Business Standard Podcast

Business Standard


Daily news about the podcasting,investment analysis and advice on stocks and the markets. Scannable and informative, with a truly global view.

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3604 episodes

TMS Ep470: GST, Gift City, mid & small-cap stocks, Cape Town Convention

One of the hallmarks of reform is that it reduces, or even eliminates long queues. Goods and services tax or GST - which marked six years of its birth on July 1 - cut the serpentine queues of trucks at check posts dotting the country’s state borders. After the inevitable teething troubles, GST has put in place a well-oiled tax ecosystem. In June, GST revenue collection stood at Rs 1.61 lakh crore. With this the monthly GST collection has been over Rs 1.4 lakh crore for 15th month running. So can it be called a good and simple tax now? Or there is more to be done?  In April, when GST collections had touched an all-time high of Rs 1.87 lakh crore, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it a great news for the economy. Meanwhile, in another good news, Google recently announced to set up its global fintech operation centre at GIFT City in Gujarat. CEO of the Internet giant Sundar Pichai told this to PM Modi during his recent US visit. So what does it mean for the GIFT City and also for the country?  Meanwhile, India took a big leap in global trading this week on July 3rd when popular SGX Nifty - which has been re-branded as GIFT NIFTY - started trading at GIFT City. Moving on, stock prices of mid- and small-cap companies have inched up sharply during 2023 as investors turned to their favourite go-to destination to make a quick buck amid improving market sentiment. However, the sharp run up is now making analysts cautious on these two segments. Business Standard's Puneet Wadhwa talks to market experts to decode the road ahead for the broader markets. The stock of InterGlobe Aviation - which runs the country’s largest airline IndiGo - has rallied 55% in the last one year. And its market capitalisation topped the 1 trillion-rupee mark last week. But not all airlines are soaring so high. Go First was recently grounded. And its lessors had moved to take back the possession of the aircraft given on lease. The Cape Town Convention guarantees this. But their requests were put on hold as India has not ratified the treaty yet. This episode of the podcast tells about this global treaty and more.

Jul 06, 2023
TMS Ep469: JioBharat phone, Ajit Pawar's switch, durable stocks, NLMC

Mukesh Ambani’s 2016 foray into telecom had upended dynamics of the sector. A brutal price war unleashed with the introduction of Reliance Jio had pushed carriers like Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone India against the wall. Today, Jio is India’s largest telco with a wireless subscriber base of about 430 million, while Airtel is a distant second with about 370 million. Vodafone Idea is struggling to stay afloat. And now, Jio has announced the launch of Jio Bharat, an entry-level, 4G-enabled phone priced at 999 rupees. Will this new phone disrupt the market again?  India’s political landscape cuts a somewhat similar picture. BJP has won two successive general elections and it still holds sway. Opposition parties, meanwhile, are trying hard to stitch an alliance to challenge Narendra Modi’s juggernaut. But will they be able to do so? Just days after several opposition leaders gathered in Patna to show unity ahead of next year’s general elections, there was a vertical split in a key camp. Ajit Pawar walked out of NCP and joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government. So has Ajit Pawar’s switch dented the opposition unity?  It is not just political activities. The weather in Mumbai too has become intense. The weatherman has issued an orange alert for rains in the city. Meanwhile, the 2023 summer has turned out disappointing for cooling product makers as unseasonal rains soiled expectations of bumper sales. This has also been reflected at the bourses, so what should investors do now?  Benchmark indices continued to extend gains on Tuesday by scaling fresh all-time highs. After markets, let us now shift focus to the government’s monetization plan. The National Land Monetisation Corporation gears up to auction its first property in September. Listen to this episode of the podcast to know more about this firm and why we needed it.

Jul 05, 2023
TMS Ep468: TCS bribes-for-job, UCC, Markets with UR Bhat, data scraping

Tata Consultancy Services or TCS -- as we know it – has been hit by a job scam. It has fired six employees after it was found that they received favours from staffing firms to recruit temporary employees. Six staffing firms too have been banned for the alleged wrongdoing, which Chairman N Chandrasekaran described as painful. So exactly what happened at India’s top IT company? And what can be done to prevent its recurrence?  India’s IT bellwether, in the meantime, is busy giving final touches to its Q1FY24 results. And some reports suggest that it may announce share buyback too with its financial numbers in a few days from now. Moving on, the decades-old debate around implementation of Uniform Civil Code has resurfaced. The BJP-led government has been advocating uniformity in laws governing divorce, succession, inheritance and adoption. It was one of its major poll promises too. So now, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a strong pitch for it and the 22nd law commission is seeking views on it, we ask if India is ready for a UCC?  Unperturbed by political discourse, the country’s benchmark indices are charting growth stories. The Sensex and Nifty have scaled new highs on the back of strong FII flows. In the last one month, the Sensex has surged over 2,000 points and breached the 65,000 mark on Monday, July 3. The Nifty50, on the other hand, has hit the 19,300 mark for the first time ever. So, how sustainable is this rally? Which sectors and stocks still offer some headroom? Puneet Wadhwa spoke with U R Bhat, co-founder and director, Alphaniti Fintech to know his views On Tuesday, the markets will look at global cues for direction. Some profit booking due to the sharp run up cannot be ruled out. Meanwhile, with Elon Musk at the helm, Twitter has become an interesting space to watch. In a social media post, Musk said last week that Twitter has applied temporary reading limits to address “extreme levels” of data scraping. But what is data scraping? Lets find out in this episode of the podcast.

