Most likely for the next few days the rally will be met by selling unless the indices manage to close above any previous day’s high
The market settled lower for the second day in a row on selling in auto and banking stocks. Most likely for the next few days the rally will be met by selling unless the indices manage to close above any previous day’s high. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) registered a turnover of 55.74 crore shares and advance-decline of 498:909.
The Indian market started the day on a flat note in the absence of any global or domestic triggers. Markets in Asia were mixed in morning trade as investors waited for an announcement from the US Federal Reserve on the duration of its bond-buying programme. US markets settled marginally lower on Monday on profit taking which led to paring of early gains.
The Nifty opened five points lower at 6,152 and the Sensex started the day at 20,227, up three points over its previous close. Buying in IT, oil & gas, PSU and consumer durables stocks led the benchmarks higher in early trade. But the indices could not sustain the early gains and trended lower after about an hour of trade.
Meanwhile, Phaneesh Murthy, the once upon a time blue-eyed boy of the IT industry has been sacked by iGate Corp, after having to quit Infosys over a sexual harassment scandal. A statement by iGate innocuously says that Murthy was sacked for not disclosing his relationship with a subordinate. This follows investigation for sexual harassment against Murthy, one of the country's best IT marketers. Murthy's second sacking over the sexual harassment issue has stunned the industry. Ironically, when Phaneesh Murthy was thrown out of Infosys, he left with enormous anger and claimed that he was wrongfully targeted.
The market was range-bound in the negative terrain till the noon session weighed down by realty, auto, power, healthcare and capital goods stocks. But buying in select stocks enabled the market to emerge into the green in post-noon trade. The gains helped the market hit its intraday high around 2.00pm. The Nifty went up to 6,180 and the Sensex rose to 20,308.
However, intense volatility resulted in the market slipping into the red once again. Weak European markets and selling pressure in auto and banking stocks weighed down on the market.
The benchmarks touched their lows towards the end of the trading session with the Nifty going back to 6,102 and the Sensex falling to 20,073. The market closed near the lows and down for the second day in a row.
Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index declined 0.62% and the BSE Small-cap index fell 0.43%.
BSE IT (up 0.80%); BSE TECk (up 0.44%) and BSE Consumer Durables (up 0.01%) were the sectoral gainers today. The main losers were BSE Realty (down 2.59%); BSE Auto (down 1.75%); BSE Power (down 1.06%); BSE PSU (down 1%) and BSE Bankex (down 0.88%).
Out of the 30 stocks on the Sensex, nine settled higher. The key gainers were Coal India (up 2.11%); BHEL (up 1.83%); TCS (up 1.03%); Infosys (up 0.92%) and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 0.78%). The key losers were NTPC (down 4.21%); Tata Motors (down 3.06%); Maruti Suzuki (down 2.49%); State Bank of India (down 2.16%) and Tata Steel (down 2.11%).
The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Adani Power (up 12.21%) and Emami (up 5.08%).
The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Divi’s Laboratories (down 7.29%) and Bajaj Finance (down 5.58%).
The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Uniply Industries (up 20%) and Sita Shree Food Products (up 18.75%).
The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Cords Cable Industries (down 19.44%) and Emmsons International (down 19.35%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 14 ended in the in the green. The main gainers were Coal India (up 2.36%); BHEL (up 1.61%); TCS (up 1.40%); HCL Technologies (up 1.345) and Infosys (up 1.06%). The major losers were UltraTech Cement Company (down 4.87%); NTPC (down 4.42%); Jaiprakash Associates (down 3.94%); Grasim Industries (down 3.17%) and DLF (down 3.04%).
The Nifty settled 43 points (0.70%) lower at 6,114 and the Sensex declined 112 points (0.56%) to end the session at 20,112.
Markets across Asia closed mixed. The Hang Seng settled lower as the Goldman Sachs Group sold its $1.1 billion stake in Hong Kong listed ICBC. Investors await announcements from the Bank of Japan and US Fed at the end of their two-day meeting on Wednesday.
The Shanghai Composite rose 0.22%; the KLSE Composite gained 0.58%; the Nikkei 225 added 0.13% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 0.07% higher. Among the losers, the Hang Seng fell 0.54%; the Jakarta Composite declined 0.50%; the Straits Times shed 0.30% and the Seoul Composite lost 0.07%.
