RBS launches realty services for HNIs

Living/Dining room at Gurgaon Hills

Living/Dining room at Gurgaon Hills

British lender Royal Bank of Scotland has launched a real estate services vertical aimed at high networth clients.

“Real estate services is a referral based offering which will offer a comprehensive range of real estate solutions to high networth clients,” the bank said in a statement.

The bank staff will work with clients, understand their goals and risk appetites, and then help them select a real estate service provider, the statement added.

Product head Anand Moorthy said that investors are looking beyond purchase of premium homes and are also attracted to pre-leased commercial and retail property which creates the need for real estate solutions.

Shiv Gupta, Managing Director, RBS Private Banking, and Director of RBS Financial Services, said real estate occupies for 20-30 of the investment portfolio for a high networth client.

Source: Business Line

Indian market infrastructure among world’s best: Sebi chief U K Sinha

As Sebi celebrates its 25 years of existence, Chairman U K Sinha says this has been an eventful journey for the capital markets regulator and it has created market infrastructures that are better than those in many other countries, including some most developed economies.

“As far as the past 25 years are concerned, Sebi’s journey has been quite challenging. At the same time, this journey has also been something that we at Sebi, the market entities and the entire country should be proud of.

“It has been indeed an eventful journey despite all the challenges put across to us,” the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) chief U K Sinha said.

“We have been able to tackle all those challenges in an effective manner and the evolution process has been great in all these years,” he said.

Sinha is the eighth Chairman of Sebi since its inception as an independent regulator in 1988, when the central government headed by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi decided to give a boost to the stock market activities as part of its economic liberalisation drive in India.

Read more: Financial Express

Investors snub gold; prefer stocks, real estate: Survey

Investors snub gold; prefer stocks, real estate: SurveyAnd some interesting results were found. Almost 34.6% of the participants think that they lost money due to their own greed. They are also positive about the situation changing for the better with proper policy initiatives by the Indian government.

The good thing is they choose to remain invested over a variety of asset classes, although equity/mutual funds (38.5%) and real estate (34.7%) remain the preferred options.

What is probably surprising is that investors have different opinions about whether or not to invest in gold.

With only 8.9% of the investors looking to buy more gold, it can be safely said that Indian investors are gradually moving away from their most-preferred, age-old, safe investment choice.

That being said, gold still is a recommended investment, considering the incessant money printing by more and more economies, along with the currently unstable global economic condition.

However, the most crucial point made is that overall more than 60% of investors are pretty optimistic about the upward potential of the stock markets in the coming couple of years.

Around 62.7% of the respondents believe the Sensex will rise up above 20,000 in the coming year. Around 37.2% of the respondents think that the Sensex would reach 30,000 in the next 2-3 years.

It is good to see that investors are still optimistic and more importantly, have become more aggressive about investing in equity over time.

Source: Money Control

Economy

‘Strong growth prompts $305 mn investment in e-commerce’

Trade is at the core of the U.S.–India partnership

With economic ties between the U.S. and India at an all-time high, the trade between the two countries is expected to cross the $100-billion mark soon, U.S. Consul-General, Chennai, Jennifer McIntyre has said.

She was delivering the keynote address during a business seminar on ‘Doing Business with USA’, jointly hosted by the United States Commercial Services and the Karnataka chapter of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), here on Tuesday.

Addressing the gathering, which mainly constituted of members of IACC and members of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), Ms. McIntyre said that U.S. exports to India had quadrupled, while Indian exports to the U.S. had grown by 180 per cent in the last decade.

“However, despite this, India is only the 13th largest trading partner for the U.S. Given the sizes of our economies, we have enormous untapped potential before us. According to Ernst and Young, the U.S. remains the leading investor in India, both in terms of projects and jobs generated. Foreign direct investment (FDI) by U.S. firms accounted for 30 per cent of investment projects in India and created more than 3,55,000 jobs between 2007 and 2011,” she said.

