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Fund Investors To The Rescue

Mutual funds keep faith in a market in doldrums; A new road hog called Alturas G4; The sparklers in Diwali 2018; and more

Photo Credit : Bloomberg

Mutual fund investors continue to keep faith in the Indian equity growth story, pouring more than Rs 14,873 crore into equity funds against Rs 11,251 crore, despite brutal volatility in October 2018. Inflows into equity funds have been the highest since February 2018.

What’s more, fund investors have raised SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) investments to Rs 7,900 crore amid widespread fears that they would in fact discontinue SIPs as stock prices plunged. On the contrary, investors increased their SIPs, upping them from Rs 7,727 crore in September 2018.

It’s nice to know that fund investors are getting savvier by the day, willing to take the risk, and diligently practising what the gurus always teach - buy the dips.
— Clifford Alvares

Swiggy Grows Wings
Leading online food delivery firm Swiggy, is diversifying. It is creating additional revenue streams by branching out into home delivering medicines and grocery. Once the services begin, Swiggy will be fighting for turf with Grofers, bigbasket, etc. in the grocery delivery business and with MedPlus Mart, MediBuddy, Netmeds, PharmEasy and others in the online pharmaceutical delivery business. Says an official spokesperson for Swiggy, “At Swiggy, enabling convenience for our consumers is at the core of how we operate. We’re constantly experimenting with ways in which we can do that better ...”  
— Avishek Banerjee 

The premium Mahindra SUV without an ‘O’

The buzz was that Mahindra’s Sangyong Rexton-based SUV would be called XUV700, but the name of its premium SUV (in the beyond Rs 30 lakh range) is Alturas G4. The Alturas nameplate is also among the few from Mahindra that does not end with an ‘O’. Pre-bookings for the Alturas G4 are already open at Mahindra Dealerships.

The Alturas G4, scheduled for a launch on 24 November, will now be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Skoda Kodiaq and their ilk. The Alturas G4 offers an imposing design, luxurious interiors, performance and off-road capability and safety. The SUV will be powered by a 2.2L turbo diesel engine pushing upwards of 180hp.

Says Veejay Nakra, Chief of Sales & Marketing, M&M Ltd., “The word Alturas means ‘height’ or ‘pinnacle’. The Alturas G4 represents a gateway into luxury for those who have reached the pinnacle of success in their lives. Being our most luxurious offering, exquisitely designed and crafted, we believe that the Alturas G4 name perfectly describes this product.” The Alturas G4 will be built at Mahindra’s manufacturing facility at Chakan in Maharashtra.  
— Siddharth Shankar

Diwali Sparklers Were Back With A Bang

The homilies did not work. Neither did the strictures. Diwali was celebrated in deafening explosions of firecrackers, rockets that soared across the horizon like meteorites, and sparklers that flared up like fountains of fire. The air quality in Delhi and the national capital region plummeted the day after the festival of lights, but the celebrations continued unabated. Delhi did not spare expenses on electricity either and both institutional and residential buildings switched on their garlands of fairy lights at least a week before Deepavali.

The aplomb with which Delhi celebrated Diwali in 2018 was visible in the bustle at malls and confectionaries and groceries that had as usual put out special stalls for gifts for the season. It would perhaps, not be an exaggeration to assume that the zing was back in the revelry after a while. If conspicuous consumption  (sweetmeats, crackers, gifts and gaudy festive wear) was not an adequate yardstick of the fact that Indians were in a mood to spend – the index of industrial production (IIP) statistics released in September certainly were.

The cumulative growth in industrial production between April and August 2018 over the same period in 2017 had been a modest 5.2 per cent. The story behind the story though, were the sectors that had shown the most growth in output. The top grosser were manufacturers of fragrances and oil essentials, whose production had shot up by 69.4 per cent. Production of commercial vehicles had jumped 39 per cent. Readymade and knitted garment manufacturers went on a production bonanza, raising output by 37.2 per cent. Production of transformers jumped 37 per cent and furniture production went up by 19.8 per cent.

Perhaps the demand for perfumes, garments and furniture witnessed an uptick, because prices of essentials like food, were broadly stable.While inflation based on the Consumer Price Index had risen by a modest 3.77 per cent in September since September 2017, the consumer food price index had barely crawled up by 0.5 per cent.

Inference? Indians are in a mood to splurge. The risk-averseness post demonetisation has evaporated at last and the markets will probably continue to sparkle long after Diwali!
— Madhumita Chakraborty


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