India’s rising government bond yields are credit negative for its public-sector banks

As of 12 January, India’s 10-year benchmark bond yielded 7.28 per cent, more than 30 basis points higher than two months earlier. The rising yields and falling prices are credit negative for Indian public-sector banks (PSBs), which are exposed to mark-to-market (MTM) losses from the government bonds’ reduced value in their investment portfolios.

This is especially relevant given that in the last few quarters, a large proportion of PSBs’ operating profit was derived from the profitable sale of investments, which also cushioned necessary high loan loss provisioning.

MoodIndigo: The idea of india

In the past few days I have turned down over half a dozen requests to appear on TV debates about the film Padmavat. It is not because I do not support the film’s right to have it’s day in a cinema near us. On the contrary I do but I also support the right to protest. However, increasingly television debate and public discourse in this country only peddles in binaries. If you support Padmaavat, you must then by default hold the position that Padmavati is a myth and a figment of a writers imagination.

The risk of rust

India is the seventh-largest country in the world, with a total area of 3,287,263 square km. It has a land frontier of 15,200 km  and importantly a coastline of 7,516.6 km. This is just an indication of how much India is exposed to global warming which is set to severely impact buildings, dams, roads, bridges, automobile railway, energy and petroleum sectors.

Bull run and beyond

Last year was fabulous for equity investors globally. Globally, equities are up by 25 per cent and emerging markets are up by 38 per cent in dollar terms. India too did very well with the Nifty posting 28 per cent returns. Nifty Midcap and Nifty Smallcap indices appreciated by around 48 and 55 per cent respectively. These are fabulous returns indeed.

The sacred & the profane

The integration of body, soul and mind is what is sought by pilgrims in  religious places. This integration, allowing for the tripartite existence of phenomena, is a very calming, and occasionally, heady experience. Not to believe in the soul is a personal choice, and of course, the synthesis of body and mind is what allows us to think, to be. Should we lose the faculty of thinking and experiencing, we would exist, but our imagination would not have a vehicle with which to express itself.

Bitcoin: Is it time to move on?

Every decade there are instances when financial markets react brainlessly to fads and swags. Investors go grazing passively from one place to another, following a leader, without scouting out the grass themselves. This is called herding. History has recorded three most irrational herding phenomena that is unknown to many — the Dutch Tulip mania, the Mississippi Bubble and the South Sea Bubble.

DISEQUILIBRIUM: Are we really underlings?

In school, one had to memorise Julius Caesar and one got pretty good at it. The one quote that has always stood out for its perfection in an imperfect world is when Cassius appeals to Brutus to stop the powerful Julius Caesar. The plot to kill Caesar is predicated on these two lines — “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” This comment unleashes a chain of events which results in Roman noblemen collectively assassinating Great Caesar.

Bridge the gap

The following is an outlook for 2018 for all infrastructure projects —  not just for the small subset of PPP that gets disproportionate attention.

Aim for a healthy growth

With 17 per cent of world population and a GDP growth rate of 7.2 per cent, India is amongst the fastest growing economies of the world. The Indian healthcare sector grew at a rate of 18 per cent from 2010 till 2016 and is expected to advance at a rate of 15 per cent during 2016-20 to reach $280 billion by 2020.

Time to go electric

We should move towards alternative fuel... I am going to do this, whether you like it or not... For pollution, for imports, my ideas are crystal clear” — when Nitin Gadkari issued this stern warning to the automotive industry he firmly conveyed to the world at large that India, like most countries in the world, had decided to go electric in its transportation and it would be in the interest of the Indian automobile industry to start their countdown for conventional vehicles and its curtailed longevity on Indian roads.