Local Market Money Spinners

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The combined consumer and enterprise WLAN market segments rose 1. New Google Sites rollout starts next week: Here's what you need to know. Now 70 of them - both white collar and brown collar - are investors. In the capital's Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, engineers working for the Tata Consultancy Services use their lunch hour to take a quick trip to the Delhi Stock Exchange on nearby Asaf Ali Road, to watch the action, consult their brokers and make investment decisions. Intrigued by the sudden broad-basing of the investor population, Hindustan Lever decided recently to find out who the new investors were, and commissioned a market research company to do a survey.

The surveyors quizzed people queueing up outside bank offices to subscribe to share issues and found that those waiting in line included office peons and bus drivers working for the Bombay Electric Supply and Transport BEST. The fever has spread up and down the social and economic ladder, and fanned out from the big metropolises to the smaller cities and burgeoning towns where more money is now known to be available on tap than even financial whiz-kids had imagined.

There are investors like Y. Kohli who sees in the stock-market a safe way of adding to his income in a manner that his bank cannot object: "Some of my colleagues run their own businesses on the side, but the stock-market is perfectly legal and gives me good returns," says Kohli.

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In geographical terms, eight new stock exchanges have been opened in the last three years, adding to the five that existed earlier in Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Madras. Already, the membership of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange commands a premium of Rs 20,, and of the Kanpur exchange Rs 65, In Delhi, which has come close to overtaking Calcutta in stock-market importance, the premium for membership of the stock exchange is a staggering Rs 4 lakh. And in towns that do not yet have stock-markets, sub-brokers and informal investors' clubs do a roaring business.

And in Chandigarh, S. Bhatia takes time off from his duties as a junior officer in the Allahabad Bank to run an investors' club that meets fortnightly in a local restaurant. The business conducted at each meeting of the club often crosses Rs 1 lakh, and Bhatia occasionally makes a trip to Delhi to do business with brokers. And at the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun, officer cadets go through a course in share investments, where they are advised not to waste their precious savings on such outdated favourites as fixed deposits in banks.

The speed and ease with which the stock-market has entered ordinary people's lives is entirely understandable.

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Mayya, executive director of the BSE points out that during the s share prices rose on average by only 6 per cent, much less than the 80 per cent increase in wholesale prices. During the s, share prices continued to rise slower than general prices. Says Mayya: "Shares were simply not a good investment earlier. Today they are, because they provide an effective hedge against inflation and yield handsome returns. And some of the leading scrips have doubled and trebled in market value, yielding undreamt of windfalls to the lucky investors.

Vijay, manager of the Grindlays Bank's merchant banking division. Sometimes people in company managements have got so worried by the price rise that they have rung me up asking if a takeover raid is being mounted. Even rumours are enough to set off quantum leaps in prices: an investment analyst in Bombay points out that the shares of Scooters India jumped from Rs 5 to Rs 20 on the strength of market rumour that Bajaj Auto might be taking over the scooter company.

With such extraordinary price increases now a fact of stock-market life, numerous stories do the rounds about overnight riches: Bimal Jain, a New Delhi housewife, bought debentures of Reliance Textiles a year ago at their then market price of Rs The company then offered to convert these into shares, which are ruling at record levels. Jain's initial investment of Rs 46, is now worth Rs 1. Such easy pickings may not always be available, and certainly the unprecedented boom that the stock-market has witnessed this year cannot continue indefinitely; some sort of stability must return, and indeed this transition is already evident.

Nevertheless, there is no turning back from the new investor awareness, the financial awakening of the middle class as the stock-market becomes a central factor in household financial planning.

Equally important, the general confidence about the economy being set for a take-off is now getting reflected on the stock-market. Five years ago, Hindustan Lever could boast of having the largest number of shareholders among all companies in the country: 80, Reliance alone has half as many investors as the total number of income tax payers in the country, and a couple of lakh shareholders in GNFC are farmers from the Gujarat countryside, introduced to the stock-market for the first time.

Indeed, according to a study conducted two months ago by the Industrial Development Bank of India IDBI , every eighth shareholder in the country today is a farmer. So the fever has spread to the rural areas as well. Now, even as the Government views with satisfaction the broad-basing of share ownerships, its postal department is creaking under the strain of handling the gigantic mailing lists for company annual reports. Reliance Textiles has to distribute its annual reports through over a dozen post offices because no one office can handle the workload.

