Despite some obstacles, the commodities market is evolving as a promising
asset class for retail investors. But, like the equity markets,
investors would do well to do their homework before investing in their
If the predictions hold, this year will be choppy, with more and more fund managers on the Street coming around to the view that the Bombay Stock Exchange's benchmark index, Sensex, will end flat this year, if not in the negative.
It's never too early to prep for the year ahead. The winter chill may
just be retreating and spring setting in, but you can begin planning
your wardrobe for 2011's fall-winter by checking out the trends at the
recent menswear shows in Milan and Paris.
Many of the cities where companies are planning investments are located
in states which till recently were loosely called backward states. High population regions, traditionally characterised by poor social indicators, are emerging as consumption hot spots.
Already blessed with some innovative fine dining options, with the
opening of the stylish wine lounge and global cuisine restaurant
L'Angoor, the choices have just gotten better for Gurgaon's professional
Tied Down Economy (cover story, February 20) utilised sound data to
highlight the India Slowing story. It prescribed correct directions to
concretise ongoing initiatives so we don't veer away from the growth
Last fortnight, there were a lot of creased brows in India when it
emerged that Indian students in the United States were being 'tagged'
using electronic anklet devices, in the wake of an immigration scam.
What is really happening is a slowdown
of the western world and growth of the emerging markets. This is a
complete shift in the balance of power, said Azim Premji, Chairman, Wipro, at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Most agree that foreign direct investment, or FDI, in multibrand retail
will be a right step. So far, any suggestions by the government in this
direction have been resisted by the Opposition. Even in the government,
there are sections opposed to it.
Yashwant Sinha, initiator of some far-reaching reforms in the past, has some advice for the UPA's Pranab Mukherjee. Sinha has presented six budgets, including an interim one, in two stints
as finance minister. These budgets had a fair share of bold proposals.
India's stock markets are still very shallow; just 3 per cent of
household savings go into equities, and 200 of 5,000 listed stocks
account for 80 per cent of market capitalisation. One way is to
diversify into commodities. Commodities derivatives trading volume
totalled a breathtaking Rs 8.3 trillion in 2010 - a 300 per cent leap in