Stocks
Nifty, Sensex will struggle to head higher – Weekly closing report
If Nifty does not breach 7,700, it is likely to head higher
 
We had mentioned in the last week’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex were weak and that Nifty was likely to meet selling on rallies. Over the week, the major indices in the Indian stock markets went through a relief rally for two days, a rally that was met with strong selling on Wednesday. In the last two days the market stabilised a bit. Overall gains over the week were around 1% for the major indices. The weekly trends in major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
On Monday, there was a relief rally. The index for industrial production (IIP) growth was sharply lower than expected in September at 3.6% from 6.3% in August, while retail inflation inched up for the third successive month in October to 5%.
 
India's annual rate of inflation, based on wholesale prices, inched up to (-)3.81% for October from (-) 4.54% for the month before, mainly on account of a whopping  86% spike in the prices of onions and 53% in pulses over the past year. According to the data on official wholesale prices index released by the commerce and industry ministry, the indices for both the major groups of primary articles and manufactured products registered a decline of 0.36% and 1.67%, respectively, during the month under review. The index for the sub-category of food articles, though, was up 2.44% during the year. In the past month alone, prices for urad dal rose 17%, arhar 12%, gram 7% and moong 6%.
 
Fuel prices rose as oil companies on Sunday hiked the prices of petrol and diesel by 36 paise and 90 paise respectively. "The current level of international product prices of petrol and diesel and INR-USD exchange rate warrant an increase in prices, the impact of which is being passed on to the consumers with this price revision," Indian Oil said in a statement on Sunday. The oil marketer said the price of petrol per litre from Monday will be Rs.61.06 in Delhi, Rs.66.39 in Kolkata, Rs.68.13 in Mumbai and Rs.61.38 in Chennai. Diesel will cost Rs.46.80 a litre in Delhi, Rs.50.29 in Kolkata, Rs.54.04 in Mumbai and Rs.48.00 in Chennai.
 
The levy of 0.5% Swachh Bharat cess on taxable services came into effect from Sunday, pushing the service tax rate will go up from 14% to 14.5% on all taxable services. It is expected to fetch the exchequer about Rs3,800 crore in the remaining months of the fiscal.
 
Key Indian equities indices opened higher on Tuesday in line with a rally in the US and a surge in Asian stocks, but sentiments remained cautious on the back of some not-too-encouraging news on factory output growth, inflation and exports. News from the agriculture sector was positive and is likely to maintain aggregate demand for the economy. Paddy arrival in Haryana was up by nearly 13 lakh tonnes compared to last year, the state's food and supplies department said on Tuesday. "During the current Kharif season, more than 52.92 lakh tonnes of paddy has arrived in the mandis (markets) of Haryana till November 16. During this period last year, 40.09 lakh tonnes of paddy had arrived in the mandis," a spokesman of the department said.
 
On Wednesday, the indices opened flat in the morning session in line with the global cues, notably from the Asian peers and Wall Street. As the day’s trading progressed, the markets were due for a sharp correction of 1.35%-1.92%. The central government on Wednesday approved six foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals amounting to Rs1,810.25 crore. The largest component of foreign investments that were approved belongs to IIFL Holdings which totalled Rs1,800 crore. The non-banking financial company (NBFC) had sought permission for increasing its foreign equity from 50.16% to 80% via issuing shares to FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investors). Other proposal worth Rs10 crore was approved for Monsoon Capital LLC, which had sought approval for investing in the corpus of a domestic alternative investment trust.
 
On Thursday, a day after the central government announced a string of major decisions to increase public spending in the infrastructure sector and with heightened chances of key reforms getting passed during the upcoming parliament session, Indian equity markets exhibited buoyancy. In addition, a strengthening rupee restored investor confidence. Attractive stock prices and announcements of disinvestment and interest subvention scheme for exporters brought back investors. The gains in the indices at the close of trading were around 1.4%-1.5%. 
 
The prospects of growth in consumption-led demand, after a key panel recommended major salary and pension hike for central government employees, buoyed Indian equity markets on Friday. However, the intra-day gains could not be sustained and there was a late-afternoon sell-off for profit booking.

