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Showing posts from August, 2014

In a multi-billion dollar deal that could have bearing on India’s fight against black money, global giant HSBC, sold its Swiss private banking assets worth $12.5 billion to Liechtenstein’s LGT Bank.

In a multi-billion dollar deal that could have bearing on India’s fight against black money, global giant HSBC, on Tuesday, sold its Swiss private banking assets worth $12.5 billion to Liechtenstein’s LGT Bank. India is probing cases of alleged black money stashed by Indians abroad through these two banks — HSBC Geneva in Switzerland and LGT Bank. However, lists of Indian account holders in both places were received by India through indirect channels — HSBC list came from France and LGT list from Germany. Swiss authorities have been refusing to provide any assistance or share further information in these cases. Switzerland says that it cannot provide any help to Indian authorities as their requests are based on ‘stolen data’ as Germany and France got the secret lists of account holders after certain bank employees had stolen the data. The lists were later shared by Germany and France with India and other nations whose citizens figured on those lists. The announcement of HSBC-LGT deal…

Hyderabad and Secunderabad(sister city) send highest number (>7000/year) of students in India to USA

scrutiny of Indian student traffic flow provides some remarkable insights. For instance, Hyderabad (26220) was issued the most F-1 visas from India (nearly 30,000 when combined with Secunderabad). This is almost as much as Mumbai (17294), Pune (5551) and Delhi (8728) combined. In fact, there are more students in the US from undivided Andhra Pradesh (by a long shot when you add the 2000 each from Vijayawada and Visakapatnam) than any other state in India. Chennai (9141) and Bangalore (8835) are running neck and neck in F-1 recipients, with Ahmedabad and Vadodara together accounting for about 9000 F-1s. Incidentally, Seoul and Beijing topped the list of cities issued the most F-1 student visas with around 50,000 each.

The outlier here is Kolkota, which was issued only 3881 F-1s, but here is the twist in the tale. While a majority of students from other Indian cities came to the US for their master's degree, a large per centage (44 %) of Kolkatans came to the US for their doctorate. …

Points about a written will to ensure the heirs get the property smoothly

If you have been putting off making a will, remember that your could face problems after your death. In the absence of a clear will, questions can be raised about the stability of the (the one making the will). There have been several cases where heirs have lost wealth that could have been theirs had the testator taken adequate care while drafting the will.

Here is one that came up before the and was decided in July 2013. Those keen to seriously implement succession planning should note the key features. In the case, Raja Harinder Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Faridkot state, died on October 16, 1989 leaving behind three daughters as his legal heirs. His only son had predeceased him (in 1981). After his death, his registered(dated 1982) was produced before the legal heirs. According to this will, his entire estate devolved onto a trust, whose trustees had been appointed by the raja. The trustees included his two daughters and some of his em…

India gets ready for real estate sales going up in most tier1 and tier2 cities.

Heavy discount of 7 to 15% is being offered. "Housing prices are expected rise by five to eight per cent in the later part of this year and it might go up by as much as 15 per cent in certain micro markets," said Samantak Das, chief economist at property tracker Knight Frank India.

"With the backdrop of a stable government, coupled with high expectations of faster decision making and positive reforms, there is a positive outlook pertaining to the residential sector in terms of sales and launches," Das added.

The sector has been battling declining sales and higher inventory for two years. Developers have been hard-pressed on funds, with not many lenders willing to lend money to the sector. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region had an inventory of 53 months at the end of June and the National Capital Region of 45 months, says research firm Liases Foras. Hyderabad has an inventory of 47 months, Pune of 23 months and Chennai of 26 months. Bangalore has the least with 19 mont…

How mutual funds hide bad performance and What are the good mutual funds for Muslims?

Mutual fund performance stats trick us by showing the annualized returns which appear great when the markets are high. However we should always look at Absolute returns for each complete year. Data like this is available on sites like and many other sites. Also calculate average absolute return by averaging the absolute returns of previous years.
another way to measure the performance is to compare from the benchmark. The fund should give usually higher returns every year as compared to the benchmark. The fund manager can not hide his performance as compared to benchmark. There are some mutual funds which do not have a benchmark. Avoid them.

Example 1

Below is data for Tata Ethical Fund .
Benchmark: CNX 500

Absolute Returns (in %)
YearQtr 1Qtr 2Qtr 3Qtr 4Annual20144.815.2---2013-

Shamefully funny side effects of a debt based economic system-Soros bet over Argentina's debt

Less than a month after Argentina defaulted for the second time in 13 years, George Soros has suddenly emerged as a key rival of fellow billionaire Paul Singer in the legal fight over the nation’s debt. According to court documents filed in London last week, Quantum Partners LP, a fund managed by Soros’s family office, has joined a group of investors suing bond trustee Bank of New York Mellon Corp. for failing to distribute 226 million euros ($298 million) of interest payments on Argentine debt. The group, which also includes Kyle Bass’s Hayman Capital Management LP, owns more than 1.3 billion of euro-denominated bonds, court documents obtained by Bloomberg News show. At the crux of the dispute is a U.S. court ruling won by Singer’s Elliott Management Corp., which blocked Argentina from paying its overseas debt until the country compensates him and other holders of debt from its 2001 default. While the ruling prevents BNY Mellon from transferring any money deposited by Argentina unti…

Blind ratings- Sweden rated AAA even when it has a housing bubble

Nobel Prize laureate and economist Paul Krugman has chimed in, saying Sweden probably has a significant housing bubble. Olaser | istock/360 | Getty Images Johan and Alejandra are the kind of Swedes the IMF has been warning about - piling up debt to keep up with an ever-rising property market and fund a lifestyle of travel, maids and nights out. The couple plan to buy a flat in Stockholm for 5 to 6 million Swedish crowns ($724,000 to $869,000), initially with an interest-only bank loan, among other spending plans. "I may travel, I may want to invest in a new business," said Alejandra, who runs a cafe in the city centre. Less than a month away from a general election, there are no votes in campaigning to stop the credit flowing, but there are fears that such Swedes could be the Achilles heel of a country that boasts a coveted AAA score from credit rating agencies Fitch and S&P. Four in 10 mortgage borrowers in Sweden are not paying off their debt, and those that are repay…

India's farmer suicides:270,000 and counting: are deaths linked to GM cotton? – in pictures

More than 270,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves since 1995. Campaigners say a contributing factor may be the high price of genetically modified seeds flooding the market, which is piling pressure on poorly paid growers, forcing many into a cycle of unmanageable debt.  Cotton production is painstaking work that requires long hours of cleaning, seeding and hauling water to fields. Each bloom must be cross-pollinated by hand then plucked. Workers can suffer respiratory and other health problems caused by exposure to pesticides, extreme heat and physical stress. Most earn barely enough to lift them out of poverty.Freshly picked cotton is stuffed into a bag before it is taken to the ginning mill where it will be processed and compressed into bales. The next stop will be storage yards, textile mills or even other countries where the cotton will be processed into yarn or cloth to make clothes. Clothing consumes 60% of the world's cotton production; European and North Ameri…