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blog 2With the recent launch of the ICICI Bharat 22 ETF, a lot of buzz around Exchange Traded Funds or ETF’s has been doing the rounds. Most investors may be wondering whether it is worth investing in ETF’s?

So what is an Exchange Traded Fund?

An ETF is a passive investment instrument whose value is based on a particular index and such a scheme mirrors the index and invests in securities in the same proportion as the underlying index. For example, a Nifty ETF will invest in the 50 stocks compromising the Nifty index. ETF’s are freely marketable securities which are traded on the stock exchange.

Since ETF’s trade on the exchange, their value fluctuates all the time during the market trading hours. This is different from the working of a mutual fund scheme which has a single Net Asset Value (NAV) per day that is determined after the trading hours are over.

Theoretically, ETF’s are structured to provide a variety of advantages to investors. The most prominent among them are as follows:

  • Diversification: ETF’s can provide a variety of diversification based on following themes:
  1. Asset classes such as equities, gold, fixed income
  2. Sectors such as financial services, consumption, infrastructure
  3. Based on market cap i.e. large, mid and small cap
  • Low Cost: One of the biggest attraction of ETF’s has been it’s very low cost structure, especially in comparison to Indian mutual funds. The low costs is primarily due to the fact that an ETF is a passive investment i.e. there is no active intervention in stock selection, re balancing based on a certain view. Therefore the costs associated with hiring professionals and the required infrastructure is avoided, resulting in a significantly cheaper product. Furthermore, most ETF’s have kept the expense ratios low to induce significant inflows from institutional investors. Following are examples of some commonly known ETF’s and their respective Expense Ratios
ETF Expense Ratio
CPSE ETF 0.07%
Motilat Oswal MOSt Shares M100 ETF 1.50%
Kotak Banking ETF 0.20%
ICICI Prudential Nifty iWIN ETF Fund 0.05%
SBI – ETF Nifty 50 0.07%
Average 0.38%

(Source: Value Research, mutual fund websites)

  • Suited to Efficient Markets: it is a global observation that passively managed funds have performed significantly better over actively managed funds where markets are more efficient. This is because in developed markets, all related information that should be priced into the equity market already happens, leaving very little space for the fund managers to beat their respective benchmarks.
  • Reduced Risks: Due to its passive structure, the risk arising due to stock selections by a fund manager are reduced. Furthermore, as an ETF comprises the same stocks in the same allocation as in the underlying index, tracking error is significantly reduced to the point of it being almost negligible. Tracking Error is the standard deviation between the returns of the fund and the underlying index. A lower tracking error indicates the fund is that the ETF will mirror the index more closely and therefore its performance will be more consistent with the same index.

Despite many advantages that ETF’s can bring to the table, in India they so far have been primarily avoided for the following reasons:

  • Liquidity: One of the major disadvantages plaguing ETF’s currently is liquidity. As ETF’s are traded on the exchange like any stock, its not always you will have to opportunity to either buy or sell at the desired quantity or price, depending on the type of ETF involved. However an alternative to this problem is the use of a market maker. A market maker is appointed by fund houses. They, on behalf of fund houses, provide quotes for buying or selling an ETF based on the current NAV of that ETF. This helps ensure liquidity for investors. Any investor can approach a market maker for transaction. The difference in their quote and the NAV of the ETF is called “spread”, is the cost for the services. –
  • Lack of awareness: Distributors receive negligible commission for recommending and executing an investment into an ETF. Because of these low margins not much efforts have gone into promoting ETF’s. Thus, most investors are unaware of what an ETF is and how it can add value to their portfolio.
  • Relative Underperformance over long term: While in theory ETF’s should out perform active managed funds in an efficient market, the point to note is that India is still some time from achieving that status. Hence actively managed equity funds, especially in the top quartile, are able to beat the underlying index, and ETF’s over long term horizons. This currently results in alpha creation which ETF’s may take time to match up to. The following table is a comparison between a random mix of actively managed equity funds and equity oriented ETF’s:
  1yr 3yr 5yr 10yr
Aditya Birla Sun Life Frontline Equity 26.62 10.21 16.89 10.61
Franklin Templeton Franklin India Prima Plus 24.86 11.17 18.22 10.87
HDFC Top 200 28.42 8.39 14.99 10.65
IDFC Premier Equity 30.35 11.72 18.68 14.08
ICICI Prudential Nifty 100 iWIN ETF 27.54 8.44    
Kotak Sensex ETF 23.88 5.36 10.7  
Reliance ETF Nifty BeES 26.78 6.7 11.91 5.75
S&P BSE Sensex 25.58 5.01 11.15 5.14
NSE Nifty 100 26.97 7.55 12.71 6.08
source: value express , date (07 Dec 17), returns data CAGR        

