This refers to the cover story in your latest issue Budget Holidays (19 February). I was surprised you considered such a topic relevant during an economic slowdown. Everyone is worried about their jobs and going on a vacation is not a priority. However, the information given in the story will be useful when the good times return.
—Bal Govind, Noida
The travel special was based on the premise that it is possible to holiday on a shoestring budget. As you have rightly said, rising job uncertainty and pay cuts have forced many people to discard their vacation plans. The story aimed to convince readers that with smart planning they could afford a holiday even in this downturn.
Though your magazine covers a range of issues, there are very few stories on small- and mid-cap stocks. This is the reason you miss out on interesting stocks like Chi Investments, which is promoted by the RPG group. The stock's PE is 5.5 and it has an EPS of Rs 2.83. About 81% of its portfolio of quoted shares consists of top stocks like KEC International, CESC and Zensar Tech. The stock is available at a historical low: its price has fallen from Rs 230 to Rs 15. I believe this is because of distress selling and the market slump. I think Chi Investments is a good buy now. As an avid stock investor, I will eagerly await your comments on this stock.
—S.P. Mittal, e-mail
We usually focus on specific themes in our stories on direct equity, which include stocks of all market capitalisations. We have also carried a series of columns by Mudar Patherya in the past. Called Under the Radar, the series dealt exclusively with small- and mid-cap stocks. You can access these stories on our Website. A secondary research about Chi reveals that the all-time high price of Rs 200 was a result of technicalities and not investors' interest. The biggest shortcoming of the company is that it does not do any business and merely holds investments in various companies of the RPG group. The trading volume is also low. Hence, it is vulnerable to the risk of a long period of undervaluation.
I enjoyed reading the book review of Living Rich by Spending Smart. Please tell me how I can buy the book.
—Gowri Shanker, e-mail
If you are in Delhi, you can pick up the book from the Jain Book Agency at Connaught Place. Otherwise, you can ask any bookstore to source it by providing its ISBN, which is 0132350092. It is also available on www.a1books.co.in.
The room tariffs of most hotels are very high and should be reduced to attract the travellers belonging to the low income groups. Budget Holidays (19 February). The add-on charges should also be cut to make budget vacations a reality.
—Mahesh Kapasi, Delhi
Many companies are setting up budget hotels, which should help resolve this issue and provide quality service at reasonable rates.
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