Breakingviews

SoftBank’s solar ambitions fly close to the Son

June 23, 2015

Masayoshi Son has pledged to invest $20 bln in solar energy in India with partners Bharti and Foxconn. The country’s energy needs are clear but synergies with the Japanese group’s internet businesses look dubious. Shareholders can only hope the board clips the chairman’s wings.

India GDP growth is one-third statistical illusion

June 5, 2015

Official data have become utterly unreliable. A Breakingviews analysis of corporate and consumer behaviour suggests growth is now closer to 5 percent than the 7.5 percent claimed by the authorities. Investors are quite right to be upset by half-hearted monetary easing.

SoftBank lives up to its name with Indian startup

May 19, 2015

Housing.com CEO Rahul Yadav is a venture capital nightmare. The 26 year-old has slammed investors including the Japanese group as intellectually incapable and pledged to give away his shares. SoftBank may value a reputation for being founder-friendly, but being weak is worse.

India online retail hierarchy looks far from fixed

May 14, 2015

Investors are pouring money into the country searching for the next Alibaba or Amazon. Though India’s e-commerce opportunity is huge, low barriers to entry mean it is easy for anyone with deep pockets to spoil the party.

India’s aborted central bank plan has few mourners

May 4, 2015

The government has withdrawn a proposal to curb the Reserve Bank of India’s sway over the bond market. It’s a welcome retreat. Retrospective taxes on foreign investors have already dented confidence. Clipping the wings of a well-functioning regulator would have caused more alarm.

India’s poor state banks will test investor limits

April 22, 2015

State Bank of India is leading the rush to raise capital with a $2.4 bln share sale. A stronger economy makes bad debts look less bad. Investors will also have to believe a government pledge to meddle less in lending decisions. Even so, few banks look tempting.

Daiichi Sankyo scrubs out Indian M&A nightmare

April 21, 2015

Last year the Japanese firm folded its stake in troubled Indian drugmaker Ranbaxy into local rival Sun Pharma for 40 pct less than it paid in 2008. A share rally means Daiichi has recovered its losses on the seven-year misadventure. It shows the power of appropriate ownership.

Tax shockers ramp up India investor risk premium

April 17, 2015

The country wants $6.4 billion in what it says are unpaid taxes from foreign funds. Private equity firms could be the next target. The frequent adjustments to tax policy raise a red flag. Investors will have to demand higher returns to insure against future fickleness.

Guest view: The RBI does need its wings clipped

By Guest Contributor
April 2, 2015

The Reserve Bank of India’s repressive influence is stunting the growth of finance. Governor Raghuram Rajan is fighting attempts to shrink the RBI’s role because of pushback from his officers, says Percy Mistry, author of a 2007 report on making Mumbai a global financial centre.

Tata Motors’ $1.2 bln share issue is well timed

April 1, 2015

The carmaker wants to raise cash to reduce debt and fund growth. Its struggling domestic unit, propped up by Jaguar Land Rover, is benefiting from a recent change in strategy. A full turnaround will depend on a pickup of economic activity in India.