12-12-12 a good day for real estate buyers

Ireo Skyon, Gurgaon

Ireo Skyon, Gurgaon

Apart from the fact that this unique sequence of identical number in terms of day, month and year would appear only after a gap of 89 years, astrologers say the troika of 12-12-12 would no doubt be auspicious for those going for purchasing land or property, planning to set up educational institutions or starting a new venture. On the flip side, the date would deprive newborns of moon’s blessings given the fact that the day would be followed by a no-moon day (Amavasya) which directly affects the mind and emotions of a human being. This would perhaps be the first time five planets converge on a single zodiac sign, Vrishchik (Scorpio) in the process creating a ‘panchagrahi yoga’ which in no way would benefit the sign holders, opine astrologers.

Stating that while the moment would be auspicious in terms of buying and selling considering that the sum of all three digits is 3 which denotes Jupiter, a planet associated with ‘dhan’ ( finance), knowledge and wisdom. But the date would not benefit newborns given the fact that they would be deprived of qualities endowed by the moon as the latter’s position on this day would be deliberate. The following day being a no-moon day (Amavasya), newborns would be deprived of its blessings, as moon controls mind and emotions of human beings, said an astrologer and Vaastu expert, Ashutosh Varshney.

Read more: The Times of India

HDFC: No price correction likely in Mumbai realty market

Mortgage major HDFC on Wednesday said a correction is unlikely in the runaway property prices in the metropolis, where the demand continues to be robust.

“I can’t see any big drop in prices. The inherent demand for real estate in Mumbai is always going to remain strong,” HDFC vice-chairman and chief executive Keki Mistry told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference organised by PwC here.

The only factors which can potentially bring down the prices are a dramatic improvement in building by-laws, which will allow more high rises and increase the supply, and a high incidence of job losses, he said.

“Unless you see something like that happening or people are losing jobs and the confidence level is low, I do not see any drop in prices (in Mumbai).”

Asked about reports of excess supply of housing stocks which has increased inventory pile-up with developers, Mistry said, “I don’t think there is excess supply. I think there is more demand than can be met.”

He said the loan demand remains very robust for the lender, which is second only to State Bank of India in the home loan portfolio.

Read more: The Times of India

Infrastructure

PM Manmohan Singh asks ministries to push road, rail & port projects

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked all ministries to speed up implementation of infrastructure projects related to the transport sector, while setting deadlines for completion of several of these projects.

In a series of meetings called last week to review performance of the sector, Singh directed the railway ministry to sign the state support agreement with Maharashtra for the development of the elevated Rail Corridor project in Mumbai in 15 days.

“The ministry will finalise important milestones with timelines by December 31 and bids for the project will be invited before the Rail Budget in 2013,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.

He also instructed the ministry to invite bids for the proposed locomotive factory in Madhepura in Bihar by the end of the month. “The IMG (interministerial group) will consider and approve any necessary changes to documents,” the statement said, adding that timelines for the proposed locomotive factory at Marhowra will be announced by December 15.

Read more: The Economic Times

Transportation

Air fares shoot up ahead of year-end

BL08_04_AIRLINES_1291502fHaven’t booked your air tickets for year-end travel yet? Now is the time to make the plan quickly.

According to online travel portals and tour operators, air fares have already shot up by 25 per cent for year-end travel and are expected to move up steeply in the next four to five days.

“If you book the tickets today, the jump in air fares now is around 15 to 20 per cent for year-end domestic travel. However, in the next four days it is expected to reach the pre-Diwali levels when air fares had shot up by 70 per cent,” said Sanjay Bhasin, Managing Director, Goibibo.

For instance, a Delhi-Goa return fare has already crossed Rs 21,000 for the year-end, which normally is between Rs 10,000 and Rs 16,000. The sectors that have seen high air fares are Goa, Kochi, Jaipur and Srinagar.

Kingfisher Airlines shutting down operations, rupee depreciation, hike in aviation turbine fuel prices and introduction of additional user fees levied by airports, have all resulted in air fares going up by almost 40 per cent this year, say travel operators. Due to this the number of domestic flyers dropped by about 13 per cent in October, as compared to the same period last year, according to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data.

Read More: Business Line

Healthcare

PE investments double to $754 m in healthcare

Private equity investment in the healthcare industry is peaking.

This year (till September), total PE investments in the sector have more than doubled to $754.33 million, across 30 deals – from 26 deals totalling $320 million last year, according to a research report on the healthcare industry by LSI Financial Services.

Healthcare is emerging as a favourite among investors, after technology and real estate, said Shantanu Deb Mookerjea, Executive Director – Equity, LSI Financial Services.

The $65-billion domestic healthcare market is slated to touch revenues of $155 billion by 2017, fuelled by PE investments and private sector spending, said Rajya V. Kajaria, Managing Director, at the launch of the report.

Most of the PE deals have come in hospitals.

The major investments this year include $100 million by the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation in Vasan Healthcare, $110 million by Advent International in Quality Care (Care Hospitals) and $98 million by Olympus Capital Holdings Asia in DM Healthcare.

With hospitals springing up in tier-II and III towns in the next couple of years, PE interest is bound to go up, said Mookerjea.

