19.01.2010

Finance & Economy
  • Carrefour set to enter India's retail scene?
    • Carrefour, Europe’s biggest retail chain, is reportedly close to a deal with Kishore Biyani of Pantaloon Retail to set up franchisee stores in India.
    • The Carrefour franchise stores will be aimed at affluent customers, pitting them against the Raheja group’s HyperCity, which operates four stores in three cities.
    • Currently, Indian rules permit foreign direct investment in the cashand-carry wholesale business to supply to other retailers, but not directly to customers. Foreign investment is barred in case of multi-brand retail stores, while single-brand retailers such as Nike and Reebok can be foreign owned up to 51%. Multi-brand international retailers are also allowed to operate, but only through the franchisee route.
    • Modern retail is only 5% of the entire retail pie, which is estimated to be $390 billion, according to the Retailers Association of India.
  • What is prepaid brokerage in stock market parlance?
    • It is nothing but brokerage amount paid in advance a la prepaid mobile services by clients to the broking houses.
    • Advance credit/deposit, or prepaid brokerage, is typically in vogue during a market rally when bullish investors expect plenty of trading opportunities.
    • Prepaid brokerage schemes have made a spectacular comeback as big stock broking houses look to hook as many clients as possible while the upbeat market sentiment lasts and customers flock to a trading system that is up to 40% cheaper.
  • On Mutual Fund investments by corporates and tax arbitrage
    • Why do corporates and banks want to invest in Mutual Funds?
      • They prefer to invest through MFs because of a tax arbitrage: dividends distributed by debt MFs attract a lower rate of tax as compared to income generated by direct participation in the market.
    • So what's the remedy?
      • The government should scrap dividend distribution tax (DDT) levied on companies and instead tax dividends in the hands of shareholders.
    • How would such a change benefit?
      • It would boost the government’s revenues, as promoters, who have been paying themselves hefty, tax-free dividends, pay 30% tax on their income.
      • It would end the tax arbitrage on investments in MFs and, thereby, remove the artificial incentive companies have for carrying out their treasury deployments through MFs.
      • Similarly, it would remove a large part of the incentive that banks have for lending to one another and to companies via MFs. There would be greater transparency on bank lending.
      • Such a move would, in addition, restore salience to the role of MFs as vehicles for retail investors to invest in securities. And all MFs can have tax pass-through status.
  • Bituminous vs. cement roads
    • Bituminous roads last for about 10 years while concrete roads last for about 40 years.
    • While the former require frequent repairs the latter remain virtually maintenance free.
    • The former are less fuel efficient -- cement roads result in better fuel consumption (10 to 15%) due to better grip.
    • Concrete roads cost as much as three times more than bituminous roads.
    • Bitumen roads offer better driving comfort and cause less noise pollution.
    • Hungry for more? Do read this ET editorial.
Technology
  • About 'sleeved column' braces
    • Know what are these? They consist of a brace surrounding a core of high-performance steel. These are used in construction industry to construct buildings that can withstand earthquakes measuring beyond 5 on the Richter scale.
    • This structure is designed and developed by Mr. Benne Narasimhamurthy Sridhara, a structural steel design consultant from Bangalore.
    • Know he gets paid $60-80 as royalty whenever US-based steel fabricators are involved in the construction of a new hospital, school or commercial building in the earthquake-prone American west coast? Cool know?
    • Conventional braces, which do not have any sleeved material for absorbing energy, can buckle under even in an earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale.
International
  • Why are Wall Street pays so high?
    • The economic base on which their pay is decided is wealth; not production. That's what makes Wall Street pays humungous when compared with pays from other sectors.
    • Confused? Take a look at this article. Very well written.
Music
  • Rahman in race for Oscar, yet again; but for a Tamil song
    • The Tamil song ‘Na Na’ has been shortlisted for nomination in the original song category for the 82nd Academy Awards.
    • The song will be competing with 62 other songs from eligible feature-length motion pictures for nomination, which will be announced February 2.
    • ‘Na Na’ was written by Rahman along with rapper Blaaze and Vivian Chaix and sung by the trio along with Alim, Clinton and Dominic.
  • indubitably: Adverb
    • In a manner or to a degree that could not be doubted
    • eg: Then again, it (Google) is also indubitably a vehicle for making information infinitely more accessible.
  • fracas: Noun
    • Noisy quarrel

2 comments:

ALOK said...

LISTEN THIS ARTICLE IS NOT WORKING .GIVING THIS ERROR-

http://www.talkr.com/app/fetch.app?feed_id=27704&perma_link=http://indiancurrentaffairs.blogspot.com/2010/01/19012010.html

icamaven said...

There appears to be some problem with talkr site. Let's hope they rectify it.