For the heck of it

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Infosys, world's most valuable IT firm

Are Bangalore-based Infosys Technologies and Wipro Ltd, India's software bellwethers, the first and third most valuable software services companies in the world?

It would seem so.

Today, the $1.5 billion Infosys would be the costliest company to acquire even ahead of the $16 billion Accenture, the biggest consultancy and software solutions multinational.

Surprised? Don't be.

The EV or enterprise value of Infosys as on April 25, 2005 at $16.72 billion has nudged ahead of Accenture's, which had an enterprise value of $16.57 billion.

Infosys's market cap though at $17.41 billion is lower than that of Accenture's market capitalisation, which stands at $19.95 billion.

Also to understand how valuable Infosys is as a software company consider the enterprise values of other software companies, both Indian and global.

Bigger MNC competitors like EDS and Bearing Point have enterprise values of $10.27 billion and $1.40 billion, respectively. Another Indian IT major Wipro, with an enterprise value of $13.09 billion, is third after Infosys and Accenture in the most valuable software services companies list.

The enterprise value of a company is calculated by adding the total amount of long-term debt that the company is carrying on its balance sheet to the company's market capitalisation, whilst subtracting the value of cash and cash equivalents that are held by the company.

The enterprise value of a company also reflects the actual purchase price of the company if it were to be acquired without taking into account any premium or discount that may be offered at the time of sale.

With Infosys as a company carrying no debt on its balance sheet, it is but normal to expect a premium to be offered in case there is an offer to buy out India's most valuable software company.

Interestingly, the enterprise value of Infosys is higher than that of Accenture despite its most recent fourth quarter results that had disappointed market watchers and had also led to a fall in the Sensex.

Only IBM, which offers both products and software services -- and hence is not a pure play software consultancy and services player -- is more valuable than Infosys.

The $96 billion IBM dwarfs Infosys with an enterprise value of $135.92 billion and a market capitalisation of $121.16 billion.

Read about it at Rediff.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

What a life!!

A guy called Udaynath Dakshiniray from Orali village in Keonjhar district of Orissa, has died at the age of 81. So what's news about it you say? He was in fact married to 92 women in his lifetime! He wanted to marry 100 women in his whole lifetime, but died without having his wish fulfilled. His fifth wife and 15 children were by his side at the hospital when he passed away.

Read more here

Sunday, April 03, 2005

World's tallest building in India!

Noida is aiming at reaching the top of the world by building the world's tallest building as part of the Noida City Center. Plans to build this record-breaking skyscraper in this Delhi suburb were given the go-ahead on March 29, 2005. Local officials say that the building in Noida would be 710 metres (2,330ft or 135-storey) tall - 202 metres higher than Taiwan's Taipei 101, the current tallest building on the planet. The skyscraper, said to have been designed to resemble the peaks of the Himalayas, is scheduled to be open for business by 2013. It will contain a 50-floor five-star hotel, a 40-storey glass atrium and 370,000 sq metres (4m sq ft) of shopping centres.

The world's tallest tower - Taiwan's Taipei 101

Read more about the Noida Project here and here

However, Dubai is also aiming at building the world's tallest building - Burj Dubai, which will be about 2,300 feet high (700 meters). Work for this project has already started and is expected to be completed by 2008.

The Burj Dubai Project

Read about the Burj Dubai project here.

But am still unsure, whether the Noida project will take off - there have been talks of developing the world's largest building called Center of India Tower in Katangi, Madhya Pradesh. This 224-story, 2222-foot(677m) pyramid-shaped building was scheduled to be started on November 6, 2004. The building was to be financed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (The Beatles former spiritual leader), and was to be his new world headquarters. However, there hasn't much been done as far as this project is concerned. The firm designing this tower are known for a previous large development, the Twin Towers in Battery Park City, NYC.

The Center of India Tower

Even Forbes has a mention of this.

The Procedure Of Electing The Next Pope

An amazing article on how the next pope will be elected. This article appeared in Click on the headline to go to Rediff's web site.

The Procedure Of Electing The Next Pope

When the Pope dies, the administrator of the property and the revenues of the Holy See -- who is known as Cardinal Camerlengo -- first verifies the Pontiff's death. This is done by striking the Pope's forehead gently thrice with a silver hammer and asking him, using his Baptismal name, whether he is dead.

If there is no response from the Pope, the Camerlengo solemnly announces his death. He then removes the ring from the dead Pope's finger. This ring, along with the papal seal, is broken, and the Pope's bedroom and study are sealed.

Then follows a nine-day period of mourning, known as novemdiales, during which novenas are said and the Camerlengo (who is now in charge of the Church until a new Pope is elected) arranges the funeral.

The Camerlengo soon calls a Conclave of Cardinals who will meet in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. The Conclave now consists of 115 Cardinal electors, who elect the Pope in utmost secrecy.

In fact, the Cardinals were at one time literally locked in the Sistine Chapel, where the voting takes place; nowadays they are allowed to sleep in special apartments.

Upon entering the Conclave, the Cardinals take an oath of secrecy; the penalty for breaking the oath is automatic excommunication.

The secrecy of the Conclave is very important and serious. The Cardinals cannot communicate with anyone in the outside world when the election is on; even windows are painted over so the Cardinals cannot see the world outside.

The election process generally begins between 15 and 20 days after the Pope's death.

The Cardinals are given paper ballots inscribed with the words, 'I elect as Supreme Pontiff' with a blank area for them to write their preference. Each Cardinal in order of seniority places these ballots on the altar.

These ballots are read aloud first by the Camerlengo. If no person has received a two-thirds vote, there is another vote. If still no Pope has been elected, the ballots are burnt along with straw so that the smoke is black; if a Pope has been elected, the paper is burned alone so that the smoke is white.

If after voting for three days, no Pope has been elected, a day is taken for discussions, rest and prayer. Then voting resumes. If seven more days pass with no decision, there is another day of rest and prayer.

Another series of seven ballots is held, followed by another day of rest and prayer, if necessary.

Then again, another series of seven ballots is held. At this point, if still no Pope is elected, they may elect a Pope by absolute majority (50%+1 instead of the two-thirds majority) or decide to vote only on the two candidates who ranked first and second in the most recent tally.