As in the Indian economy continues its march towards being recognized as a developed nation, there is fair certainty that ETF’s will have a far larger role to play. However in current scenarios, practical hurdles continue to keep them out of favor among investors. We believe that assigning a small allocation towards ETF’s, after due diligence, is sufficient basis investor’s risk appetite and investment horizon. As Indian Equity markets evolve, so will the ETF space and this will increase investors interest towards them.

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Issue Detail:
Issue Open: Mar 8, 2017 – Mar 10, 2017
Issue Type: Book Built Issue IPO
Issue Size: 62,393,631 Equity Shares of Rs 10 aggregating up to Rs 1,865.57 Cr
Face Value: Rs 10 Per Equity Share
Issue Price: Rs. 295 – Rs. 299 Per Equity Share
Market Lot: 50 Shares
Minimum Order Quantity: 50 Shares
Listing At: BSE, NSE

D’mart (Avenues Supermarket), which is in the retail business with 118 stores, selling products such as food and groceries (55 per cent of revenues), home and personal care products (20 per cent of revenues) and general merchandise, such as crockery, furniture, garments, footwear, and home appliances (25 per cent of revenues), has clearly come at a time where the global view on equities has turned positive, and volatility in equities is at record lows. IPOs like Snapchat in the US have created significant short term gains for investors, and Indian investors are seeking a repeat.  The fact that D’mart is associated with Radhakrishan Damani, believed to be one of the sharpest long term investors in India, has only added to the frenzy. The penetration and development of retail businesses in India have been a much discussed opportunity over the last decade, and the shift from unorganised to organised, and from offline to online, continue to be much talked about.

Whilst there is no doubt that this shift has begun and is only likely to increase significantly going forward,  as individuals and families gain more and more comfort with these formats and decide which one works best for themselves, one needs to keep in mind that margins in most retail businesses tend to be very slim, and thus investors will need to be very patient with these businesses, as they scale and maintain/try to grow margins simultaneously, in spite of significant competition. Customer loyalty across these formats will also be tested , as consumers do tend to be very price sensitive in most retail segments.

Whilst revenue and earnings growth for the business have been very decent at 35 – 40% CAGR  over the last few years, and the profit margins and other numbers are better than competition, with further scope to possibly expand through the use of private labels, one will need to remember that businesses of this type will create wealth for investors if they are truly thinking very long term. At a P/E of 36 times, even though cheaper than other players in the retail space, and with a model that is very efficient with use of capital, real estate and its supply chain, this IPO is  not cheap.

1488311858-5197

With expectations of significant listing gains pushing investors to try to get a share of the pie, and the issue size being only about Rs 1870 crores, most investors in the retail segment are not likely to get any shares at all, or even if they do, the net impact on their portfolio is likely to be minimal due to the small holding that they will get. For high net worth investors taking leveraged positions, a very high over subscription rate could essentially mean that their interest costs are also likely to be very significant.

With an uncertain global environment on the back of a possible US rate hike coming up, this issue is appropriate only for investors with a high risk appetite, or investors taking a very long term view of their portfolio in our view.

Just like Retail is all about detail, stock investing is all about earnings so keep your eyes focussed there and see how retail businesses continue to grow their earnings going forward, and deal with significant competition pressures.

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“The only real battle in life is between hanging on and letting go.”

― Shannon L.

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This is exactly what you need to ask yourself while reviewing your existing set of investments.

