Indexing (Benchmarks) industry is observing some rapid changes with ownership of few of the most eminent Index companies changing hands

After Bloomberg Indexes’ acquisition of USB Australia Bond indices this year in April 2014, now its time for Reuters’ to acquire widely used Benchmark- UBS Convertible Indices in July 2014. The UBS Convertible Indices will be re-branded as the Thomson Reuters Convertible Indices.


This is very much inline with the news of Global M&A being @ 7 year high with the re-surge in Corporate Deals. Passive products (like Indices) acquisitions is picking-up the trend in investor interest this year rather individual stocks.

Indexing industry is observing some rapid changes with ownership of few of the most eminent Index companies changing hands. Recently The London Stock Exchange Group last week agreed to buy Russell Investments for $2.7 billion in cash from Northwestern Mutual, the US insurer. Barclays PLC is also expected to solicite offers for its index assets worth ~ $400 Mn this year. Nasdaq and S&P Dow Jones Indices are apparently eyeing acquisitions to bolster their index businesses. MSCI & other companies surely wouldn’t want to be the laggards & are expected to explore index acquisitions.


UBS draws on its 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Its business strategy is centered on its pre-eminent global wealth management businesses and its leading universal bank in Switzerland. Together with a client-focused Investment Bank and a strong, well-diversified Global Asset Management business, UBS will expand its premier wealth management franchise and drive further growth across the Group.


Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Thomson Reuters is a trusted, global provider of indices and index services, calculating over 10,000 different equity, fixed income and commodity indices. Thomson Reuters provides innovative indices and index-related services to the global financial community to help investors make better decisions.


Stock/Equity Fraud Information

Stock fraud occurs when a broker manipulates customers into trading stocks without regard for the customer’s interests. Stock fraud can be orchestrated at the company level, or can be committed by a single employee; stock fraud can also range in size financially from multi-million dollar deals to penny stocks, but stock fraud consistently involves intentional disregard for the financial situation of customers and obsession with personal gain.

Stock fraud is comprised of a few basic categories, with enormous variations on each. Some examples of broker-related stock fraud:

  • Misrepresentation/Omission: this form of stock fraud occurs when the broker intentionally misleads the customer about material facts regarding the stock. Stock fraud involving misrepresentation or omission often disguises risk factors associated with that particular stock.
  • Unsuitability: stock frauds involving unsuitability occur when the broker recommends stocks that are outside the client’s risk tolerance. Stock frauds committed through unsuitable matches allow the broker to push undesirable stocks; this stock fraud frequently results in losses much higher than the client can bear.
  • Overconcentration: failure to diversify a client’s portfolio can be a form of stock fraud. In order to protect a client’s assets, the broker should vary the types of stock purchased, stock fraud through overconcentration strips the client of the protection diversification can afford.
  • Churning: In order to create additional broker’s fees, a form of stock fraud called “churning” is used. Churning requires a large numbers of transactions; often this form of stock fraud consists of selling stocks with small gains in order to show a profit.

More elaborate forms of stock fraud may occur at the executive level, and in some cases, investigators have found that stock fraud is essentially company policy, with many employees taking part in committing or concealing illegal practices. Stock fraud on the larger levels can destroy entire companies by manipulating their stock values, but some stock fraud schemes are actually designed to keep failing businesses funded, using the same tactics. Many stock fraud investigations in recent years have found an enormous amount of insider trading: brokerages committing stock fraud by selling IPO stocks before the release date to favored clients and friends; corporations construct stock fraud schemes designed attract and retain customers and investors.

All forms of stock fraud are designed to violate the investor/broker trust. The key principle of stock fraud is that the investor’s interests are secondary to the financial gain the broker can make. Stock fraud can destroy individuals and business simply by manipulating the stock market. If you suspect that stock fraud caused you to lose investments, you may wish to contact an attorney familiar with stock fraud law. A good attorney can help you determine if you have a potential stock Fraud Claim that would enable you to recover financial losses.

India’s Most Trusted Brands – 2007: Economic Times Brand Equity Survey

Economic Times has published Brand Equity’s Most Trusted Brands. Colgate for the fourth year in a row topped the list. The first ten positions in the list looks like this

10.Tata Tea

The top ten service brands are
3.State Bank of India
4.Reliance India Mobile
6.Tata Indicom
7.Indian oil
8.ICICI Bank
9.Bank of India
10.Reliance Petroleum

Colgate has every qualification to be in the number one league because of its ability to understand Indian consumer and innovate interms of the product and marketing mix. The brands that feature in teh list is a testimony of successful marketing.


Most Trusted Brands: India 2007

India’s Most Trusted Brands – 2008: Economic Times Brand Equity Survey

Economic Times’ Brand Equity has published the list of India’s Most Trusted Brands Survey findings today.
The top ten brands are

  1. Nokia
  2. Colgate
  3. Tata Salt
  4. Pepsodent
  5. Ponds
  6. Lux
  7. Britannia
  8. Dettol
  9. Lifebuoy
  10. Vicks

This year, Nokia displaced Colgate to gain the top slot. Nokia is riding on the explosive telecom growth that India is now witnessing. The focus on quality and features has made Nokia a brand that Indian consumers love. The brand was able to bring in successful models regularly. Currently the N series has been the poster boy in its portfolio. Along with the models, the brand also has been investing in building the brand equity. The result of the survey also throws an interesting lesson. Recently Nokia faced the issue of ” overheating of battery”. Around 46 mn BL-5C series batteries was recalled by Nokia worldwide . Marketers feared that this recall will have a negative impact on Nokia’s brand equity. But this survey proved that Indian consumers have been impressed by the commitment of Nokia in the Indian market.