Jul 04, 2023
TMS Ep467 - Byju's, monsoon tourism, market rally, Uniform Civil Code

Byju’s has been in the news for a while now. Its co-founder and CEO Byju Raveendran is busy fighting battles on several fronts -- from trying to come out with its financial statement on time to winning the faith of investors and employees. The leadership claims it has understood its mistakes and is rectifying them. But is Byju’s really ready to turn a new leaf?  Clearly it will be a while before Byju’s comes out from this stormy weather. If it does at all. Meanwhile, the hills of our country too are reeling under rough weather. Rains have triggered landslides, and several parts are cut off -- leaving hundreds of tourists stranded. Over the years, monsoon tourism has gained popularity in the country. But concerns are also being raised about its impact on the fragile ecosystems of Indian hills. So is monsoon tourism bad for the country’s hills?  Meanwhile, Indian equities are on cloud nine. The benchmark indices closed the first half of CY23 at record high levels. However, as we enter the second half of the year, the risks, too, are piling up. Here's a low down of factors which may dent the market sentiment. After the markets, let us turn our gaze to the corridors of politics. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently made a pitch for the Uniform Civil Code, just a week after 22nd Law Commission invited the views of the public and religious organisations on it. But ever wondered what is Uniform Civil Code? Listen to this episode of the podcast for more.

Jul 03, 2023
TMS Ep466: New TCS regime, HDFC twin merger, markets, wreck-diving

The Ministry of Finance on Wednesday extended the deadline for the implementation of a new rule that mandated 20 per cent tax collected at source on foreign remittances. The increase in the TCS rate from 5 per cent, which was set to kick in on July 1, would now be effective from October 1. More importantly, the ministry added that overseas spending using credit and debit cards as well as remittances under the liberalised remittance scheme, up to Rs 7 lakh would not attract TCS. But, how will this new TCS regime affect you?  The long-speculated merger of India’s largest lender HDFC Bank and mortgage entity HDFC Ltd is finalised. HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh had said that the boards of HDFC twins are going ahead with the merger effectively on July 1. In Today’s Special, we discuss the implications that the merger is going to have on the two entities and how it will affect the banking sector.  Both the HDFC boards will meet on June 30, which would also be the last board meeting of mortgage entity HDFC Ltd, and its shares will go off-market effective July 13. Meanwhile, market action in the first half of the calendar year 2023 was triggered by moderation in domestic inflation, steady interest rates, return of foreign investors and some support from domestic institutions. Against this backdrop, benchmark indices notched fresh lifetime highs during these first six months of 2023. So, which sectors emerged as the top leaders and top laggards in H1CY23? And will the momentum continue in H2CY23 as well?  Below the boundless blue expanses lies the centuries-old wreckage of RMS Titanic surrounded by mesmerising oceanic flora and fauna – this is what the tourists travelling in OceanGate’s Titan submersible must have been looking forward to. While the expedition met with a catastrophic end, it has brought to light how wreck-diving is developing as a popular segment of the global underwater tourism market. Listen to this episode of the podcast and take a deep dive to understand what is wreck-diving.

Jun 30, 2023
TMS Ep465: Air India-Vistara merger, Svamitva, markets, history of HDFC

The proposed merger of Air India and Vistara has flown into rough weather. It has attracted the glare of antitrust regulator CCI -- which has asked Air India to explain why this merger should not be probed. It comes mere months after Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines filed a merger application with the antitrust body in April, saying the amalgamation of the two airlines will not lead to any change in the competitive landscape of India. So in today’s first segment Bhaswar Kumar tries to find out why the CCI is now raising questions about the proposed merger, which was announced in late 2022?  And it is not just the big birds. Indian skies are also increasingly getting swarmed by drones. They are out for delivery. They are employed in security. And now, they are mapping land parcels in rural areas to help clearly define land rights. The recently launched government scheme Svamitva will provide exact coordinates for accurate map making with the help of drones.   Meanwhile, markets too have been flying high for the last few months with the Sensex and the Nifty hitting their fresh 52-week peak levels. Is there more steam left in the markets, or is it time for you to take some money off the table? Puneet Wadhwa spoke with Ajit Mishra, senior vice-president for technical research at Religare Broking on what the charts suggest. India’s financial markets, meanwhile, will lose a gem early next month as the shares of HDFC will delist on July 13. This mortgage institution -- which helped over one crore Indians realize their dream of owning a home in the last 45 years - is now merging with HDFC Bank. So how has this journey been so far? And how did these two Indian giants come into being? Listen to this episode of the podcast for answers.

Jun 29, 2023
TMS Ep464: Go First airline, risk tourism, microcap stocks, Artemis Accords

Go First has secured lenders’ approval for interim funding of 450 crore rupees. With this, the grounded airline -- which has filed for bankruptcy -- may come to the runway again. But will it finally take off from the runway?  Go First’s return to the sky will indeed be good news for consumers, as the aviation market is left with only two big players: Air India and Indigo. From the sky, let us shift focus to the depth of seas -- which has become a favourite destination for adventure-seeking tourists. But the recent implosion of Titan submersible has highlighted the other aspect of adventure tourism: the risks attached to it. So will the Titan sub disaster sink risk tourism?  Dealing in stocks -- with its unexpected movements -- can also be as thrilling as bungee jumping. Amid the ongoing bull rally, micro-cap stocks have been the flavour. With a sharp surge of 15% this year, the Nifty MicroCap index has sharply outperformed the Nifty50, midcap and smallcap indices. Find out the reason behind this rally, and if these stocks are worth your money A lot of investors it seems are over the moon as Sensex is hovering close to all-time high. Talking of the moon, the United States is planning to send humans again to the lunar surface by 2025. And, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the US, India joined the Artemis program -- which is aimed at another moon landing after the Apollo missions. So what are the Artemis Accords and what do they mean for India’s space exploration ambitions? Listen to this episode of the podcast for answers.

