly connected with any promoter, director, officer or employee of the company (whose shares he wants to buy or has already bought). Not just this, the investor also has to give in writing that he is neither related with the company nor he has any business or professional relationship with it, directly or indirectly.


SEBI, in its email reply, said, "Objective behind obtaining an undertaking from a client is to ascertain his/her linkages with the management of a company that is under examination, which in turn would pave the way for wider and more effective monitoring and surveillance that is in the interest of the market. Such undertaking also requires a client to update his KYC with broker. It also seeks an affirmation whether clients' own funds are being used for investment, which is already a pre-requisite under the code of conduct and circulars governing conduct of a broker."
This is really weird. How can anybody certify that he does not have any direct or indirect business relationship or connection with a listed company? Does this mean that someone would be at fault for buying shares in ‘X’ company just because his friend’s wife’s third or fourth cousin happens to be a raw material supplier or consultant or employee of ‘X’?
“To us, it is an attempt by the lazy and ineffective surveillance department of SEBI to shift its work and accountability to exchanges and brokers. The hapless brokers are getting threats from exchanges to somehow comply with the SEBI directive. In turn the brokers are threatening the clients to close the account with them if they do not give this undertaking,” said another broker.
After all the pressure-chain created by SEBI, exchanges and brokers, the client, who does not know the relevant facts, has only two choices—either to give a false undertaking without even fully knowing what he is signing or to suffer financial losses because of a possible closing of his trading account by the broker. “How can the exchange and SEBI punish an investor for not knowing facts which are outside his personal knowledge?” asked one investor preferring anonymity.
No doubt, whether it is SEBI or any other investigating agency, they need to carry out certain procedures to safeguard the interest of common investors. But this latest undertaking is an attempt by the regulator to make the broker and investor, a readymade ‘scapegoat’ in case something goes wrong or it finds something wrong in share trading of that particular company. If these kinds of things do not end, we would see further diminishing of interest in our capital markets.



Rajkumar Singh

5 years ago

We have made ourselves their scapegoats for ever ready to fall in the greedy net or trap, with or without the application of our common sense or mind.

Unless a concerted effort of congregating all the investors on a platform is done to spearhead a "Signature Campaign" to deactivate all their disliked rules and regulations, we can't have a SAY! But always SAD!

Gerard Colaco

5 years ago

This is irresponsible, unfit, third rate bureaucracy at its best. India's equity investor population is decreasing rapidly, even though India's population itself is rising. So the powers that be want to arrest this slide. And how do they do it? By implementing measures that will increase the rate at which India's equity investor population will decrease!

Dayananda Kamath k

5 years ago

this is the way the laws and regultions are being framed so that if they want to to catch sombody they can catch with violation of flimsy rules not followed. and some times these rules will also come to the rescue of the people they want to protect. the regulations should not be hinderance for smooth functioning of the same time guilty should not be letoff when fould guilty. just to catch somebody who has cheated you make every one feel to be cheater.

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