Once you have decided your goals, you need to review your existing investments. This will give you a sense on which is the ones that are not doing well so that they can be replaced. It will also help you understand based on your asset allocation and goals that going forward where you need to invest so that your investments are in line with your goals.

You may be having some investments in stocks, Mutual funds, Real estate, fixed deposits, gold, etc. Or there are even chances that your investments may be concentrated in some of the assets.

Here’s what you can do

Stocks and Mutual Funds

If you have stocks in your portfolio and you understand bit of markets then you can decide based on what is happening in the economy, what are the sectors that are outperforming or under performing at that point in time, the demand environment, the credit environment, etc.  and accordingly decide whether you want to keep it or sell it.

A better way to do this would be by investing through Mutual Funds. There you will benefit from the expertise of the fund manager. It will also save you from micromanaging at security level. With the introduction of direct plans, you can now invest by paying a lesser expense ratio compared to a regular plan. Mutual funds can be used to take exposure in equity, both domestic and international, debt, mix of debt and equity through balanced or Monthly income plans, commodities and index.

Fixed Deposits

If you have Bank or company Fixed Deposits or Post office investments then you need to see the rate that you are getting on your FD and what is the interest rate expectation going forward. If your FD is due to mature shortly and there is expectation that interest rates are going to fall, similar to the current scenario, then either you lock in now at the existing higher rates or when your FD matures you can reinvest it in some other investment instrument depending on your goals. In FDs also there are Bank FDs and Company FDs. Company FDs offer comparatively higher returns but remember to focus on quality

Real estate

It’s not a great idea to lock in 70 to 80% of your wealth in real estate. Real estate has its own cycles of boom and depression. It’s difficult to sell these at the price of your choice. They are certainly not assets which can be sold immediately due to their illiquid nature. Doing so will need you to settle at lower prices. In real estate also there are some pieces which appreciate faster based on demand environment, location, etc. while some of them do not see much appreciation again due to unfavorable location, lack of demand, etc. Therefore, try to sell that piece of your property which is not yielding good returns and channelize your investments in some liquid and appreciating investments.

Gold

Indians have emotional value attached to gold. These days there are options like sovereign gold bonds and Gold ETFs which can fetch you returns both in the form of value appreciation and interest. Going forward you can start this paperless form of investing into gold.

Remember,

Keep the investments which are doing fine and have a good future outlook, and allocate them to your goals. Give up the ones which are loss making and you do not see a scope of recovery any time soon. It’s important to cut losses when required.

Last but not the least, remember why you are investing – don’t miss the forest for the trees.

Image credit: www.fotolia.comfinancialtribune.comwww.colourbox.compondicherryurbanbank.inwww.etastar.com

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InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, which runs India’s largest airline by market share IndiGo, and its existing investors plan to sell around 10% of its equity.

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Source : Economic Times

Quick facts

  • First big listing after Jet: IndiGo’s IPO will be the first big listing afterJet Airways’ 2005 IPO. Jet Airways (India) Ltd, then India’s largest private airline, raised 1,900 crore in its 2005 IPO. The carrier, which is part- owned by Etihad Airways PJSC, now has a market capitalization of $494 million while SpiceJet Ltd is valued at $172 million
  • Existing Shareholders:

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  • Use of Funds: According to its share sale prospectus, IndiGo will use 1,165.66 crore to retire liabilities and acquire aircraft. It will spendRs.33.36 crore for equipment acquisition and rest for general corporate purposes.

What works for Indigo

  • Only profitable Indian carrier: IndiGo is India’s largest no-frills airline and has been the only profitable Indian carrier for the past seven years out of its nine years of existence. Indigo has won a reputation for its service quality and on-time performance in an industry characterized by debt and accumulated losses. The airline turned profitable in fiscal 2009 and has remained profitable in each subsequent fiscal through FY14. No other Indian airline has consistently remained profitable over the same period, according to consulting firm CAPA India.
  • Order Book: IndoGo maintains largest order book of any Indian carrier. The significant volumes that they generate mean that they have much better bargaining power vis a vis other players, allowing them to keep their costs down.
  • ASK (Average seat kilometers): ASK measures an airlines passenger carrying capacity. IndiGo’s carrying capacity has increase from 2004 to 2014 while in the same period for other carriers it has gone down.
  • Falling jet fuel prices: Falling jet fuel prices in the last one year Fom Rs.165.6 in September 2014 to Rs. 92.24 in September 2015 will reduce the input cost for airline industry dramatically.

