Short selling Indian Hotels

I’m writing this post in protest against people who have stupid ideas such as declaring “no blog day” in order to protest against “hatred and terror”. I’m sorry I don’t get the point. I dont’ see how this kind of thing is going to help. And I don’t know how anyone who cares will be bothered by this.And if you don’t like this post, you might want to take some tablets which can cure irony deficiency.

So yesterday morning, after the end of our usual morning meeting at work, I switched on Bloomberg as is my usual practice. After checking on the Nifty, I  opened another window and checked up on Indian Hotels (the Tata group company that owns the Taj chain, among others). The stock was down 15%. Ruthlessly hammered down. By short sellers.

While the Taj Mahal was burning, and our security forces out in full force in order to salvage it, you had ruthless short sellers and market operators who were trying to profit from it by shorting the stock. This smacks of disrespect and needs to be condemned using the strongest words. What the owners and managers of Indian Hotels now need is our support, and you have people who are doing exactly the opposite.

Strong steps need to be taken by the government to improve regulation of markets in order to stop capitalists and monopolists from taking advantage of other people’s troubles. One model we could adopt is what has been seen in the Karachi Stock Exchange, where stock prices are not allowed to go down. This is an excellent step, and can be used to prevent operators from making a fast buck out of someone else’s misery

13 thoughts on “Short selling Indian Hotels”

  1. I agree with your idea that people should not be allowed to make a fast buck out of somebody’s misery, but don’t understand two things.

    1. How do you know it was because of short sellers?

    2. The floor on Karachi stock prices is imho a bad idea. The value of a stock that requires a floor is exactly zero, because there are no more buyers. You could stop *any* trading on that stock for a while, but don’t know what the implications of that are.

  2. Is that sarcasm I detect? The ceiling price for stocks was the funniest thing I ever heard. Trading volumes dropped to zero just after the ban.

  3. Ethically speaking you’re right but what you are suggesting is against the spirit of free markets.The stock price should always discount/reflect all the available information about the stock.That is how markets work and i feel we shouldn’t meddle with it either on the long side or the short side.

  4. Hotel Chains are fair game. “High-end” hotels have for years been short-selling customers by over-billing tourists and business travelers in return for questionable levels of safety, comfort and satisfaction (per $$ spent).

    Leaving emotions aside, shareholder equity/future-earnings has been reduced by the extent of physical and PR damage hotels have suffered and lawsuits soon to follow from relatives of murdered tourists. I wouldn’t be surprised if the hotels were insured by the parent companies themselves.

    I’m sure this is a mistake, but your final paragraph prescibes actions similar to what first paragraph condemns.

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