At the time of writing, the CAC 40 of France was down 0.385; the DAX of Germany fell 0.18% and UK’s FTSE 100 rose 0.17%. At the same time, the US stock futures were mixed with a negative bias.
Back home, inflows from foreign institutional investors were offset by withdrawals by domestic institutional investors on Monday. While FIIs pooled in Rs753.37 crore in the equities segment, DIIs took away Rs764.32 crore.
Amid reports of Reliance Infrastructure exiting big projects due to delay in regulatory clearances, the company said it is awaiting nod from government agencies to commence work on some stalled projects worth Rs20,000 crore. The stock declined 2.26% to close at Rs415 on the NSE.
The Directorate-General of Central Excise Intelligence has filed a case against Bhushan Steel for evasion of central excise duty of about Rs 24 crore.
Bhushan Steel is a manufacturer of hot and cold rolled galvanised products. Officials have been booked for fraudulent procurement of Cenvat credit on zinc ingots purchased from Hindustan Zinc, Haridwar. Bhushan Steel rose 0.05% to close at Rs464.55 on the NSE.
Vinod Rai, the CAG of India is the man behind all the major headlines we have read over the past few years—the 2G scam, coal block allocations called Coalgate, the Commonwealth Games scam and so on. He is demitting the CAG office on Wednesday reminding us that “tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”
Vinod Rai, the man behind all the major headlines of the last five years steps down on Wednesday allowing the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to heave a sigh of relief. But to most ordinary Indians, Mr Rai was the new national hero—someone who used his official post to do the job that the Constitution of India envisaged for him and in the process demonstrated how politicians were ganging up to strip the national exchequer. In the process, many ordinary people who had no clue what the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) does, suddenly became aware about the powers of this office. The respect that Mr Rai commands was evident from the two-time standing ovation that he received at Moneylife Foundation’s third anniversary function on 15th February when the delivered the keynote address.
Interestingly, Mr Rai is also the first CAG to attempt to reach out to people by publishing the gist of audit reports in the form of colourful, easy-to-read and understand “Noddy Books” (character made famous by the favourite children’s book writer Enid Blyton). These are available on the CAG website for all to access.
In sharp contrast to this public adulation was the response of India’s political class. Congress leader Digvijay Singh called his appointment “…one of UPA government’s biggest mistakes”. Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar was equally critical about Rai’s “public utterances” and even the prime minister talked about the CAG going beyond its mandate. Fortunately, many former bureaucrats came out strongly in support of Mr Rai having “reclaimed the pre-eminence” of the CAG office.
No wonder, Mr Rai is the first of 30 Indian CAGs, who will be remembered for showing us that the government and politicians can be made accountable, if statutory bodies simply do their job.
CAG Vinod Rai’s relentless audit and fearless disclosures have told the story of the massive real and potential losses in the sale of 2G telecom spectrum, the Commonwealth Games, allocation of captive coal blocks and irrigation projects.
Never before has the CAG had such a powerful impact on public assessment of the government. It underlines one thing. Very often, we say: What can one man do? That is really an excuse for not doing anything. More interestingly, Mr Rai managed to face up to relentless political pressure with unflappable élan.
Speaking at Moneylife Foundation’s 3rd anniversary event on 15th February, Mr Rai had said that the government has been too used to paid audiences at political rallies and is now starting to be terrified of the silent majority. In a powerful speech, Mr Rai reminded the citizens the responsibility of ensuring good governance, saying that too much is at stake for this duty to be ignored.
While private institutions as well as individuals also need to be accountable, Mr Rai had said that more is required of the government. He said, “Accountability becomes more important when public funds are involved. This is because public funds come from taxes, which we have to pay. Because there is compulsion to pay, we need to know how the money is spent. This is why governments have higher accountability to its citizens.”
“Democracy without accountability is a body without a soul”
After years of slumber, Mr Rai believes, that citizens are finally waking up to find that they need to demand good governance themselves, rather than expect it. “Value-for-money in provision of public services,” he said, “is the basic tenet of democracy. Democracy without accountability is a body without a soul. But the public perception indicates that elements of ethics and integrity are lacking. The public has come to realise that governance is too important to be left only to the government. Each stakeholder is now vociferous, discerning and demanding.”