Jun 28, 2023
TMS Ep463: Food inflation, Yevgeny Prigozhin, primary market, AI hype

After a late onset, monsoon seems to be finally making good time. It has covered almost 80% of the country -- arriving in Delhi and Mumbai at the same time. While the rains are again giving the civic bodies a tough time, the policy makers are a relieved lot. But how long will this relief last? Has monsoon solved this year’s food inflation problem?  Last weekend, when the monsoon clouds were progressing towards Delhi, neighbouring Russia was grappling with a different kind of march towards its capital Moscow. It was that of heavily armed Russian mercenaries led by former Vladimir Putin ally Yevgeny Prighozhin? While the march was cut short and Prighozhin was forced to leave the country, the development has certainly exposed chinks in Putin’s regime. Find out about the controversial Wagner leader and how he came into prominence in Russia.  Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, has described this rebellion as another crack in the Russian façade. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has dealt a big blow to the world economy. India too has been feeling the heat. In FY 23, IPO filings declined nearly 54%. But, this week, it seems, investors will be spoilt for choice as seven IPOs are set to hit the markets. The push comes amid a broad-based market revival. But, as global uncertainties keep secondary markets volatile, will this momentum in the primary market sustain?  Asset managers, meanwhile, are racing to develop artificial intelligence solutions that can help their clients get more returns. People are talking about AI’s application in almost every field. AI, it seems, now has baggage of expectations to carry. And a new term has been coined to explain this. It is AI hype. Today we explain what ‘AI hype’ is?

Jun 27, 2023
TMS Ep462: Byju's problems, India-US ties, Indian IT stocks, jet engines

Byju’s juggernaut has come to a grinding halt. Just over a fortnight after it missed its interest payment on the 1.2 billion-dollar loan and took the lender to a court, its auditor has quit. Deloitte -- which was vetting Byju’s book for the last six years -- cited a long delay in its financial statement for the year ended March 31, 2022 as the reason for quitting. So in today’s first segment, Thareek Ahmed tries to answer if the country’s most valued ed-tech company will be able to revive its fortune.  Notwithstanding Byju’s troubles, India’s ed-tech market is expected to grow to $10 billion by 2025. India is the second largest market for e-learning after the United States. Moving on, ties between India and the US entered a new phase last week when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the country as a state guest. A clutch of agreements were signed during the period. Bhaswar Kumar takes a look at three key developments in the fields of semiconductor, space and jet engines. And he asks experts if these deals will take the relations between the two nations to a new high?  The United States has also emerged as the top destination for Indian IT exports. Select IT stocks have gained 10-26% so far in 2023 on hopes that a pause in policy tightening in the US may lead to a revival in IT spending. However, latest earnings from Accenture suggest that a recovery is still not in sight. So, are IT companies staring at tough days ahead?  Let us shift our focus back to the subject of PM Modi’s recent US visit. Giving new wings to the India-US ties, American jet engine manufacturer General Electric and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited have signed a pact to produce combat aircraft engines for the Indian Air Force. The agreement paves the way for the potential joint manufacturing of GE’s famous F414 engines in India. But ever wondered what exactly a jet engine is? And does it work? Listen to this episode of the podcast for answers.

Jun 26, 2023
TMS Ep461: Tesla Motors, new vs old IITs, PSU stocks, green diamonds

A recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has rekindled hopes of electric vehicle maker’s entry into the Indian market. And in Musk’s own words, the Texas-based company will be in India “as soon as humanly possible”. We focus on the EV components and battery space, and try to gauge whether or not Tesla’s entry into India will give a fillip to its nascent ecosystem in these sectors. Tesla’s China sales, meanwhile, have tripled in the last three years. But given the ongoing changes in policies and the talented pool of techies, India can become a good alternative. And a lot of these gold-standard techies come out from the country’s IITs. But, it seems, older IITs still hold an edge over the ones set up recently. A CAG report has indicated that the newer IITs are falling behind their counterparts in terms of performance and overall quality. So how can newer IITs catch up to Bombay and Madras counterparts?  After this interesting analysis of the country’s premier institutions, let us turn our gaze to its financial markets. Shares of select public sector undertaking companies have registered an impressive rally in the last one year. So then, are there any PSU pockets worth your money?  The government, meanwhile, may meet its disinvestment target for the current financial year even without selling any fresh stake in PSU, if its plans for IDBI Bank and Concor go through. But right now, all eyes are on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit. On Wednesday evening, he presented a bunch of gifts to US president Joe Biden and First Lady Jilly Biden. And one of them caught everyone’s attention. It was a 7.5-carat lab-grown green diamond. We all have heard of blood diamonds, but what is this green diamond? Let us find out in this episode of the podcast.

Jun 23, 2023
TMS Ep460: IndiGo aircrafts, free power, global markets, Gift Nifty index

India overtook the United Kingdom to become world’s fifth largest economy last year. And it is projected to grow at a rate of over 6% in the coming decade. So like others, Indian airlines too are racing to tap the demand from growing ranks of middle-class consumers. The country’s largest airline Indigo has inked a pact to purchase 500 planes this week. It has pipped Air India to set the new record for the biggest single-purchase agreement in history. So, what does this order mean for IndiGo and its future strategy? And what does it mean for the Indian civil aviation market?  After these two back-to-back historic aircraft deals, the challenge for Indian aviation is that it is staring at a duopoly now. Meanwhile, another sector critical for the economy is facing its own set of challenges. Parties in several states rode to power by promising cheap or free electricity. At least 27 states and union territories are now providing subsidised electricity to consumers. But it comes at a cost. Some of it is being borne by the industries in the form of cross subsidy. So is free power for households hurting industry?  Free or subsidised electricity has hit the discoms too, and affected their ability to pay power generators on time. Moving on, global markets have staged a smart recovery this calendar year, outperforming Indian stock markets by a wide margin. However, given sputtering economic recovery in China, and recession fears lingering around the US economy, how should investors approach global markets?  Staying with the theme of markets, we all know what Nifty is. The Nifty 50 and Bank Nifty indices are most-tracked by traders and are barometers for market sentiment. Starting July 3, market participants will hear another term more often. That is Gift Nifty. Sounds interesting, but what is it? Let's understand it and delve deeper in this episode of the podcast.

