Walk along Altamount Road

ispat_tower.jpgBombay historically has a supply/demand imbalance around residential property which has led to sky high prices for sub par housing. But lately there has been a lot of construction and hopefully should lead to better pricing…I hope. Click on the image to the left for the full gallery of pics.

One of the areas that I’ve noticed some construction is on Altamount/Carmichael Road. There are a total of 4 large buildings coming up.

Starting from the Kemps Corner entry to Altamount Road, I’ll take you through some of the newest residences coming along the way.

Govind Niwas – Right behind Just Men. The builders are Govind and Sunil Shah.

Chattan Tower – Built by K. Raheja, I’ve seen it called One Altamount and Chattan Bungalow as well, but I believe the final name is Chattan Tower. Rumor has Sameer Gehlaut, of Indiabulls, buying one of the flats at Rs. 1 lakh/sq. feet (USD 2500/sq. ft).

Residence Antilla – Better known as the colossal home of Mukesh Ambani. What more can be said, the building is just massive.

Ispat Tower – Technically the building is on Pedder Road but has access from Altamount Road. The owners are Pramod and Vinod Mittal of Ispat Industries. They are brothers with Lakshmi Mittal of ArcelorMittal.

There is another building being constructed next to Kumar Mangalam Birla’s house, not sure if it will be a 20+ story building or another billionaire bungalow.

Lastly, when walking on Altamount Road you’ll see the 60 story Imperial Tower being built by Shapoorji Palonji and Dilip Thakker. It’s not on Altamount Road or anywhere near it, but it often gets top billing when talking about sky high property prices. I personally believe a lot of it is hype, the entry is from Tardeo and at the moment is atrocious.

Another Apple Store in Bombay

istore_warden_road.pngThe newest Apple reseller in Bombay is iStore, it’s a division of Reliance Digital under Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail. It’s the 3rd location to open up after Bangalore and Hyderabad. The Bombay store is located in South Bombay across the street from the Mahalaxmi Temple on the ground floor of Tirupati Apartments. I had a chance to checkout the store today and it’s like any Apple store you would see in the US but it’s a bit small. But, it had all the products from Apple even the new MacBook Air – which by the way is amazingly light.

I think it’s great that Apple has partnered with Reliance but I feel bad for all the smaller retailers that don’t have the financial backing of the Ambani’s. Reminds me of the battle in the US when Apple started to open their own stores and cannibalized the sales of the small resellers. Hopefully, Apple can increase market share and have more revenue for all resellers.

Click the thumbnail for a larger image.

Bear-ly Alive

bsc_stock1.gifBear Sterns the 5th largest investment bank cracked under the credit crisis that is affecting the financial markets, it got help from the Fed and JP Morgan. It started with rumors early this week about “some bank” filing for bankrupty. Then on Wednesday the CEO Alan Schwartz got on CNBC and said “everything was fine.” Apparently, within 24 hours of that statement the counterparties started to demand cash as collateral which lead to a classic run on the bank. It’s to early to say what will happen, but I’m sure Bear Stearns will not make it as a standalone company.

Great WSJ article on the negotiations the night before the announcement by the Fed.

I’m sure some people are smiling at the misfortunes of Bear as they were the only big investment bank NOT to help during the rescue of Long Term Capital Management in 1998

On a sidenote the movie The Pursuit of Happyness about Chris Gardner who goes from being homeless to a top broker got his start at Bear Sterns.

S&P says subprime mess end in sight

sp_logo.gif S&P says writedowns from subprime-tied securities will probably rise to $285 billion, or $20 billion more than S&P forecast two months ago. And they mentioned that they feel the end is near for most of the writedowns. I find it funny that S&P seems to think the end is in sight when most banks have zero clue what is on their books. But then again maybe they do know something as these are the same jokers that rated most of the MBS (mortgage backed securities) paper as investment grade “AAA” rating. But S&P wasn’t the only one that rated anything as “AAA”, the other two were Fitch and Moody’s. Collectively, the 3 Stooges of ratings share part of the subprime blame.