Count it again
Sri Lanka’s government says its economy will grow at a zippy 7.5 per cent this year, making it the self-styled fastest growing economy in south Asia.
Yet on Friday morning the central bank suddenly and unexpectedly brought interest rates down by half a percentage point, citing fears of a slowdown. Something doesn’t add up. Continue reading »
It may be only $97m. But it’s the biggest deal that India’s Tata Consultancy Services, has ever struck in mainland Europe.
TCS is buying French IT group Alti SA in the latest in a series of acquisitions by high-tech Indian companies seeking to break into Europe’s tough outsourcing market. The company’s chief executive told the Financial Times that it’s likely to be the first of a number of purchases as TCS looks to grow in areas including Germany and the Nordic region. Continue reading »
Late last year Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra puzzled analysts by entering into an ultimately unsuccessful bidding war for Aston Martin, the British luxury car company commonly associated with the James Bond film franchise.
But it turns out group head Anand Mahindra hasn’t been shaken by the experience — and indeed might even be stirring up new plans to pick up a high-profile foreign acquisition. Continue reading »
At a ceremony in front of India Gate in the heart of downtown New Delhi, Mahindra & Mahindra on Monday became the latest in a lengthening line of auto manufacturers to attempt to crack the market for electric cars.
But while their oddly-named e2o certainly looks distinctive, India’s slow progress matching the type of generous renewables subsidies now common in China means the company faces an uphill drive to win customers. Continue reading »
South African-based restaurant chain Nandos looked set to take flight in India, taking advantage of the nation’s booming restaurant scene and an emerging middle class with a well-developed taste for spicy food — and as a result attracting interest from international investors.
But now beyondbrics has learnt that an attempt by private equity group New Silk Route to acquire a majority stake in the group’s Indian franchise has fallen through — raising questions about Nando’s future expansion plans in Asia’s third largest economy. Continue reading »
How do you tax a factory that doesn’t exist? This seems to be the problem vexing India’s revenue authorities, who have accused UK-based confectioner Cadbury of dodging roughly $46m in bills, by pretending to churn out its famous Dairy Milk chocolates in an entirely imaginary new facility. Continue reading »
Standard Chartered Bank, which announced a small increase in pre-tax profits on Tuesday, faces a specific challenge in India: it has more branches than any other international lender, but not nearly as many as it needs. Continue reading »
Renault/Nissan plant, Chennai
India’s current account data for the quarter ending last December do not come out until next month, but plenty of analysts fear they will be even worse than the most recent set, which revealed a record gap of 5.4 per cent of gross domestic product.
As I argue in this morning’s Inside Asia column in the FT, India now needs to find much more foreign direct investment, to fund what seems certain to be a period of historically high current account deficits over the next 5 years.
If anything, the situation is even worse than it looks on the surface, given the type of FDI India now receives isn’t what its economy really needs. Continue reading »
It isn’t every day that a country cancels a plan to seek $1bn in emergency loans from the International Monetary Fund, just a few weeks after announcing it.
But having unveiled plans to go cap in hand for money earlier in the year, it seems this is just what Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is about to do, following a row with the IMF. So what exactly is going on? Continue reading »
Rana Kapoor of Yes Bank
What am I bid for 31 Indian bank branches? A little more today than yesterday, perhaps, given news that upstart Yes Bank could be in the market for the residual retail operation that Britain’s RBS is still trying to off-load, following its decision to shrink the business.
The decision of the fast-growing newcomer to enter the fray may yet come to nothing — but even if it does, the continuing absence of interest from other foreign banks in picking up RBS’s leftovers remains even more intriguing. Continue reading »
Having been forced into a dramatic interest rate hike earlier this year to fend off a balance of payments crisis, Sri Lanka’s central bank has made more small waves in the south Asian tourist island this morning, with a rate cut.
The move caught out local analysts, as there had been no hint of a change in policy in recent weeks. Continue reading »
What is the point of trade missions? This thought prompted by Boris Johnson’s sojourn to India, which concludes on Friday after a week-long itinerary packed with jolly receptions and private breakfast pow-wows in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Continue reading »
Indian power company Lanco’s deal to secure up to $2bn in funding from China Development Bank is obviously good news for the heavily indebted group. But are other struggling Indian conglomerates likely to be able to tap similar Chinese funding, and should India worry if they do? Continue reading »
Mahindra & Mahindra’s bid for a 50 per cent stake in Aston Martin is a daring move, and one that sets up a duel with a European group befitting a product best known for high-speed chases in the hands of 007.
But such bravery aside, would the move, if it comes off, make any sense? Continue reading »
How goes the health of the world’s most lucrative cricket tournament? Bubbly, at least if Pepsi’s decision to spend $72m to become the Indian Premier League’s “title” sponsor for the next five years is any indication. Continue reading »