World
The Buffet of Canada warns against tech-bubble
Prem Watsa, Chairman of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., warns against the “bubble” of tech companies with huge valuations; predicts it will end “very badly”
 
Often referred to as the “Warren Buffet of Canada”, Prem Watsa, in the annual letter to shareholders issued by his holding company Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, has warned against the “bubble” of tech firms – confident that the speculation will end “very badly”. His stance is consistent with his statements from previous years. In the company's annual meeting last year, he had stated that the tech rally would, “end in tears”, just like it did for the “dot-com era.” 
 
In the letter to shareholders, he substantiates his stance by pointing that the huge valuations of several tech companies like Twitter, Netflix and Facebook are a result of heavy speculation. He cites Uber as an example, whose valuation at $41.2 billion is 14.7 times the $2.8 billion cumulative equity capital it raised. A similar pattern can be observed in many of the big tech firms – including Snapchat and Xioami. Watsa observes that speculation is rampant in both public and private tech firms.
 
 
 
The letter also refers to a piece of data from Wall Street Journal, according to which  there are 73 companies that are valued at more than $1 billion by venture capital investors, versus half that number prior to the dot.com crash. His prediction for these companies also mirrors the fate of the dot-coms, which was spectacularly dismal.
 
However, he still defends the company's decision to remain a key shareholder of Blackberry. “I have learned that the tech world is very difficult to predict and things change very quickly. Yesterday’s hit can be today’s dog, but with the right leadership, things can also change very quickly for the positive. We continue to be excited to be long term shareholders of BlackBerry and have no intention of supporting a takeover of BlackBerry.” 

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Nifty, Sensex, Bank Nifty may rally – Wednesday closing report

If the lows of the last two days hold, we may witness a short rally

 

We had mentioned in Tuesday’s closing report that NSE’s CNX Nifty may be headed lower. We had also mentioned that Nifty has to head above 8,760 for the first sign that the current decline is arrested. On Wednesday, the 50-share index reached almost this level (8,755) but made a quick decline to hit the day’s low, before closing in the negative for the third consecutive session.
 
S&P BSE Sensex opened at 28,726 while Nifty opened at 8,729. Sensex moved to the low of 28,608 after reaching the high of 28,843 while Nifty moved from the high of 8,756 to the low of 8,682. Sensex closed at 28,659 (down 51 points or 0.18%) and Nifty closed at 8,700 (down 12 points or 0.14%). Bank Nifty opened higher at 19,050 however soon moved lower to the level of 18,918. From the low it tried moving higher which resulted in the index reaching up to 19,182. However it gave up all the intra-day gains and closed marginally lower at 19,044 (down 10 points or 0.05%). NSE recorded a volume of 89.02 crore shares. India VIX fell 2.59% to close at 15.1300.
 
The Indian government will unveil industrial production data for January 2015 on Thursday. The preliminary data on India's balance of payments released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) after trading hours Tuesday showed that the country's current account deficit (CAD) narrowed to $8.2 billion or 1.6% GDP in Q3 (December 2014) from $10.1 billion or 2% of GDP in September quarter. However, on a year-on-year basis, the CAD rose sharply from $4.2 billion or 0.9% of GDP in Q3 December 2013.
 
The government on Tuesday managed to push through the contentious land acquisition bill in the Lok Sabha. The bill will now be taken up for a vote in Rajya Sabha where the government is in minority.
 
Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has signed a MoU with the Railway Ministry under which the insurer will invest Rs1.5 lakh crore in infrastructure projects over the next five years. The investment of Rs30,000 crore annually, would be made through bonds issued by Indian Railways Finance Corp to raise funding for development of commercially viable projects.
 
There is news that a demand to regulate fares charged by airlines was made in Rajya Sabha. 
 
Coming back to Indian stock markets, Natco Pharma (9.09%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. The stock hit its 52-week high today. The US Supreme Court has denied certiorari for the generic version of Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) oral capsules. Natco Pharma has partnered with Alvogen in the USA for marketing of this product. PMC Fincorp (9.93%) was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE.
 
The bidding intensity in the ongoing spectrum auction has subsided a bit. The government has garnered Rs94,000 crore worth of bids from telecom players at the end of five days of spectrum auction. With telecom stocks in the light now, Bharti Airtel (5.97%) was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack.
 
Hindalco (5.51%) was the top loser in the Sensex 30 stock. A Special Court in Delhi summoned the company's chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla as an accused in a case linked to the coal scam that saw mining rights being assigned without any transparency to private firms.
 
On Tuesday, US indices closed deeply in the red on continuing fears of a rate increase.
 
The US wholesale inventories unexpectedly rose in January as sales recorded their biggest decline since 2009. The Commerce Department said yesterday that wholesale inventories increased 0.3% in January after being unchanged in December.
 
Except for SET Composite index of Thailand (0.84%), Shanghai Composite (0.15%) and Nikkei 225 (0.31%) all the other Asian indices closed in the red. Jakarta Composite (0.79%) was the top loser.
 
China put out weak data for industrial production, fixed investment, property sales and retail sales today. Japan's core machinery orders fell 1.7% in January from the previous month. European indices were trading in the green. US Futures too were trading higher.
 

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Chinese government slaps P&G with a fine of nearly $1million over misleading commercial
It is alleged that the advertisement used photo-editing software to overstate the benefits of using the toothpaste
 
On 10 March 2015, Chinese authorities imposed a fine of a whopping $958,000 (Rmb6m) on Procter & Gamble for misleading advertising of its toothpaste brand Crest. It is alleged that the advertisement used photo-editing software to overstate the benefits of using the toothpaste. It features a Taiwanese celebrity, and according to The Shanghai Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce, the images were digitally altered to make her teeth appear whiter. The Chinese media has reported that this is the highest fine ever charged on record in such a case. 
 
In response, Crest China stated that the commercial had already been taken off-air since the middle of last year. Crest responded on its official Chinese microblog. It also added that the "one-day whitening" referred to in the advertisement involves both the using the toothpaste and employing the correct technique in brushing one's teeth. Moreover, all of its products went through complete testing and careful legal compliance before entering the Chinese market, said Crest. 
 
This fine is the latest in the row of instances, where foreign companies have faced severe scrutiny under the Chinese government for various issues, including misleading consumers. Last month, the Chinese regulators charged Qualcom Inc. with a fine of $975 million for violating China's anti-monopoly law. In 2014, Johnson & Johnson, Bausch & Lomb Inc and other eye-care companies were fined more than $3.04 million for fixing prices in China's eye glass and contact lens market. In 2013, Apple Inc. was forced to pay up US$118,000 to compensate three Chinese writers for copyright infringement when it sold their books on the Apple App Store without first seeking their permission.
 
Crest is currently leading China's toothpaste market, and its key competitors are Colgate-Palmolive Co and local brands Darlie and Yunnan Baiyao Group Co Ltd. According to Gao Jianfeng, consumer analyst with Shanghai-based Bogo Consultants, the fine may not necessarily hamper Crest's position in the Chinese market. “I think the impact on Crest’s market share will be very limited,” he said, also stating that there was nothing to suggest that the toothpaste was harmful to users in any way. 

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