Risk factors

  • Continuing to apply the low cost carrier model: The airline industry is characterized by low profit margins and high fixed costs, including lease and other aircraft acquisition charges, engineering and maintenance charges, financing commitments, staff costs and IT costs.

Significant operating expenses, such as airport charges, do not vary according to passenger load factors. In order for them to profitably operate their business, they must continue to achieve, on a regular basis, high utilization of their aircraft, low levels of operating and other costs, careful management of passenger load factors and revenue yields, acceptable service levels and a high degree of safety.  Some of these factors are not under their control. Therefore, profits may vary. Any change in fuel costs could significantly impact profitability.

  • Production delays for Airbus A320neo aircraft: Production delays in the order placed for Airbus A320neo in 2011 could impact their expansion plans.
  • Foreign Exchange Risk of depreciating Rupee against Dollar: With substantially all their revenues denominated in Rupees, they are exposed to foreign exchange rate risk as a substantial portion of their expenses are denominated in U.S. Dollars, including their aircraft orders with Airbus.

Quantitative Factors:

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Comparison with industry peers

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Note: The above shares have a face value of Rs.10

IndiGo is the only profitable airline currently, though Spicejet has just started to turn profitable post the change in its management.

Other Ratios (Source: Mint)

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Recommendation

The company’s track record and focus on the basics provide comfort to investors, whilst its dividend payout strategy prior to the IPO has raised quite a few eyebrows and negative questions around governance. With India being one of the fastest growing markets for air travel, a well managed fleet expansion plan could pay off well for long term investors, especially as low cost airlines have tended to be the only category of the airline business that have made monies for investors.

Investors could look at investing in the Indigo IPO.

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SYSTEMATIC INVEST-MENT Plans (SIPs) have become extremely popular over the last few years to invest in stock markets. They allow investors to take a gradual exposure to stocks by investing small amounts every month in mutual funds or in stocks.

One of the biggest advantages of investing in an SIP is the benefit of ‘rupee cost averaging’. Essentially, what rupee cost averaging achieves is that a fixed amount of money is invest-ed each month on a fixed date, irrespective of the market level.

When the markets are at a higher level, less units will be purchased with the same amount, while when markets are at a lower level, the number of units purchased will be higher. Over a period of time, an average price is achieved which is a result of purchases at the lower and higher prices at multiple levels of the stock market.

With the outlook for the stock markets having turned negative over the last few weeks, driven by both domestic and international factors, people have started wondering if they should invest or suspend the investment plan for a while.

In our view, if you stop our investment, it will defeat the very purpose of using the SIP strategy. With the markets in the bearish trend, this is actually a good time for you to invest in SIP as you can continue to get a higher number of units at lower prices over the next few months.

Mr Warren Buffet, arguably the most successful investor of our times in his letter to his shareholders in 1997 put this very aptly in the form of a short quiz: “If you plan to eat hamburgers throughout your life and are not a cattle producer, should you wish for higher or lower prices for beef? Likewise, if you are going to buy a car from time to time but are not an auto manufacturer, should you prefer higher or lower car prices?” These questions, of course, answer themselves.

But now for the final exam: If you expect to be a net saver during the next five years, should you hope for a higher or lower stock market during that period? Many investors get this one wrong. Even though they are going to be net buyers of stocks for many years to come, they are elated when stock prices rise and depressed when they fall. In effect, they rejoice because prices have risen for the “hamburgers”, they will soon be buying. This reaction makes no sense. Only those who will be sellers of equities in the near future should be happy at seeing stocks rise. Prospective purchasers should much prefer sinking prices.”

