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A Corporate Fact Base

November 15, 2009

A Corporate Fact Base
Your annual BT-500 (BT cover, November 15) is a useful and handy guide to explore the wealth-creating capabilities of India’s most valuable companies. Strategic investors, portfolio managers and corporate decision makers can dig below the surface numbers and interpret the economic realities of India’s big business houses.
Shashi Shekhar, Bangalore

BT-500 Frontliners
Following the financial crisis and market collapse, it had become almost impossible for many companies to log value-building growth. Still, as your BT-500 survey shows, quite a few companies have been able to generate positive returns even in challenging times. These companies, like RIL, which has increased its average market cap by Rs 31,164 crore and has grabbed the top slot of India’s Most Valuable Companies (BT cover, November 15) for the seventh year in a row, have the foresight to identify significant trends affecting their businesses and the agility to capitalise on them.
Arun Sampath, Delhi

Market Valuations
Your BT-500 rankings accord second place to Bharti Airtel, but its market cap has eroded about 18 per cent during the past one month. And the current tariff war among mobile operators will likely cast a shadow on the sector’s valuation in the days ahead. Hopefully, while telecom majors may underperform over the next few months they are likely to prove to be good bets for long-term investors.
Neeraj Thakur, Pune

Commodity-Exchange Delusions
Jignesh Shah’s Financial Ecosystem (BT, November 1) does not reflect the reality of commodity exchanges today. With NCDEX, MCX and other commodity exchanges springing up in recent years, the expectation that they would lead to better price discovery and empowerment of farmers has been belied. Futures trading at these exchanges is largely speculative, benefiting only big business houses with financial muscle.
O.P. Goel, Indore

Succeeding Ratan Tata
Succession planning has never been a priority for the Tata Group (Succession Planning at the Tata Group, BT, November 1). In fact, Ratan Tata will have a lot of hand-holding to do before he can hand over the reins to his successor. And if Noel Tata ought to be the chosen one, he should be brought out from his retail cocoon to run the group’s mainline operations, which are mostly engineering-led.
G.S. Rao, Bangalore

Extravagant Claims?
Lemon Tree’s claims of investing more than Rs 1,700 crore in the next three years (Gen Next: The Hidden Leaders, BT, October 4), sound unrealistic, if not downright boastful. With a turnover of just Rs 53 crore at present its aim of becoming the largest motel company in the 4-star category by 2015 appears far-fetched. The company would be well advised to keep its feet planted firmly on the ground.
Om Garg


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