Jun 22, 2023
TMS Ep459: Electric two-wheelers, Gurugram realty, MFI stocks, WhatsApp

The average daily sales of electric-two wheelers slipped into slow lane in June, as the withdrawal of subsidies and the resultant jump in prices apparently forced customers to slam brake on the electric-2 wheeler purchase. So what is the road ahead? Can electric two-wheelers survive without subsidies in India?  Indeed, the fledgling electric two-wheeler segment needs a little push from the government to take off. Its increased adoption will also help the government meet its green goals. Moving on, India’s residential real estate market is on a fast lane now, after a sluggish period marked by pandemic. People are loosening their purse strings like never before to purchase luxury homes. But wait. It is not only Mumbai’s beach facing areas which are costing a fortune. IT hub Gurgaon too is on the fire.  A recent hike in circle rates too pushed the rates of luxury properties in Gurugram. Let us now shift our gaze to the financial markets. Shares of micro-finance lenders have surged up to 45% over the last six months, even as the benchmark indices added just 2%. We find out the reason behind this rise, and if the current rally will sustain. Powel is widely believed to reiterate his views before the US panel, which he expressed in post-Fed meeting press briefings. People in the US are breathing easy now as inflation has dropped by half from last year’s peak. Back home too, people heaved a sigh of relief for a different reason. WhatsApp has introduced a new feature which can address the menace of unwanted calls. What is it? And how can it save us from spammers? Listen to this episode of the podcast for more.

Jun 21, 2023
TMS Ep458: Biparjoy cyclone, JioCinema, equity markets, MQ-9B drone

Cyclone Biparjoy has weakened. But not before wreaking havoc in Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan. While there was no loss of life reported, normal life has been hit hard. Biparjoy has dealt a big blow to the coastal economy. With the frequency and intensity of such cyclones increasing, what are the larger economic implications?  But the good part is that Biparjoy has given a short relief from scorching heat in parts of northern India. Moving on, JioCinema, it seems, is slowly turning up the heat on its rivals – like Netflix and Amazon Prime. And the modus operandi is the same old tried and tested formula: start with freebies. Jio Cinema streamed the 2023 IPL free of charge. Soon it had over 10 million subscribers. So what does Jio Cinema’s rise mean for the other players?    Let us turn our gaze to financial markets now. With the Sensex and Nifty trading near their respective 52-week highs, are the markets set for a correction? And, what should be your strategy in this backdrop? Are there any sectors and stocks that are still worthy of investment at the current levels? Puneet Wadhwa spoke with market pundits on how they see the markets shaping up over the next few months, and the stocks and sectors that you can still bet on. Defense stocks, meanwhile, will be in the focus for the next few days as Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the United States. And even before the start of his visit, India has approved the acquisition of 31 MQ-9B drones from Washington. As heavy as an African elephant, this drone has earned the reputation of being a silent killer. Listen to this episode of the podcast to know more.

Jun 20, 2023
TMS Ep457: High airfares, tutoring industry, FDs over equities, NDRF

After hitting sky-high levels on busy routes, airfares have reportedly come down considerably in the last few days. Thanks to government intervention, which had on June 5 asked airlines to “self-monitor” the ticket prices. The prices had skyrocketed in May after the grounding of embattled GoFirst airline. But, is that the only reason airfares shot up in recent weeks? And, does that surge point to a regulatory failure?  GoFirst too plans to take to the skies again by the end of this month. Hope that will further bring down the airfares. Moving on, India’s tutoring industry is already soaring high. It is no more a fledgling sector. Kota, Delhi, Prayagraj, Chennai, … the list of coaching hubs seems never ending. But where do we stand? How big is India’s tutoring industry? And how does it compare to the world?  No wonder, India’s ed-tech sector has done so well in the last few years. Meanwhile, it seems, the country’s financial markets are not performing that well. Equity investment has delivered negligible returns over the past year. It was close to one per cent. And 2023 has so far proved to be a subdued year as investors track the trajectory of global monetary policy. But other asset classes like bank FDs are offering as much as over 9% interest in some cases. Against this backdrop, is it time to turn towards FDs over the near term?  Weather on Dalal Street and beyond has suddenly turned pleasant. It is all due to cyclone Biparjoy -- which made landfall in Gujarat last week, leaving a trail of destruction at ground zero. But thanks to the personnel of the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF, the loss of lives was minimal. Thousands were evacuated on time. But what is NDRF? Listen to this episode of the podcast to know more.

Jun 19, 2023
TMS Ep456: PLI course correction, HNI exodus, markets, dark patterns

The Centre’s production-linked incentive, or PLI scheme, which seeks to incentivise manufacturing in India by providing fiscal stimulus, seems to have run into problems. The government is reportedly planning to hold a first-of-its-kind meeting later in June, to address implementation issues being faced by producers under the scheme. Moreover, government sources have indicated that out of the 14 sectors under the scheme, the ones where progress has been sluggish may see a course correction. So, what changes does the PLI scheme need and why?  The detailed analysis and subsequent course correction for the six ‘sluggish sectors’ under the PLI scheme would help in better utilisation of fund allocation over the next two to three years. While India Inc is striving to strengthen its industrial base, a significant number of Indian millionaires have been relocating abroad of late. Though the Indian economy is growing at a faster rate and creating more high net worth individuals, the private wealth migration is a matter of concern. So, why are the HNIs leaving India?    Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve’s surprise hawkish pause of interest rate hike spoiled investors’ sentiment back home, on Thursday. Domestic benchmark indices slipped up to 0.5% after the US Fed projected two more rate hikes this year. Amid the rising interest rate scenario in global economies, will domestic equities face pressure in the near-term? How should investors navigate this volatility?  The Centre recently announced that it will come up with guidelines for ‘dark patterns’ on the internet in the next two months. The ministry of corporate affairs and ASCI met with various stakeholders including Google, Meta and Amazon to discuss these manipulative practices. But what are these ‘dark patterns’? Listen to this episode of the podcast to know more.

