Finance & Economy

  • G-20 leaders discussion update
    • Key issues agreed by world leaders at this summit included:
      • reform of international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
      • an agreement by the end of 2008, leading to a successful global free-trade deal
      • improvements to financial market transparency and ensuring complete and accurate disclosure by firms of their financial conditions
      • making sure banks and financial institutions' incentives "prevent excessive risk taking"
      • asking finance ministers to draw-up a list of financial institutions whose collapse would endanger the global economic system
      • strengthening countries' financial regulatory regimes
      • taking a "fresh look" at rules that govern market manipulation and fraud.
    • While the above is a gist obtained from BBC, if you have the patience, do take a look at the G20 official declaration here.
  • Some more measures by RBI to ease the liquidity situation in the country
    • It looked as though the RBI was concerned more with encouraging dollar inflows this time.
    • It allowed housing finance companies to borrow abroad and raised the ceiling on interest rates that banks could offer on non-resident deposits.
    • It further extended the term of the existing refinance facility aimed at encouraging banks to lend to mutual funds and finance companies to end March.
    • Further, corporates have been allowed to buy back foreign currency convertible bonds which are now quoting at dirt cheap rates.
    • It removed the additional capital requirement placed on lending to real estate and provided an additional Rs 22,500 cr for cheap export refinance.
  • GHIAL?
    • GMR Hyderabad International Airport.
    • The global financial crisis has hit its expansion plans. Its break even plans are based on the passenger traffic flowing through it. It is expecting that lesser number of passengers (7.3 mn as compared to 8.4 mn) will flow than planned.
    • The international trend in airport profitability appears to be based on an airport getting a major share of revenues from non-aero operations. That share appears to be 60% at present.
    • GHIAL is a joint venture between the GMR Group, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, the state government and the centre. The GMR group has a majority 63% stake, while MAHB holds 11%. The state government and Airports Authority of India (AAI) hold a 13% stake each in the project.
  • Futures & Options trading
    • Quite a few of you have asked me often to explain about futures and options trading. Lazy (or tied down with first things first) as I am, I always keep postponing explaining some concepts that will require some brain wracking. Aman Dhall has done an excellent job of it. Take a look at it here.
  • Is life imitating art or has art captured life?
    • I am sure many of you know about or have heard of Second Life, the online virtual reality game from Linden Labs.
    • Now a British couple which met in Second Life and went on to marry in real life, has filed for divorce, because the husband was caught cheating for having sex with a virtual prostitute. It was not the real husband, but his avatar on the game that was having sex with the virtual prostitute. The husband denies having anything like cyber sex or similar thing with the real person behind the virtual prostitute. Yet, the wife filed for divorce.
    • What do you say to this? I was left confused whether it is an issue of life imitating art or life being imprisoned by art? If you have the time or inclination, read this CNN report.