Spending
Scarred on the Seas
How are cars affected when they are transported by ships like Hoegh Osaka?
 
The mv HOEGH OSAKA is one of hundreds of car-carriers making thousands of port calls every year, delivering three-wheelers to huge industrial and mining machines as well as what is known as ‘Roll on/ Roll off’ (RoRo) cargo all over the world. Life on these ships is not easy mainly because port stays are short; keeping the ships stable is very difficult and constant fatigue is a part of life.
 
I worked on a much smaller RoRo ship in the early 1980s, carrying Tata trucks and buses as well as Premier cars and a few fire-engines, once, from Bombay port to Sharjah and Kuwait. One thing, I know. The constant vibration, slamming, whipping, corkscrewing and general rock-and-roll in Indian Ocean / Arabian Sea monsoons was enough to give those cars and buses a lifetime of suspension-related issues. This is one reason I have stayed away from fully assembled cars brought by sea to India from abroad. 
 
With luxury cars, from Jaguar and BMW, destined for India, HOEGH OSAKA now floats listed heavily off Southampton port. Some 3,000 tonnes of water, with hydraulic fluid mixed in it, has entered the ship and work is on to try to pump this out. There is bound to be damage to the vehicles on board which include Rolls Royce and other luxury brands.
 
In a similar case, in December 2002, the mv JAGUAR ACE, with 4,703 Mazda cars, tipped over in the Pacific Ocean and was eventually towed to safety. Mazda publicised the VIN numbers of the affected cars, so that they would not re-enter the market. After deactivating the air-bags in each car and draining out all oils, it scrapped those cars totally. Will Jaguar/ Land Rover, BMW, Rolls Royce and others do the same?
 

Forget Motor-sports. Have Fun with Vintage Cars

 
Motor-sports used to be fun and games until a few decades ago, when you took any old car lying around, jazzed up the engine, bolted on some safety features, and headed for the mountains or interiors to try your skill-sets against others who had similar intentions. The idea was to have fun; competition was restricted to on-road and risks were a part of the package.
 
Over the decades, motor-sports became ‘professional’, costs went up and competition moved off the roads; fun was the last thing on anybody’s mind as the rules and regulations became nastier. The idea was apparently to exclude anybody who chose to have fun, while the risks went up even further.
 
Accidents and deaths in motor-sports in India have not changed since these exclusionary rules were introduced. By ‘exclusionary’ I mean that there is a rule that says that if you take part in motor-sports events which are not part of the ‘calendar’, then you, your team—everything—is excluded from all ‘official’ motor-sports. Incidentally, the state of affairs with ‘official’ motor-sports in India is like the state of affairs with ‘official’ cricket or most other sports in India.
This is why vintage and classic car and bike rallies are so much more fun. For one, pretty much anything goes. You can even stick an old Ambassador or Premier engine in any old crock you want; do it up and have a blast for under a lakh of rupees. In addition, these buggies attract more smiles per miles and the parties afterwards make you feel like a rock-star.
 
The import of vintage and classic cars into India was never easier. And, once in India, as well as registered, the value mostly appreciates; so you have another good deal going. Think about it. Nothing beats an old car or bike as an investment. Time to dig out that old car or bike lying around forgotten somewhere and get to work on it.

 

(Veeresh Malik started and sold a couple of companies, is now back to his first love—writing. He is also involved in helping small and midsize family-run businesses re-invent themselves.)

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Nifty, Sensex gains may continue– Tuesday closing report

Nifty is trying to establish a short term bottom

 

We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that NSE’s CNX Nifty may try to bounce back. Also mentioned was that it may find support around 8,490 and put in a short bounce. The 50-share index opened Tuesday lower, however, it immediately moved into the green. The benchmark managed crossing yesterday’s high but then started moving to lower levels. As mentioned, Nifty reached 20 points below the support and tried reviving. Finally, it managed to enter into green zone again and closed higher breaking the seven days of consecutive losses.
 