Jun 16, 2023
TMSEp455: Subhash Chandra, data security Q&A, AMC stocks, spatial computing

Media baron Subhash Chandra’s rise wasn’t meteoric. It was slow, and carefully crafted. From being a school dropout, he went on to set up India’s first private satellite TV channel -- the Zee TV, which reportedly reaches out to 1.3 billion people. Now 72, Chandra has seen many ups and downs. But, it seems, a lot of things are stacked up against him now. Sebi has barred Chandra and his son Punit Goenka from holding the position of a director or key managerial personnel in any listed company. So, is this the end of the road for Subhash Chandra?   Apart from Subhash Chandra, another news which caught people’s attention this week was of alleged data theft from the government's CoWIN platform. The Centre, meanwhile, has trashed the reports. Minister of State for Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar has tweeted that the data being shared seemed to be from an earlier breach. But, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team has still been told to submit a report on the matter. Amid concerns that the leaked data could be used for identity theft, phishing emails, scams, and even extortion calls, Bhaswar Kumar spoke to experts to understand where the problem lies and how it can be fixed.    Clearly the regulator has its task cut out. And it will not be easy with the swift rise of AI. Meanwhile, markets regulator Sebi has proposed tweaks to the total expense ratio structure-- which is expected to increase cost burden for asset managers. So how can the proposed changes impact stocks of AMCs?  Sebi wants uniformity and transparency by bringing all additional expenses within the TER. Moving on, we are now a step closer to the world of spatial computing -- where the physical world fuses with the digital. Tech giant Apple recently unveiled Apple Vision Pro headset which uses spatial computing. But what is this new technology everyone is talking about? Listen to this episode of the podcast for the answers.

Jun 15, 2023
TMS Ep454: India in AI race, oil prices, OMCs stocks, Giving Pledge

Generative artificial intelligence has become the watchword across the world. Big firms in countries like the US and China have been investing billions of dollars annually in the AI space. And the generative AI fever has India’s tech start-ups in its grip too. But even with a big government push, can India catch up in the AI tech-development race?  The next few months will be both interesting and crucial, as generative AI takes shape. Moving on, the prices of petrol and diesel are still on fire. Petrol was selling over 110 rupee a litre in Mumbai this week. This is despite low crude prices and a good showing by the Indian oil marketing companies in the recent quarter. So why are Indian oil companies not reducing their prices?  Taking cognizance of oil marketing companies’ Q4 profits -- which surged between 50% and over 150%-- the government has hinted that they may reduce retail prices. But will OMCs accept the government’s suggestion? How will it impact their earnings? And what should be the investors’ strategy?  Stock market is a means to create wealth for millions in the country. But sharing wealth can be as gratifying as creating it. Maybe even more. Nikhil Kamath, the co-founder of Zerodha -- which is India’s biggest stock brokerage in terms of volume of trade -- has been in the news recently for joining ‘The Giving Pledge’ and promising to donate 50% of his wealth. But what exactly is ‘The Giving Pledge’? Listen to this episode of the podcast to know more.

Jun 14, 2023
TMS Ep453: NASSCOM AI regulation, spam calls, markets, cyclones categories

The genie is out of the bottle now. And it is getting bigger. Since the benefits outweigh the risks, big corporations may not be interested in putting it back. But globally, the chorus for regulating generative artificial intelligence is getting louder by the day. Trade body NASSCOM too recently came out with a set of guidelines for regulating generative AI in India, which is now home to world’s largest population, and is quickly becoming one of the biggest consumer markets for this emerging tech. But, will these regulatory guidelines be enough?  The debate around generative AI has also thrown up questions around data privacy. With the recent massive hack on the AIIMS servers this question has now assumed an urgency. Tushar Verma sheds light on one of the prevalent misuses of our data. Which is the phenomenon of spamming - the scores of unwanted calls and messages that you get daily. So do financial services providers have a licence to spam?  Hope efforts being put by the government and the private sector end up decluttering our message boxes. Let us now turn our gaze to another pressing issue the country is facing. The specter of El-Nino. The first 12 days of this monsoon season has seen nearly 60% less than normal rains. So will El-Nino-linked weather conditions push the inflation in food and fuel higher? And will this fear add to woes of the Indian stocks market in the near-term?  Staying with the topic of weather, cyclone Biparjoy is expected to make a landfall at the Indian coastline in Gujarat on June 15. It has been categorised as a “very severe cyclonic storm". But how are cyclones categorised? Let's understand in this episode of the podcast.

Jun 13, 2023
TMS EP452: Byju's debt crisis, Apple Vision Pro, market, sellers' inflation

Byju’s -- India’s most valued start-up -- is in the news, yet again. It has defaulted on payment of $40 million to lenders in the US, and is reportedly effecting another round of lay-offs. US-based asset manager BlackRock too has slashed its valuation by 62%. Things clearly are not looking good, but is there a way out of this debt crisis for Byju’s?  On the other hand Byju’s has introduced generative artificial intelligence in its learning modules to provide students with personalised learning experiences. Worldwide companies are increasingly taking the help of technology to enhance services. Tech giant Apple too has taken another technological leap with its augmented reality headset, called Apple Vision Pro. This device seems to have taken the tech world by storm. So how will this much-anticipated headset change the user experience?  Looks like Apple has put in a lot of thought into making the new headset. Even people with prescription glasses can use it, as Apple has partnered with German opticals manufacturer Zeiss to create magnetic lenses that connect to the inside of the headset. Moving on, India’s stock market, recently, reclaimed its position as the world’s fifth largest market. Over the years, equity trading has seen many changes. One man who saw all these changes is Kisan R Choksey, the chairman-founder of KR Choksey Shares and Securities. In our next segment, Business Standard’s Puneet Wadhwa talks to Kisanbhai, as he is fondly called, to understand what has been his investing mantra over the years? In the first half of 2020, stock markets plummeted across the globe due to the onset of pandemic. The virus also disrupted supply chain, pushing prices of essential commodities. That bad phase is behind us, but prices haven’t come down. Economist Isabella called it “sellers’ inflation.

