Rs. 150 Coins Will Be Here

Inflation is really really getting to us. The government will issue coins of Rs. 150, it seems.

For the first time in the country's minting history, government will issue coins of Rs 150, marking the number of years of taxation in India.

The special coins, to be released by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee before his Budget speech, will also be brought out in Rs 5 denomination on the occasion of completion of 150 years, from 1860 to 2010, of the Income Tax department.

This is the first time that coins of Rs 150 denomination are being minted by the government. The Department of Economic Affairs under the Finance Ministry recently notified the order.

The Rs 150 coin, made of an alloy of Silver, Copper, Nickel and Zinc, will have an international design with ''Satyameva Jayate'' and ''India'' on the front side while a portrait of ''Chanakya and lotus with honeybee'' on the reverse side.

I imagine the honeybee is to indicate how much it hurts to have to pay Rs. 150 with coins.

(I'm just kidding.There are just 200 such coins, no big deal!)

Crude up 9% on the Libyan Unrest

Crude oil is up more than 7 dollars at 94 dollars, a rise of 9%, which is HUGE. Libya is seeing huge unrest after Egypt's revolution, and the Great Gaddafi is likely in some trouble after about 40 years at the helm. Bahrain, too, is seeing serious protests, and oil supply is under some threat, it seems. Or at least, the markets think so.

Brent Crude, more relevant to India, is at $104+.

BP and Reliance = $7.2 billion

BP will pay $7.2 billion to Reliance Industries to take 30% stake in 23 oil and gas blocks, and another $1.8 bn based on performance. This is the second BP deal worldwide, after a $8 bn equity swap with Rosneft in Russia. BP will also set up a 50:50 joint venture for marketing LNG.

This is a good deal for RIL. It was getting flak for not being able to pump in more gas or explore more, and it really hasn't built deepwater capabilities yet. BP can also augment the near-term lack of gas by external supplies and feed into the distribution setup RIL has built which is currently not used much. It's huge for the gas industry in India if the distribution setup takes off - NG is an amazing fuel and if you fix transportation it can change our energy profile.

RIL went up 2% yesterday to 957. But nothing spectacular in terms of volumes, honestly. 555 crores on an expiry week is par for the course. Let's see how the markets react today.

At Yahoo: Budgets and Stock Markets

I write about Budgets and Stock Markets in my first piece on this Year's budget, in Yahoo's Special Budget Edition.

(Reproduced in Full)

The budget has traditionally been an important part of the financial year, with the government announcing exactly what it wants to do for the next year, and how it has succeeded grandly at what it said it wanted to do last year*.

Part of the budget is an economic survey that gives you lots of figures on government spending and income, and the remaining part is the budget speech which tells you what they intend to do in the coming year.

(* The failures are hardly given a mention.)

Stock markets tend to react violently the budget. Both directly and indirectly, listed companies benefit or get hurt by provisions in the budget. A look at stock markets on budget day itself - the change from the previous day to the next:

MV Chronicle: Ambani Shuts Down the BSE and more...


In the latest MarketVision Chronicle (Feb 19 2011): Read about how Ambani shut down the BSE for a couple days in 1982, and all else at MarketVision.

(Note: You have to register, and it's free)

Reader Q: How is NAV Calculated For Purchases?

Reader Anon asks:

Hi Deepak,
Could you plz explain if some one newly buying to a fund will affect the NAV? or is it like.... today fund came up with the NAV of the scheme and if I apply for 10000 Rs, they give me units say today's NAV/10000 or is it like (Today's NAV calculated including my 10000)/ 10000 as the NAV of today and I allot the units!

Lets take an example. A fund has Rs. 100,000 as its total assets under management (AUM) and, let's say, 5,000 units.

Short Take: Equity Mutual Funds

See our latest video in the Mutual Fund series on: Equity Mutual Funds.

(Video, 10 min)

Gutkha Ban Reaffirmed by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has reaffirmed the March 1 deadline banning packaging of all tobacco products in plastic sachets. This hurts UFLEX, JINDALPOLY and POLYPLEX. The news was out yesterday but the stocks have slid down 2 to 3% today. The govt. has already banned it on Feb 4 (enforced from March 1):

PA Inflation Down To 14.59% - Feb 5, 2011

Inflation seems to be coming under control, quite dramatically. The latest data  for Feb 5, 2011 shows a 14.59% headline number. It will no doubt be revised to 16% or more later, when no one remembers.

China Beats The Next 10 In Steel, Added Up!

Data from the World Steel Organization for 2010 is in, and there's an incredible show out there. China, with 626 million tons of production, is greater than the next 10 countries,  added up.

India is fifth in the list, with 66.85 million tons.

World Steel Production, 2010