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India’s GDP Comes In At A Surprise 7.6% For Q2

India's GDP clocked a growth of 7.6% in the second quarter (July-September) surpassing analyst and Reserve Bank’s MPC expectations but slowing as compared to the previous quarter data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO)

By Govindraj Ethiraj
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India GDP Q2
On today’s episode, financial journalist Govindraj Ethiraj talks to Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of the Council for Energy, Environment and Water as well as well known fundamental investor (and member of the BSE) Ramesh Damani. 

Our Top Reports For Today

  • (00:00) Stories Of The Day
  • (01:00) India’s GDP comes in at a surprise 7.6% for the second quarter.
  • (03:19) World markets have had the best month in 3 years while Tata Technologies IPO makes a triple jump on debut.
  • (05:52) COP28, India wants a road map on climate finance in Dubai.
  • (12:09) Charlie Munger; The Ramesh Damani Interview
  • (28:59) Singapore is more expensive to live in than New York and India sees close to 58 ultra luxury home sales or more than 40 crore.


NOTE: This transcript contains only the host's monologue and does not include any interviews or discussions that might be within the podcast. Please refer to the episode audio if you wish to quote the people interviewed. Email [email protected] for any queries.

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GDP Numbers Surprise

India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) clocked a growth of 7.6% in the second quarter (July-September) surpassing analyst and Reserve Bank’s MPC expectations but slowing as compared to the previous quarter data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed Thursday.

It was 5.4 per cent in the same quarter last year. In the first quarter of 2023-24 (FY24), India's GDP grew by 7.8 per cent.

The jump in GDP figures in the second quarter was led by manufacturing and construction industries. 

Manufacturing industry grew the most at 13.9 percent in Q2 as compared to a fall of 3.8 per cent in the same quarter last year. It was 4.7 per cent in the first quarter of FY24. 

The second-highest growth was witnessed in the construction industry at 13.3 per cent. It was 5.7 per cent in Q2FY23. In Q1FY24, it was 7.9 per cent. 

The electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services industry registered the third-highest growth of 10.1 per cent as compared to 6 per cent in Q2FY23. In Q1FY24, it was 2.9 per cent. 

Consumer demand, a pivotal contributor constituting about 60% of GDP growth, remains robust, primarily driven by urban residents. 

Tata Technologies Best Listing On The Bourses

Tata Technologies Ltd. almost tripled in its trading debut making it one of the best listing gains for any Indian initial public offering of its size..

The stock touched Rs 1,400 on Thursday versus an offer price of 500 rupees, after its roughly Rs 3,000 crore IPO was oversubscribed 69 times. It closed at Rs 1,326, a 165% return on its offer price of Rs 500.

Tata Technologies was the first IPO in close to 20 years from the more than 150 year old Tata Group. 

The last IPO from the Tata Group was from Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest IT company in size.

The IPO was among five offerings last week worth around Rs 7,000 crore and over 200.

The success of Tata Technologies of course also in some ways marks the larger trend of waves of bullishness shifting from the secondary markets to the primary as investors seek better returns and hunt for good companies with pedigree to put their money in.

Tata Technologies of course has benefited for mostly the right reasons. The same cannot be said for example of newbies in the tech space, for lack of any other term, who raised money in 2021 and whose share prices continue to languish below offer price.

Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex closed at 66,988, up 87 points while the NSE Nifty index ended 36 points higher at 20,133. 

Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting that November has shaped up to be a fairytale month for equities, with the MSCI's world stock index is set to close the month up almost 9%, its best performance since November 2020, when markets cheered the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines.

November's equity rally has been broad based, with global growth stocks in high-tech sectors are up 11% while value stocks, which are mainly in cyclical industries and offer high dividends, have gained around 6.7%

COP28, What’s In Store?

Representatives of some 200 countries have been gathering in Dubai since yesterday for the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP28.

India is being represented at the top by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while both the United States and China, the two largest emitters are not being represented by their heads Joe Biden, President of Xi Jingping of China.

A key focus area will be a disaster fund and then onto issues like phasing out CO2-emitting coal, oil and gas, the main source of warming emissions.

An early breakthrough on the damage fund - which poorer nations have demanded for years - could help set the stage for other agreements, it is believed.

I reached out to Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of the Council for Energy, Environment and Water, a well known public policy research institute and think tank focussed primarily on resources and environment. 

I caught up with him in Dubai and began by asking him how the general mood was at COP28 and what were the issues that he was most focussed on.

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Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger, investing legend Warren Buffett’s partner and friend vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, died at 99 in a California hospital.

Munger, who among other things was drawn to engineering and technology, also pushed Buffett into big bets on BYD, a Chinese battery and electric vehicle maker, and Iscar, an Israeli machine-tool manufacturer.

Munger began managing investment partnerships in 1962. From then through 1969, the S&P 500 gained an average of 5.6% annually. Buffett’s partnerships returned an average of 24.3% annually. Munger’s did even better, averaging annualised gains of 24.4%, says the WSJ.

In 1975, shortly before he joined Berkshire as vice chairman, Munger shut down his partnerships. 

The two men had long invested differently. Buffett, under the influence of his mentor Benjamin Graham, would buy almost any business, even if it was near-dead, so long as it was cheap.

One such example was Berkshire Hathaway itself, which had been a dilapidated textile manufacturer when Buffett bought it in 1965.

Munger instead focused on great businesses at acceptable prices, reckoning that their ability to produce cash in the future would more than compensate for paying a premium price up front.

I reached out to well known fundamental investor Ramesh Damani and began by asking him about his own experiences and learnings from Munger, on the very basics of long term investing and stock picking.

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Kissinger Dies

Former presidential adviser Henry Kissinger died at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut, said a statement by his consulting firm. 

He is the only American official ever to concurrently serve as both secretary of state and White House national security adviser, during the Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford presidencies, the WSJ reported. 

He is seen as playing a key role in ending the U.S. war in Vietnam and in shaping American foreign policy toward the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, along with the Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho, for pursuing secret diplomatic talks that forged the Paris Peace Accords, ending the U.S. military campaign in Southeast Asia. 

I saw him in Singapore around 20 years ago speaking at a global entrepreneurship summit. While at that point too, he was no longer the powerhouse he once was, the hall overflowing with people who were there just for a glimpse of the legendary diplomat.

“I’d rather not address that question because it may disturb the equilibrium of the people sitting in the front row,” he said cheekily to a question on regional co-operation if I remember correctly.

Most Expensive Cities To Live In

Singapore and Zurich surpassed New York to become the world’s most expensive cities to live in this year, according to a new global survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The cost of car ownership, expensive alcohol and rising grocery prices saw Singapore pull ahead of the US city, with which it shared top spot last year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living 2023 report.

Zurich jumped from sixth place last year to rank alongside Singapore, thanks in part to the strong Swiss franc, as well as expensive groceries, household goods and recreation.

Geneva, tied with New York in third position, and Hong Kong rounded out the list of the top five costliest places. 

Overall, global prices rose an average 7.4 per cent year-on-year in local currency terms, slightly down on last year’s 8.1 percent increase. 

The survey was carried out between Aug. 14 and Sept. 11 and compared more than 400 individual prices in 173 cities globally.

If we were to do a similar survey in India, which cities would you rank as the most expensive. I would think it is Mumbai, for absolutely no reason at all and then maybe Delhi and Bangalore, followed by others.

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Have a great day and weekend and see you on Monday.

Tomorrow, I will be speaking with Jyoti Mayal, president of the more than 75 year old Travel Agents Association of India. Do catch up to learn if nothing else, how India and travelling Indians can play an important role in being ambassadors to our prosperity.