Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

A good start but we need more reforms

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

It’s been a pleasant surprise over the last week or so as the Indian government appears to have transformed itself from allegedly corrupt politicians out to sell the country’s resources (read 2G and coal mines) into a group which means serious business.

We suddenly have a string of bold, long-pending reforms, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) are queuing up to invest in India, the rupee has risen by 5 pct in three weeks and stock market sentiment has undergone a dramatic change with indexes touching a 52-week high. Add to this the open-ended funding plan announced by the U.S. Federal Reserve and you have the perfect recipe for higher fund flows into emerging markets.

With FII funds in excess of $13 bln being pumped into Indian equity markets in the nine months of 2012, indexes have risen by more than 20 pct. However, the economic and corporate sector outlook, business and consumer confidence have deteriorated during this time. With this backdrop, what does the announcement of policy reforms signify for the country’s economic outlook?

How QE3 changes commodity prices

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

On Sept. 13, the U.S. Fed announced the QE3 program whereby it purchases mortgage-backed securities at $40bn per month with no time limit. It also pushed out guidance on keeping a low funds rate to mid-2015 from late 2014.

That’s the spirit, Mr Prime Minister

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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)

Manmohan Singh’s “if we have to go down, let’s go down fighting” comment is exactly the spirit which needs to be demonstrated by those in power. After all, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Some pain needed for 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)

The senior Bush’s call for a new world order following the end of the Cold War began unravelling authoritarian regimes which formed its delivery mechanism around the world.

Trade freedom: how imports support U.S. jobs

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

Conventional wisdom says that exports are beneficial and imports are harmful. Conventional wisdom is wrong. A key element of this misperception is the mistaken idea that imports into a country cost jobs there. In fact, imports contribute to job creation.

QE3 could boost Nifty to 5,550-5,600 in the short term

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

Indian markets have been buoyant since the European Central Bank’s decision on the unlimited sovereign bond buying program announced last week and the German Constitutional Court’s nod on Wednesday for the same.

Private life insurance companies still struggling

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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 Corporation of India (LIC) has again come to the rescue of the industry in the financial year ending July 2012. While 23 private players together have a marginal dip in business (-1 pct), LIC has powered ahead with 23 pct growth in new business premium collection.

Overseas cues to drive market but policy paralysis may cap gains

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(The views expressed in this column are his own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The European Central Bank (ECB) came to the rescue of world markets including India, which had a spirited rally on Friday to wipe out the losses of the past two weeks. The rally continued during the special session on Saturday to close the week at 5359, gaining about 1.9 pct. The week started on a positive note due to the recommendation on General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) dilution but failed to maintain momentum due to various disappointing data points as well as the political imbroglio.

Rating downgrade a credible threat for India

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(Rajiv Deep Bajaj is the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Capital Ltd. The views expressed in this column are his own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Indian stock markets have hardly gone anywhere since June, with the Nifty hovering in the 8-9 pct range. But the coming months may see a breakout of this range as volatility, as measured by the India VIX index, seems to be rebounding from four-year lows, after having fallen for three months in a row. A short-term break, out of the range, on the downside seems more probable.

Economic consequences of deadlock in Parliament

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

The monsoon session of Parliament has been a washout without any important business being transacted. This has been made out to be a political strategy on the part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to force early elections. Obviously, the Congress-led coalition is unlikely to oblige. The unintended victim is the economy which has been stopped from getting back to growth.

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