Net, mobiles make muhurat trading impersonal affair

Discussion in 'Money Matters' started by pammor, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. pammor

    pammor Senior IL'ite

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    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=680 bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TD class=green18bold colSpan=2 Mj_Nc="1" NXlLb="1">Net, mobiles make muhurat impersonal affair<!--/Fullheadline--> Friday, 09 November , 2007, 17:48 <TR class=ash12normalV><TD bgColor=#ffffff colSpan=2><!-- google_ad_section_start=sify_article -->
    Mumbai: The traditional and auspicious 'muhurat' (inaugural) trading at the Friday evening has undergone a sea-change over the past decade or so, thanks to the internet and mobile phones.
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    Though officially closed, the BSE and NSE remains open for an hour Friday evening to keep alive the trading spirit of the Hindu traditional financial New Year day celebrated on Diwali.
    Over the years, the muhurat trading tradition was the most anticipated event in the annual business calendar when brokers, sub-brokers and their cohorts would throng the famous BSE trading ring, in the landmark Jeejeebhoy Towers, located in south Mumbai.

    Depending on the mood of the markets, the state of the economy and related factors, deals worth a few millions are struck during the auspicious period, decided by Hindu priests.
    The auspicious muhurat trading period Friday begins at 1800 hrs.
    Old-timers like sub-broker Rohit Shah of Andheri recall that muhurat trading was a joyous occasion with lots of camaraderie. All business rivalries were forgotten and buried under the heaps of sweetmeats and dry fruit boxes that were brought and shared by the broking community.
    "The brokers would come attired in their Diwali best, mostly silks, with the 'tikka' on their foreheads, traditional caps, some jewellery and full of high spirits for the New Year trading," Shah said.

    Those were the days when ordinary sub-brokers would rub shoulders with some of the legendary figures who would visit the ring, like Ketan Parekh, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, or the deceased legends like Manu Manek, Shanti Balu and Harshad Mehta.

    Big industrialists like the late Dhirubhai Ambani, the Jains, the Wadias, Tatas and others were represented by either their authorised brokers or chartered accountants who kept tabs on the goings on and kept their principals updated on the latest business trends. All this was effectively achieved through a network of emissaries as there were no mobile phones in those days.

    The BSE contributed to the festive spirit by permitting family members of brokers and sub-brokers to enter the sacred trading ring, out of bounds for all but the cardholders on all other days.
    "The ring itself resembled a huge wedding pandal, with all the charming women in dazzling costumes and jewellery anxiously waiting for the signal from their husbands (or sons, or brothers) to indicate that he had just made a profit," said Shah.

    Even a small profit on the muhurat trading was a psychological boost for the broking community and they expected it to have a year-long auspicious effect on business.
    All that is passé.

    In the past eight or nine years, has taken over the role of the traditional broker and sub-broker.
    "These days even the 'chopda poojan' (worshipping the red-jacket accounts books for the New Year) is replaced by the personal computer or a laptop," said sub-broker for IndiaInfoline Nigam Pandya, based in Daman.
    According to Pandya, sub-brokers ceremonially dust off their PCs, adorn it with a garland and apply 'tikka' on the screen and a hired priest conducts a pooja of the machine. Then it is switched on for the muhurat trading as the assembled family members and friends loudly cheer and clap.

    With PC and internet connectivity, the monopoly of only brokers and sub-brokers has been broken. Now, an individual investor sitting in the remotest corner of India can try his or her luck and enter into a single share transaction of as low as 5 paise, Pandya explained. In the earlier days, only the locals in Mumbai had the privilege of entering the BSE ring, now anybody can enter the 'ring' online.

    Even big brokers take this opportunity very seriously. Shah said that though most big brokers have now started brokerage firms, they do not miss out on the auspicious muhurat trading.
    "Trade volumes during muhurat can be huge, sometimes running into billions of rupees, unlike the days of physical trading when it would barely cross a few millions," Shah said. But computers have made the whole joy of making profits an impersonal affair. "We do not know who is the buyer or the seller, they are anonymous. In the good old days when a person made a small profit or cracked a good transaction, he would howl with joy and hug those around him, even if they were total strangers. Now, people make millions in profits, but they just shrug and forget it - the personal touch and satisfaction of making big money has disappeared," Pandya said.<!-- google_ad_section_end=sify_article -->

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2007

  2. orion80

    orion80 Platinum IL'ite

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    In these days where almost everything is done online, this is bound to happen.

    I would prefer this as i would not wooed by the sentiments and emotions on Dala street. I can sit at my home, analyze and make a call.

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