Read more: The Hindu

Why inflation is cooling off

If there was one factor that made consumers tighten their belts and investors flee from financial avenues in the last five years, it was high inflation.

The inflation rate, measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), which averaged 6 per cent until 2007-08, moved into a higher trajectory of 8 per cent in the following five years. But after peaking at 9 per cent in 2011-12, inflation rates cooled off to 7 per cent last fiscal. So, are we set for lower inflation for some time to come? We could be, suggests an analysis of WPI components.

INFLATION SUBSIDES

Let’s examine the key triggers for the fall in inflation rate in the last one year. Breaking down the WPI into its components reveals that it is the decline in manufactured products inflation which has contributed the most to this fall. This is followed by fuel inflation.

Almost all commodity groups in the manufactured product category saw lower inflation in 2012-13. Basic metals, alloys and metal products, textiles and chemical and chemical products were some of the main contributors.

This reflects a fall in pricing power for producers as demand for most products, consumer and industrial, slowed this year.

Read more: Business Line

Steps to boost foreign investment coming soon

In a big new round of reforms, the government is likely to announce a slew of measures to boost foreign fund flows into India and pep up a falling rupee, while soothing the frayed nerves of investors. The government is looking to address concerns of investors who fear the government is more likely to focus on political risk management in an election year run-up rather than reverse the slowdown in the economy, which until recently was an engine of global growth.

India’s economic growth, according to advance estimates, crashed to a decade’s low of 5% in 2012-13.https://i1.wp.com/www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/5/23_05_13-biz-21a.jpg

The new measures will likely make it easier for foreign institutional investors (FIIs) to invest in India’s corporate and government bond markets, said a government source, who did not wish to be identified.

The move is aimed at attracting more dollars into India to halt a sliding rupee that recently fell below 55 to the US dollar.

A sliding rupee spells bad news for those who planning to study and travel abroad. It also makes overseas holidaying and studying abroad costlier by pushing up fees and other charges.

The government is keen to attract more dollars to pep up the rupee primarily to rein in a potentially bloated oil import bill. A weak rupee makes crude oil imports costlier, and the resultant increase in fuel prices can potentially knock up prices of most goods.

Read more: Hindustan Times

Retail

‘Strong growth prompts $305 mn investment in e-commerce’

Strong growth in the country’s eCommerce industry has prompted venture capitalists and private equity players to take keen interest in the sector investing USD 305 million in 2011, consultancy firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) said in a report today.

In the report titled ‘Rebirth of eCommerce in India’, E&Y said declining broadband subscription prices, aided by the launch of 3G services, have been driving growth of the sector.

“The trend of online shopping is set to see greater heights in coming years, not just because of India’s rising internet population, but also due to changes in the supporting ecosystem.

“Given these developments, venture capitalists and private equity players are taking keen interest in the sector,” E&Y India Partner and Technology Industry leader Milan Sheth said.

India’s eCommerce sector attracted USD 305 million (in 37 deals) from January to November 2011, as compared to USD 55 million raised from 12 deals in 2010, which amply substantiates the growth trajectory of the industry, the report said.

Read more: The Economic Times

Single-brand retailers await clarity on sub-brands, e-commerce

Even as Inter Ikea Systems BV and Hennes and Mauritz AB prepare to invest in the Indian market to set up single-brand retail operations, some companies already in the country are still looking for clarifications on clauses related to e-commerce and sub-brands.

According to the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy circular issued last month by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the DIPP reiterated that retail companies can only engage in e-commerce that’s business-to-business.

“Retail trading, in any form, by means of e-commerce, would not be permissible, for companies with FDI, engaged in the activity of single-brand retail trading,” the circular said.

The restriction on e-commerce was inexplicable, said the president and CEO of a company that has formed several joint ventures to introduce foreign apparel and accessories brands in India.

“Although we understand that the policy is still evolving…it is a bit odd that we can sell to another portal, say, a Myntra, but not through our own e-commerce website,” said the person, who didn’t want to be identified as the matter is sensitive.

Read more: Mint

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