The current results has been a disappointment for Colgate which topped the list for the past 4 years. But I feel that the brand lost the position not because of any loss of trust but because the mobile telecom category have seen a huge growth and was the top- of -the- mind category for consumers. Colgate still leads the toothpaste category but will have a reason to worry because Pepsodent has moved to the No.4 slot from the No.8 slot.

The top ten service brands are

  1. LIC
  2. Airtel
  3. State Bank of India
  4. Reliance Mobile
  5. BSNL
  6. Tata Indicom
  7. Indian Oil
  8. Hutch/Vodafone
  9. ICICI Bank
  10. Bank of India

US GDP Fraud … a report on user-generated Social News site

The US government released GDP figures showing rosy 3.5% growth in the third quarter. But don’t be fooled: the books were cooked. This time by the cash for clunkers boondoggle, the first time homebuyers tax credit, and other forms of useless stimuli.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “fully 2.2 percentage points of the third quarter’s 3.5% growth figure related to vehicle purchases and residential construction, both juiced by government support. Federal spending added 0.6%.”

Spending Trend

Spending Trend

GDP Growth with & without Mortgage Equity Withdrawals (MEW)

GDP Growth with & without Mortgage Equity Withdrawals (MEW)

The Bureau of Economic Analysis says, “car sales shot up 157.6% quarter on quarter.” That means cash for clunkers accounted for 1.66% of total GDP.

So subtract fake demand (1.66%) from the official GDP figure (3.5%), and you’re left with 1.84% GDP growth. Not so great after all…

And if you take away other forms of stimulus, the GDP picture appears even darker. According to David Rosenberg, GDP would have been flat or negative without stimulus.

“Don’t believe the GDP hype,” Dan Denning cautions. “The big problems in the economy – too much debt, too much leverage, too much government – are still there. They didn’t go anywhere overnight. We’d suggest that getting sucked back into stocks now because of the US GDP figure is a very bad idea.”

“Of course, we could be wrong,” Dan, continues. “Maybe stocks will go up another 20% from here, or 30%, or 50%. But it’s not likely. It’s more likely that the recession is over, but that the Depression has just begun.”

“It’s begun because what the US GDP numbers actually show is a private sector in full retreat as its income shrinks, its assets fall in value and the cost of servicing debt rises. Into that terrible breach the public sector has stepped armed with an arsenal of inefficient and stupid programs that give the illusion of economic activity, but actually prevent the economy from liquidating excess capacity and bad debt (the two conditions required for a real recovery).”

“Never before did a gap between a 3.2% consensus GDP forecast and an actual print of 3.5% manage to elicit so much excitement in the equity market. It just goes to show how speculative the stock market has become.” The question is why the economy couldn’t do even better?

GDP Fraud

GDP Fraud

“Historically, the auto sector adds 0.1-percentage point or 0.2-percentage point to any given GDP report. In the third quarter, courtesy of cash-for-clunkers, the sector added 1.7 percentage points to the headline figure, which is less than 1-in-10 event in terms of probabilities. Tack on the rebound in housing and government spending and the areas of GDP that received the most medication from public sector stimulus contributed almost all of the growth in the economy. You read this right. If not for the entire government incursion into the economy in Q3, real GDP basically would have stagnated.”

Rosenberg puts the US “recovery” into perspective by comparing it to the eerily similar “recovery” experienced by the Japanese in the 1990s.

“While it seems very flashy, 3.5% growth is far from a trend-setter. Let’s go back to Japan. Since 1990, it has enjoyed no fewer than 19 of these 3.5%-or-better GDP growth quarters. That is almost 25% of the time, by the way. And we know with hindsight that this was noise around the fundamental downtrend because the Japanese economy has experienced four recessions and the equity market is down more than 70% from the peak. What is important for the future is whether the U.S. economy can manage to sustain that 3.5% growth performance in the absence of ongoing massive government stimulus.” In other words, it may be a little early to uncork the champagne.

The big risk going into Q4 is a renewed contraction in real final sales. That is not priced into the various asset classes right now. When good news starts generating the same volume as bad, then one can start with the champagne nibbling. Until then, be very careful with the interpretation of presented results. Don’t think easily that official GDP figures can be trusted like China does; most figures are cooked in the US too.

Look at the data from railroad traffic. Just like electricity demand, this indicator can’t be doctored. Statisticians eager to please the boss can’t massage those ones. Published last week, the Association of American Railroads reported a steep decline in rail traffic:

“Rail traffic remains down year over year for the week ended Oct. 24, 2009. U.S railroads reported originating 276,357 carloads, down 14.8 percent compared with the same week in 2008 and 17.3 percent from 2007.”

A 14.8% decline should cause concern to any bulls out there. One need to look beyond the government sponsored green shoots to see weeds sprouting up everywhere.

And this to think about:
“ If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State. ” (Joseph Goebbels)

Truth is the mortal enemy of the lie. This is a profound observation from such an evil man. The definition of truth is being in accordance with fact or reality. The Nazis were masters of using propaganda to manipulate facts and produce the reality that suited their wicked purposes. Other states have attempted to repress dissent and rule by using the Big Lie. The Soviet Union and Communist China come to mind.

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