Beijing Olympics : Secret Rehearsal of the Grand Opening Ceremony

This week CNN reported that a massive secret rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing took place….The Ceremony is scheduled for the auspicious date of 8/8/8

17000 participants took part and have been sworn to secrecy with a threat that if any leak took place the guilty would face seven years in Jail ! 

Shall we hail the Olympic Spirit ? 

G 8 Summit in Hokkaido…not so Gr8 !

From ” The Economist “ of July 12,2008

….the summit was a let-down…G 8 leaders rose to the challenges posed by the “three Fs”-food,fuel and the financial credit crunch-with platitudes

The big disappointment was over climate change…despite…Last year,Germany’s chancellor,Angela Merkel overcame the reluctance of George Bush and got the G 8 to promise to “consider seriously” cutting greenhouse emissions by at least half by 2050.This time the G 8 voved to”consider and adopt” such cuts…Mr Bush has at last committed America to a quantifiable target….

Yet the strength of the G 8’s commitment starts to crumble….even without one cynical Russian diplomat pointing out how absurd it is for today’s politicians to take responsibility for meeting goals four decades from now….The G 8 could not come up even with nearer term goals to cut emissions-say,by 2020……

Big Challenges demand strong leaders.But if Mr Fukuda is weak domestically,Mr Brown looks little better.Mr Bush is a lame, unpopular duck.Nicolas Sarkozy of France struggles to comprehend how and why his voters’ enthusiasm has evaporated

What a way to run the World says “The Economist”

From The Economist of July 5,2008

G 7 democracies plus Russia-gather in Japan to review the world economy.But what is the point of their discussing oil price without Saudi Arabia,the world’s biggest producer? or waffling about the dollar without China,which holds so many American Treasury bills? or slapping sanctions on Robert Mugabe,with no African present….

The G 8 is not the only global club that looks old and impotent.The U N Security Council has told Iran to stop enriching uranium,without much effect.The nuclear non-proliferation regime is in tatters.The International Monetary Fund(IMF),the fireman in previous financial crises,has been a bystander during the credit crunch.The World Trade Organisation’s Doha round is stuck….But as global problems proliferate and informations whips round the world ever faster,the organisational response looks ever shabbier,slower and feebler


Of course, more as an after thought really,and probably recognising that the G 8,a self appointed steering group for global problems was hardly representative of the world, the Japanese host,Prime Minister,Mr Yasuo Fukuda invited  seven national leaders from Africa and leaders of Brazil,India ,China,Mexico,South Africa,Indonesia,South Korea and Australia  

Barclays Bark on India : Macro Storm Approaching!

Barclays Capital,the Investment Banking Arm of Barclays Bank released a Fifteen Page report on India, dated July 10,2008 and authored by their Senior Regional Economist,Mr Shailesh K Jha

Why this report caught my eye was the gloomy forecast on major economic indicators in the very short term

Optimists would have only one response ” Ja re Jha !”

This is what the Report forecasts

Inflation : 17% by September 2008…currently is at a thirteen year high of 11.91%

Rupee : Rs 44/US$ in the next few weeks further falling to Rs 46 in the next six months

Repo Rate : 10.5% to 11% by end 2008…currently is 8.5%

Fiscal Deficit  for FY 2008/9 as a % of GDP : 3% against Govt forecast of 2.5%

Value of Financial Assets : Headed South

Ranbaxy :Is there any Rationale in Holding for the Open Offer? ?

Can’t help it ! this is my second post in two days on Ranbaxy

The Share Price is Rs 440 just now on BSE…The Open Offer opens on August 8,2008 and ends on August 27,2008.It is a direct offer to shareholders who will have to tender their shares at Rs 737 and expect only one in three to be accepted.