We ran a simulation for investors who invest in SIPs during the period of Jan 2008 to June 2011 when the markets peaked, subsequently crashed and then recovered significantly. We found that even though the BSE Sensex is currently down eight per cent from those levels, SIP investors in a cross-section of funds would have returns ranging from 12 per cent to 25 per cent per annum assuming that they continued with their SIPs through this period of three and a half years ago.

Considering this empirical data, we strongly recommend that investors use this opportunity to enhance their SIPs, rather than stop or lower them. In fact, we would recommend that wealthy investors who have traditionally stayed away from SIP strategies and actively try to time the market, should also use this opportunity to do SIPs or systematic transfer plans.

This article was written by Vishal Dhawan, CFPCM and appeared in the Asian Age on 25th July 2011 .

 

 

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Young and Carefree ? Plan for your sunset years

Retire Rich

Eight things you must know about retirement

New, young clients of mine, whom I’ll call the Kumars, visited my office.“With the hectic lifestyles that we lead,” Mr Kumar told me, “we’d like to retire when I’m 55, so that we may pursue our other interests, like travel and photography. And at 55, I’ll still be fit.” “Good idea,” I said, “I hope you’ll also be financially fit for that.”
They then showed me their file containing a neatly compiled list of stocks, mutual funds, insurance policies, bank FDs and suburban property they’d invested in. “So, what do you think?” asked Mrs Kumar after I had gone through the list. I admired their thinking about retirement even though the Kumars were only in their early 30s.Meanwhile, other average clients of mine put numbers to every one of their financial goals: house, car,children’s marriage and education,holidays… everything except retirement. I think it’s only because when people are young, even in their 40s,retirement seems too far away. But you’ll be surprised at the speed at which the good years go by.If you’re working today, retirement is quite a certainty—almost as certain as the bad old death and taxes.That’s why it’s critical to create a detailed plan, both from financial and emotional standpoints, and then go about executing it. And while you do that, there are eight truths you need to consider.