S&P BSE Sensex opened at 28,122 while Nifty opened at 8,478. Sensex hit a high of 28,634 and moved to the low of 28,045 before closing at 28,356 (up 128 points or 0.45%). Nifty moved from the high of 8,646 to the low of 8,471 and closed at 8,566 (up 39 points or 0.46%). NSE recorded a volume of 95.03 crore shares. India VIX fell 3.74% to close at 21.1925.
 
Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) got a clear majority at the Delhi Assembly elections. According to the election manifesto unveiled by AAP, late last month, among other promises, AAP government will keep its promise of reducing electricity bills by half. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Kejriwal on the win and assured central government's complete support in the development of Delhi.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, at the First Meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry to discuss ‘Suggestions for the Budget', said that the overall economic situation in the country is looking better and basic parameters of Indian economy are moving in the right direction.
 
Economy is likely to grow at a faster pace of 7.4% in the current fiscal as against 6.9% in 2013-14, according to government’s advance estimates for GDP based on the new calculation methodology. The data further said that the economy grew by 7.5% in the September-December quarter of the current fiscal after a growth rate of 8.2% in the preceding quarter.
 
The Indian IT outsourcing sector is reportedly expected to see export revenue growing 12-14% to $112 billion in the financial year ending 31 March 2016 (FY 2016), according Nasscom.
 
Coming back to Indian stock markets, ABB (7.39%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. Improved result of December 2014 quarter pulled the stock higher.
 
Future Retail (15.91%) was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE.
 
Tata Motors (4.01%) was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack, while TCS (2.87%) was the top loser in the pack.
 
On Monday, US indices closed in the red.
 
Asian indices showed mixed performance. Shanghai Composite (1.50%) was the top gainer, while Seoul Composite (0.57%) was the top loser.
 
China's consumer inflation slipped to a five-year low in January. China's consumer-price index rose 0.8% in January from a year earlier, slower than a 1.5% year-over-year rise in December, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed today, 10 February 2015.
 
European indices were showing mixed trading, while US Futures were trading in the green.
 
French Industrial output rebounded in December as production rose across the Eurozone's second largest economy, the national statistics agency Insee said. Industrial production in France rose 1.5% in December from November.
 

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India’s growth data continues to confuse, says Nomura

According to Nomura, the sharp upward revision in India’s growth rate is due to a change in the estimation methodology. If the data is correct, then this suggests robust consumption and no need for any policy accommodation

 

Indian growth data continue to confound. Following the revision in annual real GDP growth in FY13 and FY14, the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) has estimated that real GDP growth is expected to rise an even more robust 7.4% y-o-y (year-on-year) in FY15, from 6.9% y-o-y in FY14. The quarterly data for FY15 were accordingly revised higher by around 1.6% as compared with the old series.  These observations are made in a research note from Nomura.
 
In Q4 2014, real growth rose 7.5% y-o-y, slightly lower than the 8.2% y-o-y in Q3 (Figures 1 and 2), owing to lower agricultural sector growth, which offsets the strong pickup in non-agricultural growth (mainly services).
 
Nomura said, “The sudden jump in growth rates is due to a change in the real GDP growth estimation methodology. Earlier, real GDP growth was estimated as a change in volume, while the new series estimates value added at each stage. Also, the government now uses sales tax, service tax and corporate performance data to estimate quarterly GDP. As a result of these changes, growth in industry (especially manufacturing) and the services sector (financial and real estate and government services) is much stronger in the new series.”
 
“If the numbers are correct, then the GDP data suggest that the economy has been rising at a much faster pace than estimated earlier and that potential growth in the Indian economy is still above 7%. However, the composition of growth is still biased towards consumption, while investment demand remains relatively sluggish, reducing the need for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to ease monetary policy,” Nomura argues in the research note.
 
“However,” Nomura said, “high growth does not square with other real activity indicators and the sharp moderation in inflation.” 
 
Nomura’s assessment is that growth bottomed out in 2013-14 and is currently in the initial stages of a business cycle recovery. Based on the new series and the growth uptick indicated by forward-looking indicators, Nomura expects real GDP growth to rise to around 7.5-8.0% y-o-y in FY16.
 

 

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