Nothwitstanding the controversies of FDA and possible US Congressional Investigation Legal Issues in USA even the Mathematics is just not exciting enough

Methinks it’s prudent to sell off holdings now in the marketyou will realise Rs 1320 for three shares and if you have made short term gains you will be subjected to just 10% short term gains tax

Alternatively if you tender in the Open Offer in August,you will receive Rs 737 for one share of the three and will be exposed to the fate of the Share Price in the market for the remaining two shares

Moreover the sale of the accepted share in the open offer is an off market transaction and you will be subject to tax at your slab rate

Check my earlier blog on Ranbaxy….I feel the price will slide below Rs 300…If it does,your aggregate proceeds will be @ Rs 1300…moreover you’ll get proceeds only in September 2008 and be in all probability subject to a higher tax

I’m not even discussing the potential risk of US Congressional Investigation into FDA’s continuing to give approvals to Ranbaxy post February 14,2007 when it had conducted a search at the Company’s New Jersey office and was investigating the Company’s manufacturing practices that had led to introduction of sub standard drugs in USA

Check out  ….. you’ll find Ranbaxy News Releases in 2007 and 2008 that announce having received manufacturing and  marketing approval from FDA for Zolpidem Tartrate (March 2007) ,Loratadine (April 2007) ,Pravastatin(April 2007) and many others….. post Valentines Day,February 14,2007 when FDA had expressed their love for Ranbaxy by searching  their offices

Mr John Dingell,Chairman of the US Congress Energy Committee has been quoted that if it is true that Ranbaxy has introduced sub standard drugs then they have imperilled the lives of Americans….a possible Congressional Investigation may follow

In India ,the CEO and MD of Ranbaxy,Mr Malvinder Singh,continues to appear in media channels accusing a big multinational,without naming it,of being behind the downward price movement in the Stock Markets and also lobbying the authorities in USA in an attempt to influence them to intensify and extend scope of the Investigations into Ranbaxy’s Operations.According to him,this is being done to sabotage the Daiichi Sankyo Deal and therefore create hurdles in Ranbaxy growing even bigger in scale and size in USA  read more

Ranbaxy & Daiichi Deal : Minority Shareholders Interests Compromised

Just read Ajit Dayal’s column titled Ranbaxy-Daiichi deal: a case of perverse engineering? in today’s edition of DNA Money

Hey Ajit,couldn’t agree with you more !…but it’s not the first time in India’s Corporate History that Minority Shareholders are being treated like if I may say, Step Shareholders!

There is an even better and horrid precedent…. Years back Sulzer’s foreign parent bought out the co promoter, Goenka’s stake at Rs 2000 a share ! while market prize was only Rs 250 !….as it was a transfer between promoters,SEBI’s SASTA regulations did not require a mandatory offer to existing minority shareholders to buy out atleast 20% of the equity.

Methinks that with all the controversy and uncertainty surrounding Ranbaxy with the US case on sub standard drugs and the agreement with Pfizer to delay marketing “Lipitor”, SEBI should pass a directive that the Open Offer should be for full remaining stake held by Shareholders at Rs 737 (Price being paid by Daiichi to Ranbaxy Promoters for their full stake) and not just a 20% offer which would result in only one of three shareholder shares being accepted at Rs 737…..Ranbaxy would then possibly face delisting as shareholders would rationally tender all shares  which would then have to be accepted and floating stock would stop floating !

This would be fair considering the suspicion that not everyhing is above board

Growing suspicion is that the Promoters of Ranbaxy,CEO and Managing Director,Mr Malvinder Singh and Family,despite recent claims of moving towards becoming India’s Global Pharmaceutical Multinational,did a U-turn and preferred to exit and sold out their full stake to Daiichi at Rs 737 because they were fully aware of the disastrous consequences if the decision in the US case went against Ranbaxy

Today’s Business Standard carries a front page interview with Mr Singh in which he accuses,without naming them,two pharmaceutical companies,one Indian and the other a Multinational,and a coterie of brokers for the rapid fall in the stock price,

Ranbaxy crashed by 10% on Monday and a further 15% on Tuesday to a low of Rs 405 before reviving on Wednesday to close at Rs 470….It closed today at Rs 452

The Financial Express today carries a quote from Mr Mark Pohl,a US based registered patent attorney in which Mr Pohl states that the company is effectively out of business in USA if the FDA finds that the company has submitted falsified,misleading and incomplete documents and debars it.This would mean the company cannot get approval for fresh Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) and cannot even maintain existing ones. read more