And sometimes it is faster for the annual reports to be despatched from Bombay in trucks to other towns, where they are then handed in at the local post offices. The share boom has resulted in numerous other spin-offs. Investment consultants have sprouted round almost every corner in the financial districts of the big cities, and investment journals crowd the news stands: Fortune India , Money Opportunities , Investment Today , Current Investments India and numerous others like Market Outlook , Corporate Panorama , Investment Bonanza.

Market Trends and many more. There is also the promise of new investment companies and mutual funds that will undertake investment decisions on behalf of individual investors who may not be boned up on what is happening on the market. Another company riding the crest of the wave is the Bombay-based J. Financial and Investment Consultancy Services, whose managing director Nimesh Kampani says he had five branch offices five years ago. Today, he has 14 and in the next two years he hopes to take that number to Such spin-offs can only multiply in an economy that now sees the middle class growing in size and financial clout, where urbanisation and the increasing economic surpluses accumulating in private hands provide the base for a more general acceptance of the joint stock principle that makes for public limited companies and stock exchanges.

Yasaswy, the Hyderabad-based share analyst, is one of several people who now see good times ahead.

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And the most significant finding of a survey of investors that Yasaswy conducted in Hyderabad was that half of them were in the 31 to 45 age group, while another 16 per cent were in the 26 to 30 age group. Clearly, if the young are leading the headlong rush into the stock-market, the future can only be bright. Equally interestingly, Yasaswy's survey showed that more than half the investors had a monthly income of less than Rs 3, Yet another finding of the IDBI study of investment patterns is that the salaried class now outnumbers the self-employed and professionals among the investing population.

Now, with the Government talking of mandatorily offering company shares to employees in those companies, the shareholding population could explode manifold yet again and lead to another quantum leap on the already booming stock-market. If the entry of new classes of investors into the stock-market underlines the basic transformation of the share market, the history of this revolutionary development traces back to the late s, when dozens of foreign-controlled companies were forced by the Foreign Exchange Regulations Act FERA to dilute their foreign shareholding by offering shares to Indian investors.

This was invariably done at prices far below the ruling market rates for the concerned shares, and investors quickly sensed easy pickings and rushed in to buy a stake in such blue chip firms as Colgate-Palmolive, Hindustan Lever and some of the leading pharmaceutical firms. Many made instant money through these easy investments, and the shareholding population doubled overnight as the companies allotted their shares in small lots to an increasingly large numbers of investors.

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If this whetted the appetite of numerous investors for the stock-market, the advent of the convertible debentures in the early s marked a new phase of the boom. Convertible debentures are fixed-term bonds floated by companies at a specified rate of interest, with a part of the debenture value to be converted later into shares in the company. Thus, this investment instrument offered both an assured return in the form of interest plus the prospect of capital appreciation once the conversion to shares took place. In short, they were a surefire success, and the investors flocked in in droves once again.

The debentures listed on the BSE totalled only Rs crore in By , this number had shot up to Rs 2, crore. Through this period, the Government itself took a series of bold and imaginative steps to boost the capital market. Tomato cultivation acts as money-spinner in Rajshahi. Independent Online Desk. The farmers here mainly have cultivated different varieties of tomato like Nasib, NL, Slamot, Bongio, Mintu Super, Bizli and few others in different areas across the whole upazila this season. Abdul Awal, a tomato grower at Keshobpur village in Godagari upazila said, I cultivated tomato on three-bigha of land costing Tk 20, per bigha this season.

I have already started collecting tomatoes from the field and selling in the markets. We didnt face any serious problem with the tomato crop this year, said Shariful Islam, another farmer of Pirijpur village under the same upazila, who is happy with his harvest.

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From the beginning of the season one maund of tomatoes sold for over Taka 3,, said farmer Alimur Rahman. After picking tomatoes the first two times most growers already recouped their production costs. Most popular. State minister for power Nasrul Hamid yesterday said everyone to have access to electricity by June. Do you think the feat achievable by the timeframe? No Comment. Most Viewed.

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