Jun 12, 2023
TMS EP451: RBI repo rate pause, PSU banks, markets, Nvidia GPUs

The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee decided to keep the benchmark lending rates unchanged for the second consecutive meeting. While Governor Shaktikanta Das appeared bullish on growth and also lowered inflation projections marginally, he remained cautious about external factors that could affect both inflation and GDP growth going forward. So will the pause by RBI lead to a pivot?  Governor Shaktikanta Das recently acknowledged the role played by banks in supporting the economy and maintaining resilience. But he also sounded a note of caution, and asked public sector banks to further strengthen governance. It comes at a time when the financial health of government-run banks has improved remarkably. So is there reason to worry? And are public sector banks under pressure?  Most bank stocks, meanwhile, fell on Thursday. Equity markets too nursed losses even as the RBI kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.5%. Going ahead, analysts see two key factors moving the markets in the near-term. What are these triggers, and what should be investors’ strategy?  Staying with the markets theme, the shares of computer chip designer Nvidia have skyrocketed in the last one year, pushing the company’s valuation beyond one trillion-dollar mark. With it, Nvidia has joined the league of tech giants like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. Nvidia is the largest GPU manufacturer in the world. Listen to this episode of the podcast to know more.

Jun 09, 2023
TMS Ep450: Auto inventories, IIT-Madras, RIL, de-risking and decoupling

India’s passenger vehicle segment is facing a strange situation. While big and swanky cars are zooming out of the showrooms, the smaller ones, it seems, are piling up with wholesale dealers. Inventory levels have soared to 45 days -- up from around 39 days in March. So what does it mean for the car market in India?  While small cars are struggling to hit the fast lane in terms of sales, sale of two-wheelers, meanwhile, saw a good growth of 9% in May due to the wedding season and improved rural incomes. Moving on, the education ministry has come out with the National Institute Ranking Framework, 2023. And IIT Madras is at the top again -- for the fifth year running. But how does IIT Madras continue to beat the rest? And why have the newer IITs seen a fall in their rankings?  Interestingly, IIT Madras is also mulling developing a driverless car by 2025. Well then, from the country’s premier institutes, let’s turn our gaze to the largest conglomerate. Shares of oil-to-telecom major Reliance Industries have underperformed benchmark indices in the past one year. Foreign portfolio investors, too, have trimmed their holdings in the stock over the past few quarters. So what has led to this steep fall in the conglomerate’s shares? And will the Dalal Street’s big boy reverse its downtrend?  Moving on to our last segment, today we are decoding two interesting terms that were recently coined by world leaders. G7 countries have stressed their desire to “de-risk,” and not “de-couple,” from the Chinese economy. But what do these two terms mean and how are they different? Listen to this episode of the podcast to know more.

Jun 08, 2023
TMS Ep449: NEP, rising airfares, Jonathan Garner, spelling competition

The government came out with the National Electricity Plan last week. It says that India’s power generation capacity will touch 900 gigawatts by the end of this decade -- in line with the rising demand. But it also wants a rejig in the country’s energy mix. The plan is to cut the share of coal-based power and let renewable energy sources fill that gap. But, given that the base load might still depend on coal, is the goal too ambitious?  Unseasonal rains, meanwhile, have kept a tab on electricity demand this summer. But, it seems, the airfares are on fire this season. On some routes, the fare is now 10 times higher than what it was a few days ago. So should the government intervene to bring down the prices of airline tickets?  After the skyrocketing airfares, let us turn our gaze to markets. Indian equity markets are still not a top buy for Morgan Stanley, who prefer Japan, Korea and Taiwan more in the Asian region. Business Standard’s Puneet Wadhwa caught up with JONATHAN GARNER, Morgan Stanley’s Asia Equity Strategist on the sidelines of Morgan Stanley India Investment Forum in Mumbai to understand the rationale for this, and where does India exactly lie on their preference list. In its recent June report too, Morgan Stanley retained the equal-weight stance on Indian equity markets. After the financial markets, let us now dive into the realms of the dictionary. How many of you know the spelling of ‘psammophile’ (pronounced Sam uh file)? Well, 14-year-old Dev Shah, who won the United States’ prestigious National Spelling Bee championship last week, knew it. It was the winning word for him. A host of Indian-origin students have won this award in the past too. Listen to this episode of the podcast to know more.

Jun 07, 2023
TMS Ep448: Railway safety, Modi-Biden agenda, markets, railway signalling

On June 4th, two days after a three-train crash resulted in 275 deaths and 1,175 injuries in Odisha’s Balasore district, the Ministry of Railways recommended an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the incident. A railways official also said that the Ministry of Home Affairs was already assisting the Railways in the probe and preliminary findings indicated a signalling error. While we wait for more answers, let us analyse how the Railways has performed when it comes to ensuring the safety of its passengers. How is it managing critical areas like signalling and maintenance? And which zones are lagging behind?  Safety concerns of the Indian Railway need to be addressed urgently, especially at a time when the national transporter is seeing a significant adoption of technology. However, the railways are not the only sector in India that is set for a technological leap. As PM Narendra Modi prepares to leave for his first state visit to the US in 15 years, India is set to elevate its strategic technology partnership with the US in defence, energy and space. Among various agreements, all eyes will be on the GE Jet Engines pact. So, what are all on the agenda for Modi-Biden to meet? And what should we expect from this?  Meanwhile, equity markets in India continue to face volatility as fears of a global slowdown have kept investors on the edge offsetting hopes of ease in the monetary tightening cycle. So, should investors play it safe and stick to defensive themes amid current uncertainty?  On June 4, as the restoration efforts at the scene of the Balasore train accident were being evaluated, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw stated that the change in electronic interlocking was to blame for the tragedy. It resulted in the death of more than 275 passengers. Find out the crucial role that Electronic Interlocking Systems plays in railway safety in this episode of the podcast.