  1. Inflation is your enemy :
    The average annual rate of inflation in India has been about 7.6% during the last 25 years. This means most of the things you buy are at least six times more expensive than they were in 1986. That won’t change when you survive long enough to look back in 2036, after another 25 years.So, if you spend Rs40,000 per month today and plan to retire in 2036, wishing to maintain the same lifestyle,you might then need about Rs.250,000 every month. In fact the future may not even be so bright! Considering all the excess money that has been printed across the world since 2008 to tide over the global financial crisis, don’t be surprised if you’ll need even more spending money in 2036. “Quantitative easing,” the economic euphemism governments use to describe printing excess money, is a known inflation enhancer.And then there’s what’s called “lifestyle inflation,” which can happen as you earn more. Foreign trips replace your domestic holidays and parking in with relatives back in your native place. One car for the family becomes one car for each family member. You wore the same clothes for years, but you find yourself buying new ones every season. If all this sounds familiar,you’ll need loads of spending money even after you retire.
  2. You could live much longer than you think :
    Human life expectancy has steadily increased. A large number of us will end up spending as many years retired as we were working, maybe more. Some of my clients often disagree. They argue that the killer called stress, too, has increased. But then, medical advancements also increase dramatically, with newer stress, clot, cholesterol and cancer busters that help lengthen our lifetimes.Thus your retirement plan must address expenses over a much longer period, well into your late 80s, maybe longer. Factoring in inflation, those monthly expenses that could grow to `250,000 by 2036 may touch `15 lakhs if you survived till 2061, a “normal” 25 years after retirement. Scared? The “risk” of living very long is now very real. That’s why it’s essential to continue to make investments that will have the ability to beat inflation over long periods. Equity shares, equity mutual funds and real estate must be part of your investments, and good portions of them should be held even after you retire.
  3. Your retirement plan needs to be your own :
    Without batting an eyelid, one of my clients who had fixed financial goals for everything except retirement, told me, “My son is my retirement plan.” A very endearing thought. But with an increasing trend towards nuclear families, your retirement plan needs to be far more robust. Your children will have their own financial goals which may not include you. Remember the Amitabh Bachchan-Hema Malini starrer Baghban, where the old parents they portray are made to stay separately after retirement, since none of their children will take in both of them? If your account book has such a retirement plan in place, watch the movie, if you haven’t already. It may actually be better than the book.
  4. Buying pension plan is not a solution :
    Not long ago, the tax laws gave a separate annual benefit of  Rs10,000 if you bought certain pension plans. A very large number of people bought them for the tax benefit, and also in the belief that it will take care of their retirement. Yet, the amount they will receive on retirement will probably be enough for a couple of years’ expenses, nothing more. Any investment that you make for retirement need not have the word “retirement” in it. Stocks, bonds or good mutual funds can yield much better results and offer greater flexibility than the so-called retirement specific investments.
  5. Your Expenses will not halve when you retire :Over time and from my clients’ experiences, I’ve learnt that there is a tendency for post-retirement expenses to increase in the first couple of years, as the increased leisure time could result in more holidays and trips to the mall. It may decrease 10 to 20% afterwards. But your employer no longer pays for the newspapers,leave travel, house rent, petrol or the doctor. And with a probable significant increase in medical expenses, or the desire to spend on grandchildren, any reductions in living expenses may be neutralized to a great extent.
  6. Start planning very early :A part of your first salary cheque should go towards retirement, just like a part of it goes towards buying gifts for your dear ones. If you didn’t do that bit of saving, treat the next salary as your first.Albert Einstein is said to have called compound interest “the most powerful force in the universe.” When you are young, time is on your side. Take advantage of this by starting your investments at an early age. Unless you’re going to win a lottery, this is probably the only sure-fire way of retiring very comfortably. See examples of how compounding works. The Indian stock market has returned a compounded annual rate of at least 15% over any 20-year period. So Rs.1 lakh invested in an index fund today (or in a bunch of good companies) could become Rs.33 lakh in 2036. Adding Rs.1 lakh annually could leave you with a Rs.2.77-crore nest egg. If you stay invested, adding Rs.2 lakh a year could boost that to Rs.5.23 crore! Or take a safe scheme like the government’s Public Provident Fund, which returns a decent, tax-free 8% annually. Rs.70,000 (the maximum allowed in any year) invested with an addition of Rs.70,000 every year could leave you with Rs.60 lakh by 2036. You could double that by opening a second PPF account in your spouse’s name. And since your employer will also have a provident fund scheme, you could contribute any additional amount over the minimum 12%. If that works out to, say, Rs.1000, even doubling it to Rs.2000 per month can make a huge difference to the compounded tax-free returns you collect when you retire.
  7. Avoid major changes in your lifestyle soon after retirement :
    Retiring from an active work-life is itself a very significant event and requires a lot of readjustment. Combining this with other events like changing your residence, children getting married or moving to other cities for employment, may make it even more difficult. If possible, try to avoid letting several major events in your life coincide with or around your retirement date.
  8. You don’t have to stop working just because you retired :
    Most people today retiring at age 60 are healthy and in the prime of their careers.Your expertise could be sought after by other companies in your area of work.You may also have hobbies,like painting or writing, which you could convert to a full-time career. So while you are young, work around this and have a hobby you are passionate about. What’s important is that you keep your brain sharp and active. Any money earned can be a boon that will help you preserve, or even grow, your lifelong investments. Most people don’t realize that a regular salary, even a small one, is really worth a lot. I mean, if you retire today even with a modest Rs.50,000 monthly take-home pay, you’re actually as fortunate as a crorepati. Because if you wanted to generate a work-free,after-tax Rs.50,000, you’ll need Rs.1 crore invested in a fixed deposit at a good 8% interest.

I examined the Kumars’ file. Although they had a basket of wide-ranging investments, the amount invested in equities and equity mutual funds were limited. Equities are risky, but only in the short term—not for the young Kumars who have time on their side.Also, they didn’t separate investment earmarked for their sunset years from the rest. So I helped them fix this.Finally, I would also like to remind you that we can’t control regular inflation, but we can control lifestyle inflation by living a simpler life. If you plan well and reap the rewards,you can also continue to save and invest regularly even after you retire.

This article was written by Vishal Dhawan, CFPCM and appeared in the Reader’s Digest  in  April 2011 issue .

 

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