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Hush-hush tales from the world of stock markets, banking, corporate world and corridors of power

MC Insider: Bullish emergency fund, fake earnings call transcripts, the small cap trading in shares, messy airline marriage, and more

Last Updated: June 29, 2022 / 06:59 AM IST

Backup Plan

Only too aware about the vagaries of the stock market, one of the leading names of Dalal Street is said to have created a trust fund out of the proceeds of the sales over the last fortnight. The aim is to ensure that the big ideas receive funding irrespective of where the market is headed in the foreseeable future. One of the trustees is said to be the highly astute but low-key market maven and financier who has been with this HNI through thick and thin for over two decades now.

Desperate Moves

Desperate Moves

Desperate operators are now said to be floating doctored earnings call transcripts in a bid to offload their positions in mid and small cap stocks. Having taken the trouble to go this far, they may have as well paid a little more attention to the language. A dead giveaway in one of the doctored transcripts purportedly by a mill-turned-mall operator was the repeated reference to analysts and fund managers as “our analyst friends” and “our investor friends”.

Corporate House Or Stock Trading House?

Corporate House Or Stock Trading House?

The bull market can do crazy things to perfectly normal people. The rush of new money, the confidence and optimism can change one’s approach to life. In the case of a BSE-listed small-cap company, it can change your purpose too. The company in question has become fairly active in the stock market since the start of the pandemic as it started to take short-term bets on the market to prop up earnings. A look at its annual report shows that the stocks in its portfolio have nearly tripled between March 2020 and March 2022 but at the same time the churn is high. The company bought into the trendiest names and exited them during the same period. Of the six stocks it held back in March 2020, only one has remained in the portfolio in 2022. But when your portfolio nearly quintuples in two years, who can complain even if it violates a few corporate best practices, eh?

Buyout Call

Buyout Call

Tring-Tring!! Promoter this side. The buzz doing the rounds in telecom circles is that the promoter of a leading telecom company in India is looking to buy out the entire stake held by another promoter group. The promoter group has been associated with the telecom company since 1999-2000, holds more than 10 percent stake, but is now looking to exit the business. However, the buzz is that the main promoter of the company is trying to raise funds in his personal capacity or through other shareholders in the family as well as other options to buy out the stake himself rather than letting the promoter group offload the shares in the market. If this materialises, it will not only infuse confidence in the company about the commitment of the promotors but will also send strong signals in the market about the stock which can see some good appreciation.

Trust Issues

Trust Issues

Just as a corporate governance crisis has engulfed two of the country's largest mutual funds, another is steadily winning back some confidence amongst investors after the debacle in certain debts schemes at the height of the pandemic. The said mutual fund, once the go-to place for well to-do investors, has found listeners at recent meetings with investors and distributors where earlier it faced some backlash. Trying to win back trust can be difficult in any field more so when other people's money is involved but insiders at the mutual fund see scope for the equity side of the business to recover back to the glory days soon even as the journey for the debt side will be "gradual". Everyone deserves a second chance and all we hope is that they follow these hallowed words of Maya Angelou: "I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."

Airline Marriages Are Messy

Airline Marriages Are Messy

As the Tatas prepare to house all airlines under one roof and initiate the process of merger of AirAsia India after the competition watchdog's approvals, the real challenge could be on the human resources front. The legacy of the ill-fated Air India-Indian Airlines merger is still alive. We hear that now many feathers were ruffled as former senior officials of Air India are now advisors to CXOs amid a raft of changes in day-to-day operations. While the new CEO takes charge and the CCO is globetrotting to look for planes, the older lot is wondering if they would be involved in any decision-making at all? In such times, VRS seems to be the only option.

Pharma Shenanigans

Pharma Shenanigans

The corridors of Nirman Bhawan in Lutyens’ Delhi, where the Union health ministry is housed, is abuzz with conversations around the recent CBI action at the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization. Until a few days back, the senior CDSCO official, now arrested, was a regular in those corridors with files tucked under his arm. The official, who has many bureaucrats on his good friends’ list, is getting oodles of sympathy because the buzz is that the latest episode is a result of bitter in-fighting rather than an attempt to fix corruption in the drug regulatory processes. The arrested official was billed as one of the contenders for the post of drug controller general of India, whose tenure is ending soon.

Share If You Care

Share If You Care

At a global advertising festival, two agencies were applauded for sharing due credits for a campaign that’s truly putting India top on the global ad map. Perhaps ushering in an era of a healthy credit culture in an industry not known for sharing accolades. A creative director of a digital shop recalls how it was so different just a few years ago. He remembers how a young copywriter had to fight tooth and nail for the top bosses to acknowledge the fact that the germ of mega social idea came from him. When the news reached the humble chief executive’s ears, he made sure he told the world whose idea was it first, and the rest as they say was history. The young copywriter was seen giving press interviews with a million-dollar smile. In a world where it’s often hard to tell who owns how much of an idea, sharing credit is getting cleaner and clearer with times.

Taking A Tour

Taking A Tour

An industry veteran has been spotted in South Bombay’s popular bars and cafes. This agency chief executive is known for his entrepreneurship skills and spirit. He has been meeting several small business owners and agencies to widen his portfolio. He has always identified the right kind of creative folks since he set up his first agency. People have been loyal to him because he gives them the freedom to grow and run the business like their own. We hear he is all ears if you have an idea you are passionate about. Now we hear he has put money into a hot new creative shop that everyone has their eyes on.

Signoff Soon

Signoff Soon

This startup's financials are giving the startup ecosystem sleepless nights as any hanky-panky could well take down the entire ecosystem and dent India's startup aspirations. Well, after a lot of back and forth, the word is that auditors might sign off on its numbers by the end of June, albeit with some qualifications. Watch this space.

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