· Indian soccer’s fortunes on the upside?

o With Bharti Group focusing its attention on promoting soccer with the help of the government, it is quite likely that the game will see its fortunes rise in the near future.

o The Bharti Group has set its sights on qualifying India for the 2018 football World Cup. It is for the first time that a corporate house is investing in Indian football with a national footprint. What the game has so far seen is only regional support.

o India had qualified for the World Cup only once earlier: way back in 1950, that too by default. Even then, it could not participate because FIFA insisted that all players should wear boots. A number of the Indian players refused to abide by this rule and the team was forced to withdraw!!!

o India is ranked 143rd in the world today despite having the third oldest football tournament in the world – the Durand Cup.

· VC and PE investments in India

o The VC/PE investments in India have been touching record highs for the last couple of years. Look at the figures:

§ 2007: $14.2 bn in 390 deals

§ 2006: $7.5 bn in 299 deals

· Toyota likely to beat GM as the world’s largest automaker

o Production estimates from Toyota for 2007 put its production estimate at 9.51 mn units. This is roughly higher than GM’s figure of 9.28 mn units.

· Why are Indian Depository Receipts (IDRs) not taking off?

o Even though it is more than six months since the guidelines for IDRs were issued by SEBI, the reasons for the market not taking off include:

§ Very stiff criteria for the IDR issues. A foreign company that can meet these criteria will be strong enough to raise the money abroad. There will be no necessity for it tap into Indian savings. The guidelines include:

· Pre-issue paid up capital of and free reserves of $50 mn and minimum average capitalisation during the last three years of $100 mn.

· Continuous trading record of at least three years in the stock exchange of the parent country

· Track record of distribution of profits in three out of five years.

· Underlying shares not to exceed 25% of the post issue number of equity shares of the company.

§ Lack of interest by global merchant bankers in promoting IDRs.

§ Global players see India as a better destination for investment as of now; not as a market for raising money.

· Indian crude basket

o Time and again it is better that we keep a track of this figure. Look at what we noted from the papers earlier:

o Today’s paper reports these figures:

§ March 2002 at the time of dismantling APM: $23 per barrel

§ May 2004: $36 per barrel

§ 2006-07: $62 per barrel on average

§ 2007-08: $72.9 per barrel

§ November 2007: $92 per barrel

§ January 2008: $94.62 per barrel

o The result is up to October 2007, the under-recoveries for our oil companies are at Rs. 54,935 crores.

· Hype about BSP

o I have been one of the strong votaries of Mayawati’s style of inclusive politics. But take a look at today’s article by Krishna Ananth. He gives some strong reasons as to why the kind of inclusive politics being attempted by BSP will not yield results. The article is good for its analysis.

o Read it here.

· Women beat job stress better than husbands

o Do you know the name of the stress hormone? Reportedly it is ‘cortisol.’

o This hormone is found in the saliva samples. The cortisol levels have faded faster in happily married wives. But for husbands, these levels stayed high in the evening even for those in happy marriages.

o The conclusion is that happily married women are better at coping with work related stress than even happily married men!