Sunday, May 22, 2011

Religion Investment Intersection - Shariah Stock Indices

Religion has been the basis of a lot of things in the past. It has also come upon influencing trade and business. Islamic Banking is a very well known idea in the business world. It is all about doing the business of banking in such a way that it complies with the provisions of Shariah ( a code of conduct which rules most aspects of a Muslim individual's life include marraige, business, charity etc). Since the last two decades a lot of reading and experimenting has happened in the area of Islamic Banking.

Islamic Investing is a fairly recent innovation. This is all about investing in companies whose operations and products are Shariah compliant. Major fund-houses and index-service providers have exploited this idea and set up hedge-funds, mutual funds, ETFs which are Shariah compliant. In India BSE along with Taqwaa Advisory and Shariah Investment Solutions (TASIS) have come-up with BSE Shariah 50, presently the only thematic index at BSE. NSE has introduced two similar indices namely S&P CNX 500 Shariah and S&P CNX Nifty Shariah.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine's Day Special - A Mathematical Aphrodisiac

Come Valentine's Day a lot of things happen around you. On one side one can see young men and women doing really crazy things to express their 'love'. While on the other side self-appointed policemen of culture, tradition etc come out with lathis and unleash terror. This is also the season when business heats up, specially for flower shops, greeting card, gift articles and so on. And the ubiquitous media does a good coverage of all these. When all the world is whirling with activity there is one category of people which doesn't seem to do much - the mathematicians. Mathematics is often perceived as a boring subject and mathematicians are often characterized as lost in their own proofs. Sometimes mathematicians can be interestingly romantic as well.

Friday, February 4, 2011

GFCI 8 and a Forgotten Report

The Global Financial Center Index (GFCI) is a composite index that provides relative competitiveness of 75 financial centers across the world. It is a bi-annual report published by Z/Yen group, based out of London, with the support of the City of London Corporation. First published in 2007 the index covered only 46 centers. Slowly it has increased its ambit to 75 centers. 

The GFCI is computed using both quantitative and qualitative factors. The quantitative factors or the instrumental factors, as the report calls, have their base in secondary data sources. Many reports like that of the World Bank, Transparency International etc are used to cull the instrumental inputs. The qualitative inputs are obtained from international financial executives through an ongoing online questionnaire-based interview. The recent report is based on more than 33,000 responses from more than 1,800 professionals. The rating model has undergone substantial qualitative up-gradation.

The recent report has a few surprises. London is rated as the best IFC this year. Well, this is not the surprise I just said.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A B C D Returns

Today I had a very peculiar but interesting feeling. I found myself seated in a classroom and a teacher standing before me writing down A..B..C..D.. on a writing board. I got enrolled myself in a foreign language course at Vivekananda Institute of Languages, Ramakrishna Math. The language of my choice is German (Deutsch to be more correct). I do not remember the day when I learnt A B C D in English though I remember the alphabets as such :) . So I thought I should not forget this day when I learnt A B C D of German, hence this post.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Convocation Post

It is a dull afternoon and I am sitting in the office jobless (albeit temporarily ). In spite of the boredom around, some excitement is yelling at me from a distance. It is the convocation ceremony slated for this weekend. Wow, so I am going to receive a degree(actually a PG diploma) this weekend. For most of the people who receive their degrees this would probably be their second convocation ceremony. But for me this is the first such ceremony. This fact adds to the excitement.

A Convocation Ceremony
In MBA college we were made to believe that people who quote famous people are well read and proficient in communication. That thing still refuses to leave me. So I ran a search in Google to find some interesting quotes on the theme of convocation. Google, as usual, did not ditch me and threw some 1.5 million results in 0.17 seconds. I got hold of an 'interesting' quote which I made my Facebook status message. It was a quote from Robert Orben (do not ask me who is he, probably Wikipedia can tell you that). 'A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that "individuality" is the key to success.' 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Want To Be An Entrepreneur

Off late there is a lot of buzz about entrepreneurship. Back in my MBA college I was a member of the entrepreneurship cell where a lot of teachers and industry leaders  praised entrepreneurship and in a way exhorted students to take up entrepreneurship. Media reports often put the stories of successful young entrepreneurs and people who give up "comfortable" jobs to pursue entrepreneurship in limelight. All these things had an impact on me and one day I thought I should be an entrepreneur myself. That was great!! But who is an entrepreneur or what is entrepreneurship?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Did Harappans speak Tamil ??

 It was a fine morning in Harappa in 2398 BCE. Sun was shining brightly when a joyous procession of people proceeded towards a local temple. A lean man appeared out of the temple and people shouted ‘Muruga.. Muruga’. A man and woman wearing ceremonial dress moved towards the lean man standing in front of the crowd. The lean man performed a religious rite and asked the woman to look northwards. She said ‘ Vada Meen Pol Naan Iruppen’ (I shall remain as firm as the northern pole-star).

If the Dravidian hypothesis of Indus script as proposed by Professor Asko Parpola of Helsinki University were to be true, the above scene could have happened in Harappa and Mohenjadaro.