Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

FDI in insurance — to hike or not to hike?

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

FDI in insurance might just be increased to 49 pct. This sounds way too familiar and has been the situation for quite a long time now. Or we could do some scenario building and even see it being delayed by a few more years.

Now, given what is being played out, it wouldn’t have been a bad idea if some 10 years ago a host of Indian companies had resorted to “beg and borrow” and raised capital to set up insurance companies. If they had done the same and survived for 10 years (maybe even less), they could even sell their 26 pct stake at some handsome valuation today. They would not have had to worry about the 26 pct clause too much.

It would have been such a competitive advantage. While the rest of the industry is struggling to stay afloat, you could just focus on growth without too much competition.

Great potential in India long-term growth story

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(Rajan Ghotgalkar is Managing Director of Principal Pnb Asset Management Company. The views expressed in this column are his own and do not represent those of either Principal Pnb or Reuters)

Reforms seem to be the flavour of the season after we relished and put aside the corruption issue.

India Market Weekahead – Time to book partial profits

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

A stupendous rally towards the end of June was followed by consolidation in the first week of July. Though the benchmark Nifty index ranged in a narrow band of 60 points between 5270 and 5330, the broader market especially the mid-caps were in focus with some of them returning more than 20 pct during the week. After a long time we saw domestic investors returning to the equity markets albeit with a lower risk appetite.

Bashing China won’t fix U.S. economy

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Both ends of the political spectrum seem to be competing to be tougher on China economic issues. They’re both wrong.

Fukushima disaster report: relevance of cultural traits

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The first report of the three major investigations commissioned by the Japanese government into the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011 was released in Tokyo on Thursday. The findings of the investigation, chaired by Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa challenged the dominant assumption that this tragedy unfolded due to a confluence of natural calamities of tectonic proportion — namely a tsunami and an earthquake — and concluded that Fukushima was alas, ‘man-made’ and occurred due to “a multitude of errors and wilful negligence” that implicated the government, safety regulators and the operator of the nuclear plant.

No silver lining in this monsoon cloud

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

India’s monsoon rains have been delayed and were already 30 percent deficient by the end of June. There are doubts whether rains will pick up during the rest of the season. August and September are likely to be dry which will damage crops and reduce farm incomes.

Pakistan apology deal incidental to real problem of its support for terrorists

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

As Washington closed down for the Independence Day holiday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly apologised to Pakistan for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers inadvertently killed by a NATO military strike along the Afghan border last November.

India Market Weekahead – PM’s call for “animal spirit” gets the bull raging

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The last trading day of June brought back memories of a raging bull market with a single-day gain of over 2.5 pct while the month ended with a 6 pct gain. On taking over the finance portfolio, Manmohan Singh along with his ‘dream team’ seems determined to revive both domestic as well as institutional sentiment. It started off by mending announcements made by his predecessor, especially the general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR) which kept foreign investors away in the last few months.

Life insurance business remains almost stagnant

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The life insurance industry in India is still struggling on the growth front while the general insurance industry seems to be doing well. The life insurance industry grew by a marginal 1.4 pct while the general insurance industry grew by 18.3 pct. This is based on data released by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) for the first two months of the financial year.

RBI vs the govt: who will blink first?

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

At its mid-quarter monetary policy review on June 18, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its rates unchanged despite expectations of a cut. To further augment liquidity and encourage banks to increase credit flow to the export sector, the RBI has increased the limit of export credit refinance from 15 percent of outstanding export credit of banks to 50 percent, which will potentially release additional liquidity of over 300 billion rupees, equivalent to about 50 basis points reduction in the CRR.

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