Mr Rai particularly noted the waking up of the urban middle-class last year. He said, “In 2012, the citizens took centre-stage, debunking the myth of the silent majority. This shows the maturing of Indian democratic forces. Citizens now seek a dialogue and this is the old order changing. Perhaps the urban middle-class united because of corruption at every government office. They have grown united and strong. This has taken the administration by surprise. They were never prepared. The government was too used to paid crowds at political rallies. This is the very reason for the insensitive and misguided response you saw in December and January.”
“If the government doesn’t perform, we have none other than ourselves to blame”
Mr Rai said what we need to do to ensure that the government does not forget what its job is. “The judiciary ensures horizontal accountability. What we need is vertical accountability, from the citizens, mass media and society in general. We need to remember that we ourselves give the government. If the government does not perform, we have none other than ourselves to blame. But it now looks as if the people are waking up again, as is evidenced by, for example, the reopening of Jessica Lal case. India demonstrated its ability to rise up at the time of independence, then again when democracy was snuffed out in 1975, when the economy was liberalised, and now again. We need to keep this up. There is too much at stake to give up,” he said.
Mr Rai took over as the Comptroller & Auditor General of India on 7 January 2008. He has a Master’s Degree in Economics from Delhi University and Masters in Public Administration from Harvard. A 1972 batch IAS from the Kerala cadre, he was the Additional Secretary, Banking and later, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, in his previous assignments.
According to media reports, defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, an IAS officer of the 1976 batch from Bihar cadre, would replace Mr Rai as the next CAG of India.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in a statement has alleged that in the absence of a formal selection process for the job, the appointment is entirely arbitrary, non-transparent, and based on the decision of the finance ministry. It has also said that as CAG, the new appointee will be in charge of auditing defence contracts that he was involved in deciding. This compromises his “institutional integrity” as laid-down by the Supreme Court and his appointment is liable to be challenged.
Insurers make you go through medical tests when you buy an online term plan. Apart from nasty surprises of premium escalation, you may be even denied the medical report. Avoid an insurance company that refuses to share the medical reports. You will need them for your records
Moneylife Insurance Helpline received the following email from Uttam Kumar Dubey. “I am 31 years old. I went for Rs80 lakh term plan after cancelling the Rs75 lakh HDFC Life click2protect term plan (30 years/Rs11,000 premium) under the condition that they will conduct a complete health check-up. In the hospital we went through several tests, but only the urine cotinine test details were available on HDFC Life website. When I asked them why all details were not available, the manager said only urine cotinine test was required and they did not collect all reports from the hospital. There was no change in premium after medicals, but I should have got all the reports.”
While the customer deserves to get all the medical reports, self declaration of the customer is as important. This is because doing medical tests is not a replacement to self declaration. There will be only a limited number of tests and it cannot catch everything that is wrong with your health. So, having done medical tests is not a conclusive proof of utmost good faith in case of death claim dispute. It surely supports your case and hence it is best to keep all the records of your medical tests.
Here is the response from HDFC Life—“We keep revising our non-medical limits from time to time based on actual experience. Most of the times, we revise the non-medical limits and give the benefit of the revised limits to the proposals, which are pending for conversion. We had changed the non-medical limits just when Mr Dubey went for the medical examination. The centre had collected the samples and done the reports.
However, as we had informed them of the revision in the non-medical limits, they only forwarded the cotinine test report to us, on the basis of which we went ahead and converted the proposal. As the cotinine test was the only medical test required for the conversion of Mr Dubey's policy because of the revision in non-medical limits, so we had uploaded only that report. On receipt of the complaint, we have checked with the centre and they could produce the other reports which they had retained at their end. We have now uploaded all the reports, which Mr Dubey can view at his end.”
Mr Dubey was ecstatic to get his reports and the issue was solved. But, we have come across examples of customers being denied medical reports, premium escalated after medicals without sharing the medical results, inaccurate medical reports leading to premium increase, rechecking needed if there is discrepancy between insurance company reports and your reports that were recently done and many other issues.
Escalation in premium should be justified with medical reports otherwise customers will question if the premium declared by online term plans are just for enticing customers. You can write to Moneylife Insurance Helpline for your insurance issues.
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