India’s forthcoming election is often described as a festival of democracy, a reflection of the country’s passion for noisy, rambunctious electioneering. But the contest is less good news for India’s other great love: cricket.
The lucrative but controversial Indian Premier League tournament takes place between April and May each year — slap bang in the middle of the forthcoming polling, which is due to kick off in early April and run for just over a month.
In theory, both events could happily coincide: even the maddest of cricket fans ought to be able to cogitate on their democratic choices during the daytime, before heading out to enjoy the match at night. Continue reading »
Energy-hungry importers across Asia complain about an “Asian premium” in gas prices. India and Japan are even mulling clubbing together to cut costs.
But could such moves stymie major investment plans to move new gas supplies from west to east? Canada worries that they just might. Continue reading »
What keeps foreign banks in India up at night? Regulatory nightmares, at least according to a new survey out on Wednesday from consultants PwC. And while recently-appointed RBI governor Raghuram Rajan is trying to calm their nerves, there are big concerns lurking about the impact of India’s forthcoming elections too. Continue reading »
It is rare that a new face at India’s lumbering state-backed banks causes much in the way of boardroom ripples. Yet the appointment of Arundhati Bhattacharya at State Bank of India, the biggest bank of all, might be doing just that, judging by her remarks in the FT this morning — and in particular given warnings that she plans to get tough with the nation’s debt-strapped conglomerates. Continue reading »
Sri Lanka watched nervously as India’s rupee plunged, not least because it too suffers from the high current account and fiscal deficit mixture that turned investors sour on its larger neighbour.
Now India’s currency is recovering, and Sri Lanka seems emboldened too, as its central bank today shunned IMF advice and surprised forecasters by cutting rates by half a percentage point. But is it a cut too far? Continue reading »
India’s pharmaceuticals sector continues to attract foreign investment, even as the nation’s economy slows.
Yet if the industry is to prosper in future, many analysts believe it must outgrow its image as a producer of inexpensive copycat generics and begin making original drugs of its own – a step billionaire healthcare entrepreneur Ajay Piramal (pictured) says is now being undermined by ever-stronger restrictions on domestic clinical trials. Continue reading »
Indian cricket has seen plenty of unlikely comebacks, not least the national team’s recovery to win the 2011 World Cup, having suffered a mini-collapse against Sri Lanka in the final.
But few are as striking as that of the head of the game’s governing body, N Srinivasan, who now looks set for an improbable return, after stepping aside in disgrace during a corruption furore involving the lucrative Indian Premier League tournament just two months ago. Continue reading »
My colleague Robin Harding wrote an analysis in the FT a couple of days back, digging into an intriguing conundrum: why do corporate profits in the US continue rise, while corporate investment keeps falling? The piece offers a variety of explanations, from the recession to technological change, but there is another culprit worth considering: investment that has moved abroad. Continue reading »
Let's play ball
Basketball is big business in China, and now America’s NBA wants to repeat the trick in Asia’s second largest emerging market: India.
Yet in a country already dominated by diminutive cricketers, success for the sport’s towering athletes looks a trickier prospect. Continue reading »
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 »