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Winds of change

Jul 21, 2001

The bourses lost over 3% in a week widely considered as some to be the start of the earnings season. While some of the results were real bad, some out performers kept the balance. But the near term sluggishness in the economy and lack of triggers kept the mood glum. The government’s new found zeal in punishing the UTI wrong doer’s may keep the sentiment sluggish in the next few days. Globally, the investor community seems to be in a state of flux. There is indecision over whether the markets have bottomed out or not. So the outlook has turned to be very short term in nature. A small positive sends the bourses rocketing but the sentiment fizzles out soon. The memory of the tech crash is still vivid in the investors’ mind and hence, the dilemma.

The securities scam still reverberates in the corridors of power. But this time the government seems keen to clear the air once and for all. And so, swiss accounts are getting frozen and the CBI raid party continues to shuffle through UTI brass’ ruffled feathers.

While the raid may embarrass certain quarters as more skeletons spill out, the feeling is that in the long run these measures will go a long way in restoring whatever little investor confidence remains. The establishment seems keen to look ahead and cleanse the environment. The doing away of badla and introduction of rolling settlement and options is a step in that direction.

Though initially, the volumes have tanked and we hear stories of brokers submitting their trading terminals back to the exchange, it could be construed as separating the wheat from the chaff. The good thing is that change is taking place, slowly but surely.

Meanwhile, in the short term the bourses are likely to remain range bound as movers keep a keen eye on the developments post the UTI raids.


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