Read more: Business Line

Banking

Inflation may trend down starting Q4, says Subbarao

 On a positive note: RBI Governor D. Subbarao with Deputy Governor K.C. Chakrabarty at the central bank’s board meeting in Kolkata on Thursday. — A. Roy Chowdhury

On a positive note: RBI Governor D. Subbarao with Deputy Governor K.C. Chakrabarty at the central bank’s board meeting in Kolkata on Thursday. — A. Roy Chowdhury

Reserve Bank of India Governor D. Subbarao on Thursday said inflation might trend lower from the beginning of the January-March quarter.

Though inflation has come down from its peak, the current level of 7.5 per cent was still high.

“We in the RBI are always managing balance between growth and inflation. Growth has certainly moderated to 5.3 per cent during the July-September quarter. At the same time, inflation at 7.5 per cent is still high,” Subbarao said at a press meet after the central bank’s board meeting in the city today. The Governor also held a meeting with the representatives of State Level Bankers’ Committee after the board meet.

The central bank, which will announce its mid-quarter policy on December 18, will take into account the growth-inflation trajectory and calibrate its monetary policy accordingly, he said. “We expect it (inflation) to trend down starting the fourth quarter of this fiscal,” he added.

The headline inflation rate, based on the wholesale price index, rose an annual 7.45 per cent in October. Despite the slowing growth rate, RBI has refrained from lowering rates following sticky and elevated inflation.

Responding to a query on the impact of direct cash transfer scheme on inflation, he said, it was unlikely to push up inflation.

Read more: Business Line

FDI

Global retailers will look to India to launch operations

With the Government’s decision to operationalise FDI in multi-brand retail, Subhasis Roy, National Director, at Knight Frank India, notes there is bound to be a two-fold impact on the Indian real estate sector.

“Firstly, it will increase demand for anchor space in cities with one million-plus population where the State Governments agree to permit foreign retailers. Secondly, there is a possibility that rental expectation would be raised,” he added.

Anshuman Magazine, Chairman of CBRE South Asia, termed it a positive move by the Government, which would be a game-changer for the real estate industry in India. “It will encourage international retailers to look at India as a destination to set up their operations, resulting in creating opportunities in supply chain management, warehousing and better quality products at competitive prices. Eventually it is expected that most of these foreign retailers will source products locally to remain competitive which will benefit the manufacturing sector,” he said.

See article: Business Line

Politics

Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh in top 20; Barack Obama most powerful person: Forbes

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi have been named among the top 20 most powerful persons in the world by Forbes magazine in its annual power rankings which placed US President Barack Obama as number one for a second year in a row.

India’s richest businessman Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and Arcelor Mittal CEO Lakshmi Mittal also feature in the list that comprises 71 mighty heads of state, CEOs, entrepreneurs and philanthropists who “truly run and shape the world of 7.1 billion people.”

Gandhi dropped a notch from last year’s list and ranks at number 12 this year ahead of Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and French President Francois Hollande.

Forbes said the 65-year-old leader of India’s ruling political party has the reins of the world’s second-most-populous country and tenth-largest economy.

“Son Rahul is next in line to take over India’s most famous political dynasty,” it added.

Coming in at the 20th spot is Singh, the Oxford and Cambridge-educated economist who is the architect of India’s economic reforms.

Singh had ranked 19th in the list last year. “But Singh’s quiet intellectualism is increasingly seen as timid and soft,” Forbes added.

Read more: The Economic Times

Info-tech

Microsoft launches 14 innovation centres in India

Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd has launched 14 Microsoft Innovation Centres (MICs) in India. It has signed agreements with leading academic institutions across four States.

As part of the global programme, which currently has 75 MICs, Microsoft aims to launch a 100 such centres in India in the next two years.

These centres will impact over 5,00,000 students, certifying 1,00,000 students on Microsoft technologies. The programme will also drive innovation and help build a product-based software economy by supporting product development, and over 500 start-ups, says a company press release.

The centres will act as innovation hubs at select colleges and technology institutes, providing incubation and expert hands-on support on Microsoft technology innovation, research, and software solutions, aiming to create a pool of student technology experts across India.

Read more: Business Line

Emerging Businesses

Now hiring domestic help goes online in Gurgaon

No longer do you need to catch hold of every maid in the locality to hire a domestic help for various companies in Gurgaon such the Maid’s Company (www.themaidscompany.com), Hire-a -Help (www.hireahelp.com), and Domestic help India (www.domestichelpindia.com) are offering placement services for maids, cooks, servants and other domestic help via online registration. 17504651.cms

The Maids’ Company (TMC) offers a well-trained housekeeping workforce to provide a range of quality services such as cooking, cleaning and childcare to the urban middleclass at affordable prices. Having started in 2011, the company already boasts of over 100 ongoing clients. “We offer customised housekeeping services to our clients, providing domestic labour on either a time or task-based contract between the client and TMC,” said Gauri Singh, president and founder of TMC. The company offers its services for an annual registration fee of Rs 5,000, which is refundable for two months. The company gives three replacements in a period of 5-15 days. One can even take a five-day trial run-before putting in the money for a year by paying Rs 2,000 as advance. “Once a client gets in touch with us we go for a client visit to see the establishment and what we expect out of them and what they expect out of helps. If after the trial period the arrangement works with the client, he/she can go for an annual contract and if not then we deduct Rs 275 per day (from Rs 2,000) and refund the money,” explained Singh.

Read more: The Economic Times

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