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Bajaj Allianz: Who Cares for the Stupid Customer?
What could have been a simple online renewal process of a two-wheeler insurance policy becomes an unnecessary ordeal
 
Why do some of the top names in Indian industry behave so hopelessly when it comes to customer service? This has been a question that has been dogging customers for years now.
 
Let me relate my experience with a ‘reputed’ insurance company. Many times, it so happens that we are forced an insurance company upon us, especially when we purchase a vehicle; in my case, Mahindra two-wheelers’ dealer picked Bajaj Allianz for me.
 
Ever since, I had been paying the policy premium religiously, and on time. This year too, I got the first intimation by email from Bajaj Allianz on 20 October 2015, with an amount of Rs910.00. Immediately, I clicked on the link given in that mail, saying, “renew online”. The existing policy was to expire on 19 November 2015.
 
I was taken to the following page:  After filling in the required details, when I clicked on “Proceed to Renewal”, I got an error message: Please enter the following details - : Please enter the correct policy number”.
 
I checked again if I had committed a typo. Tried again. The same message. This must have happened two-three times, with the same result.
 
Maybe their site was not behaving that day. Tried the next day, and the day after that. I then I sent them a mail on 24 October 2015. No reply.
I received another intimation mail on 11 November 2015.  Again, I tried the same steps, same result: Error.
 
Then I visited the next link in the email, under “Other payment options”. I clicked on the link to their website: www.general.bajajallianz.com. This is what I got: “Server not found”!
 
Anyway, I got busy with other things (I cannot stay with one issue for hours together, right?). On 15 November 2015, I received another intimation mail, all with the same results.
 
Again, I sent an email on 14 November 2015 to “[email protected]”, as given in their intimation email, it bounced back like a bad cheque.
 
I was worried, what would happen if my policy lapsed. More than the money part of it, it was the harassment of cops that was more worrying.
 
At first, I tweeted to @BajajAllianz. No reply. Then I posted on their Facebook page. No response.
 
Again, I posted with a few more details on 15 November 2015. The next day I got a stock reply: “Hi Shrikant. Sorry for the inconvenience caused and thank you for bringing this to our notice. We are looking in to the same and will get back to you with a resolution at the earliest. We thank you for your patience.” What patience, dammit, I have been trying to renew my policy well in advance, but could not do so due to their faults.
 
(It would be very informative to visit their FB page:  and see how hurt some of their customers are.)
 
Finally, I decided to commute to the local office of the insurance company. When I went there, I was met with a guy who calculated my premium, which came to Rs913. (According to the email intimation, I was supposed to pay Rs910). Then he looked at something and then said it would be Rs1,057. 
 
I protested and then he called up someone. That person said it was Rs1,057. I asked him why the difference, he said, “Loading charges”. What loading charges? I refused to pay.
 
Then I walked down to a cyber cafe in the same building, took a printout of the intimation email from Bajaj Allianz and insisted that this is the amount I will pay. The person there immediately got on the phone again to consult someone. Then, he took a snap of the mail printout and sent it to someone, A lot of discussions took place between them, and finally they agreed to accept a premium of Rs914. I gave him Rs915. He did not have the change of Re1 to give me back. Theek hai! After all, all retail stores here do the same.
 
Incidentally, on 23 October 2015, I also tried to get in touch via online chat. Waited and waited and waited, no one responded.
 
On 19th November, it seems @BajajAllianz did respond to my tweets, but unfortunately I missed it. Not that it would have made any difference because it was again a meaningless stock reply, stating, “We'll be reaching out to you on priority to rectify the renewal issue that you're facing. Thanks for your patience.”
 
At the end of it, what could have been a simple, online renewal process for a two-wheeler insurance policy became an unnecessary ordeal, thanks to Bajaj Allianz.
 
(Shrikant N Shenoy has been a journalist since 1980, having worked in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Dubai. He launched a news portal and an online Konkani language channel from Manipal, Udupi, but ran out of money. In 2011, he successfully launched an English newspaper with five editions simultaneously on a shoe-string budget. He tweets as @udupinet.)

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