Jun 06, 2023
TMS Ep447: Semiconductor policy, Apple store sale, markets, carrier hotels

India has reopened the window for applying to its ambitious chip-making plan after the three aspirants failed to qualify for the financial incentives. And it has also tweaked the old scheme -- extending incentives for wafers of all sizes. So what forced the government to tweak its semiconductor policy? And, how can India's chip making dream be realised?  While India’s chip making plan is still waiting in the wings, its bid to become a phone exporting country has finally taken off. Driven by Apple’s bumper shipments, India’s overall smartphone exports crossed the 40,000-crore-rupee mark for the first time in FY 23. Meanwhile, the iPhone maker’s first two stores in India have grossed sales of about 50 crores in less than 45 days of their opening.  In India, this is a record as far as sales for any electronics store are concerned. So, has Tim Cook’s India bet paid off? And what are the challenges ahead as Apple's competitor Samsung also plans to open its own stores here?    Over 6 to 7000 fans had thronged the opening of Apple’s retail stores in Delhi and Mumbai. Tim Cook was overwhelmed with the reception he got in the country. Moving on, let us turn our gaze to Mint Street. The RBI’s monetary policy committee will meet between June 6th and 8th this week. While investors expect the central bank to hold the repo rate for a second straight meeting at 6.5%, it would be RBI governor Shaktikanta Das' commentary that would trigger the next directional move in the markets. Will the governor's address help markets move out of the consolidation phase? And how do rate sensitive sectors look on the charts ahead of the policy?  Well, in these times of high-frequency trading, a millisecond can make a lot of difference. Information travels at the speed of light now. Thanks to the Internet. And do you know that for most big corporates, data centres play a crucial role. They are also called Internet exchange points - or colloquially “carrier hotels” where the internet lives. Listen to this episode of the podcast for answers.

Jun 05, 2023
TMS Ep446: Bank metrics, start-up funding, markets, evergreening of loans

Indian banks are on a roll. The cumulative profit of government banks has soared 57% in FY 23 from the last fiscal to breach the one trillion-rupee mark. And the net profit of private lenders shot up by 23% YoY. The bad loan burden -- which had kept them down for nearly a decade - too has lightened. But, amid all this, the regulator is advising caution. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has warned banks against hiding stress and pointed to gaps in governance at certain banks. So, why is the Governor worried?  While Indian banks are on a roll, the startups, it seems, have run out of steam. Their run of bad luck -- which started in the second half of 2022 -- still continues. Funding for domestic startups fell 75% YoY in the first quarter of calendar year 2023. So why are foreign investors circumspect? And what can startups do to convince them to loosen the purse string and release the dry powder?  The shares of several new age companies, which include startups like Zomato and Paytm are, it seems, on a recovery path. They have gained 10-34% so far in 2023. Moving on, the Q4 earnings season has wrapped with no major surprises for investors. But as the outlook for some pockets, especially non-banks, remains weak, will India Inc. continue to grapple with an earnings downgrade ahead?    After the markets, let us turn our focus to the banking sector – which was the theme of our first story. Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das has cautioned banks against aggressive growth strategies and the evergreening of loans. But what exactly is this evergreening of loans? Listen to this episode of the podcast to know more.

Jun 02, 2023
TMS Ep445: GDP data, JioMart consolidation, new age stocks, WTO

Indian economy grew by 6.1% in the final quarter of financial year 2023 -- nudging the overall growth rate to breach the 7 per cent mark. But what led to this surprise buoyancy in the GDP numbers during the March quarter? And what are the key factors which made this possible?  A positive consumer sentiment is indeed a good news for players in the FMCG sector -- where margin is thin, and competition stiff. And a player with deep pockets is continuously heating up the competition. Reliance Retail is now consolidating its business-to-business vertical. A few months after starting a price war in the grocery B2B space with large discounts, JioMart is now trying to improve margins. It fired over 1,000 workers in May and has plans to lay off many more soon. So what does the company plan to achieve? And, how will it shape its future?  Now that we’ve looked at what’s happening at the country’s largest conglomerate, let’s see how the new age companies are performing. Their operational performance remained positive in the March quarter. The stocks, too, have shown recovery from their lows. So should investors add these to their portfolios?  The key benchmark indices wilted under selling pressure on the last day of May, as traders chose to take home some gains after the four-day rally. Moving on, a WTO panel has ruled that India’s import duties on some information and technology products are inconsistent with global trade norms. India is now mulling approaching the WTO’s appellate body against this ruling. But ever wondered what is WTO? Listen to this episode of the podcast for answers.

