It is what might be dubbed “super Thursday” in India, the biggest voting day in the country’s month-long election. 121 constituencies are up for grabs in a dozen states, including Uttar Pradesh, the largest electoral battleground.
But strategists for the ruling Congress party, facing an ignominious defeat, will be paying just as much attention to voters turning out today in Maharashtra — a stronghold the party hopes may just save it from a polling washout. Continue reading »
With the Indian Premier League cricket tournament kicking off on Wednesday, people were a little distracted from the mammoth general election.
But beyondbrics took a look at the criminal and financial history of candidates in Mumbai and questioned whether anyone – even Narendra Modi – can kick start the economy quickly. Continue reading »
Recent optimism in financial markets about India’s prospects isn’t all driven by pre-election elation. Investors have been cheered by headline improvements to economic fundamentals and at the heart of that positive sentiment is the balance of payments.
It’s something the incumbent government is keen to flaunt. But take a closer look and India’s external balances don’t look quite as good as the headline figures suggests. Continue reading »
By Rajeev Malik
Fixing India’s economic ills will be challenging, even for Modi.
India is a country with multiple social, political and economic personalities. Decisions and their outcomes often appear to challenge logic, and rarely fail to confound, amaze or disappoint – sometimes all at once. Even on a good day, there seems to be crisis somewhere in the folds of this chaotic democracy. On a bad day, one often wonders how it functions at all, let alone how it evolved to be Asia’s second-fastest growing economy, before losing that status to multiple and self-inflicted policy mistakes. Continue reading »
By Avantika Chilkoti in Mumbai and Thomas Hale in London
Three major private banks have closed operations in India in recent months, as cultural and regulatory challenges derail groups initially drawn by growing wealth in Asia’s third largest economy.
An emerging market with a high savings rate, a collection of some of the world’s most flamboyant businessmen, and economic growth hovering around 5 per cent despite a sharp slowdown, India should be a gold mine for the private banking industry. Continue reading »
In spite of the 6.8 per cent slump in the share price of Adani Enterprises on Friday, the shares of the group led by billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani are up 163 per cent over the past six months – a performance that far outstrips the 11 per cent rise in the benchmark Nifty index over the same period.
The question is: what has turbo-charged the share price over the past six months and in particular on Thursday this week, when shares jumped 22.9 per cent before the partial correction on Friday? Continue reading »
India’s neighbours tend to think that its leaders spend much time plotting to influence events in their own countries. South Asia’s overweening regional power, they assume, is obsessed with what goes on across its borders in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, the Maldives, and of course China.
The manifestos released by the national Indian parties ahead of the current general election suggest that these assumptions are wrong. Continue reading »
This election could see the end of many seemingly permanent fixtures of Indian political life, not least the Congress party’s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which has ruled the country for most of its independent existence. But might the poll also see the death of a less celebrated political artefact: the traditional Indian campaign poster? Continue reading »
Much of the recent ramp up in Indian equities and its currency has tracked polls which increasingly point to a stable government being formed after the elections. Now, there is a chance that markets are getting over excited — as JP Morgan put it, they run the risk of getting ahead of themselves and becoming a victim of their own ever-growing expectations… Continue reading »
Viom Networks, the Indian telecom infrastructure group, is set for some fundraising once the elections are over and markets settle. The company, majority owned by Tata Teleservices, could become one of the first Indian groups to take advantage of new regulations and do an IPO overseas.
Beyondbrics spoke to chief executive, Syed Safawi, and found out why Viom needs growth capital. The answer lies in some rare optimism around the Indian economy and the beleaguered telecoms sector in particular. Continue reading »
Palaniappan Chidambaram has long boasted of his refusal to cross the red lines he has set as the upper limits for India’s fiscal deficits. In his interim pre-election budget in February he even lowered the deficit forecast for the current financial year ending in March to 4.6 per cent of gross domestic product from his earlier prediction of 4.8 per cent.
Trouble is, few analysts believe the target could have been met when the year ended on March 31. And even if India’s Congress-led coalition government did keep (or nearly keep) its fiscal promises on paper, cynics think the accounts have been juggled and large sums of money shunted around the books and between fiscal years to make the picture rosier than the reality. Continue reading »
Raghuram Rajan, governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), held the repo lending rate steady at 8 per cent on Tuesday as the markets expected.
As Rajan said himself, the only surprise was the lack of a surprise. But there was plenty more in the governor’s speech that grabbed our attention. Continue reading »
Soothing words are heard from finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram on Monday around the strength of the Indian economy and the fiscal and current account deficits. In a separate vein, Bollywood stars are lending some lustre to the election campaign, but how effective will they be if they win a seat and embark upon the workaday business of governing a constituency?
Ahead of central bank governor Raghuram Rajan’s monetary policy announcement on Tuesday, we look at what he is likely to say and do.
Continue reading »
Today, we have questioned stability in an election where major state-based parties have so far refused to take sides.
And we questioned data on economic growth at the state level – data that many of India’s politicians are flaunting ahead of the polls. Continue reading »
India’s Snapdeal, an online marketplace akin to EBay, is powering ahead, with sales growing five-fold between 2012 and 2013. But what is unusual is that it in a male-dominated society in which men hold the purse strings, it is women who are driving much of the growth.
Kunal Bahl, chief executive, says the company could realistically make sales of between $10bn and $20bn in the next five years. This compares to current annual sales of almost $1bn, according to Bahl. Continue reading »