Jun 01, 2023
TMS Ep444: JioCinema, recession in Germany, Adani stocks, heat dome

IPL 2023 finally came to an end on May 29, with the Chennai Super Kings clinching its fifth win. The latest edition was remarkable for several records broken and milestones established on field. But off the field too, the massive viewership numbers for IPL 2023 seems to have given its OTT broadcaster — Jio Cinema — a big push in its race for a place among the leaders of India’s OTT-space. But, is the Reliance-owned streaming platform ready to take on giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime?    JioCinema didn’t break new ground with its free IPL streaming. But its entry will make a big dent on the ARPUs of other OTT platforms – just like it did for the telecom players in 2016 and 2017. On the other side of the globe, the world’s fourth largest economy meanwhile is facing a technical recession. Germany, recorded a 0.3% contraction in GDP in the first quarter of this year. Among various reasons, a prime trigger is the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war that has disrupted the supply of natural gas. Germany is also one of the prime destinations for India’s exports. So, will the Indian economy take a hit because of the recession in Deutschland?    So, the good news is, recession in Germany alone will not significantly impact India’s merchandise exports. Back in India, shares of Gautam Adani’s conglomerate are clawing back from an epic rout, after a Supreme Court panel found no evidence of regulatory failure or market manipulation in stock prices. Can the billionaire now convince investors and lenders to infuse fresh capital in the Group? Besides, how does the road ahead looks like for group stocks?  Summer is here. Notwithstanding some rain relief in Northern India, the country is reeling under scorching heat. Meanwhile, a heat dome phenomenon has been reportedly occurring in the United States since the past month. The unique weather condition is also common in north-western India and some parts of China and Bangladesh during the summers. So, what is a heat dome? Listen to this episode of the podcast for answers.

May 31, 2023
TMS Ep443: IPL revenue, data misuse, markets, Neuralink

It had hit a boundary on the very first ball. The Indian Premier League (IPL) became the country’s first unicorn in 2008 -- the year it was formed. And in its 15th year, just before the beginning of this year’s season, it became a decacorn, with its business value crossing the $10 billion mark. IPL has indeed brought unprecedented windfall to cricket. Its huge popularity has brought lucrative media and sponsorship deals over the years. So in today’s first story we explore if the IPL has become what Super Bowl is in the USA?  Did unwanted messages irk you while you were enjoying the nail- biting IPL match? And do you also get annoying calls? Then you are not the only one who is complaining about it. An increased number of people are reporting about such unwanted calls and messages. And the government is working to address it. Last week, it asked retailers not to insist on phone numbers of customers. So what are the regulations around sharing of phone numbers? Which authority monitors it? And finally, how will the upcoming Digital Personal Data Protection Bill protect your data?  Talking about data, Meta was slapped with a record $1.3 billion privacy fine last week. The reason? It was accused of transferring data to the US agencies. Moving on, the US leaders reached a tentative deal to raise the government’s 31.4 trillion dollar debt ceiling for two years. This measure brought a relief rally in equity markets across the globe on Monday, May 29. Going ahead, will this uptrend sustain or fizzle out soon? Moreover, will the expanded US debt limit make emerging markets a favourable bet?  It is not just lifting of the debt ceiling. The US took another big decision last week which may also have far reaching consequences. The country’s Food and Drug Administration finally gave a nod to Elon Musk’s brain-implant startup Neuralink to go ahead with the first human clinical study. The company plans to use its microchips to treat conditions such as paralysis. Listen to this episode of the podcast for more.

May 30, 2023
TMS Ep442: New Parliament building, Mt Everest, Nilesh Shah, price rigging

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building on Sunday, May 28 - two days after completing nine years in office and just months before he faces general elections. So as the seat of power shifts from the iconic Parliament building to the new one a couple of blocks away, Tushar Verma offers a peek into exactly how it was built. Who built it? And why was it needed?  From the seat of power for the world’s largest democracy, let us turn our gaze to the world’s highest peak. But it is no longer lonely out there. During the season, Mount Everest is brimming with climbers brushing past each other to reach the summit. The peak is also a pillar for Nepal’s economy. So if you are also planning to hit the mountain trail, Thareek Ahmed’s report will for sure come handy. It tells how much money and time you will need, apart from a sound health, to climb Everest. This is the month when weather is clear in the Himalayas for climbers trying to reach Everest peak. Moving on, this time, the month of May has proved to be volatile for the Indian equity markets. So how long will the range-bound movement continue amid volatility? Puneet Wadhwa caught up with Nilesh Shah, Group President & MD, Kotak Mahindra AMC on how he sees the markets playing out over the next few weeks and his interpretation of the recent Sebi norms for the mutual fund industry. February saw one of the sharpest market capitalisation declines in the history of Indian stock markets. While markets have recovered from the shock delivered by Hindenburg Research, Adani group stocks haven’t. One of the main allegations leveled by the short seller against the Adani group was that it indulged in price rigging. But what is it? Listen to this episode of the podcast to know.

May 29, 2023
TMSEp441: 9 yrs of Modi, EU's Meta fine, LIC stock, Sengol

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has completed nine years in office. Between bowing down at the steps of Parliament to stepping into a new Parliament building, these nine years were marked with several challenges-- including the once-in-a-century pandemic. But how do we judge the performance of any government? One of the ways is to find out how the predecessor performed. We analyse how the governments led by Narendra Modi and Manmohan Singh performed on select economic and social indicators across applicable periods.  What may also go down as one of the hallmarks of the Modi government is its proposed privacy law. The reworked Digital Personal Data Protection Bill is likely to be tabled in the Monsoon session of Parliament. Meanwhile, in Europe, Facebook owner Meta Platforms has been slapped with a record $1.3 billion fine for failing to protect users’ personal information from the US security services. It has been told to stop transferring users’ data to the US. So how will this action by the European Union privacy regulator influence India’s plans to regulate big techs?  Meta, meanwhile, has started the third and last round of layoffs. Several top Indian executives have also found their names in the list. Moving on, India’s largest insurance company, Life Insurance Corporation, had hit the bourses a year ago. But the stock proved to be a wealth destroyer for investors, crashing nearly 40% during the period. The management had to deal with the decline in the value of its investments in Adani group, along with higher tax rate on insurance premium above five lakh rupees. Going ahead, what does the road look like for LIC stock? Will it finally reward its investors or should you stay on the sidelines?  From Dalal Street, let us shift focus to the corridors of the newly-built Parliament. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the building this Sunday, on May 28. He will also install a historic sceptre from Tamil Nadu next to the Lok Sabha Speaker’s seat. It is called Sengol. Listen to thjs episode of the podcast for answers.

May 26, 2023