Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

Is there ‘public interest’ in deferring pension bill?

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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 pension bill, first introduced in 2005, got booted out yet again; only this time in ‘public interest’.

Across the world, employers have been finding it increasingly difficult to live up to tacit guarantees underlying a ‘defined benefits’ pension system — a natural fallout of the elderly outnumbering the working population combined with increasing unpredictability in our economic environment over the past two decades.

The feasible alternative is a ‘defined contribution’ system. Under this an employer makes their contribution and ends his responsibility.

India Market Weekahead: Book out partially to play safe

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

After a sell-off in May, the mood has turned upbeat so far in June with benchmark indices hitting a one-month high against our expectation last week that the markets could remain subdued.

Health insurance in new, improved avatar

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

“Till now our focus was to work as a development authority but now it has been more than a decade and it is time to act as a regulatory authority,” Hari Narayan, the chairman of India’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) was quoted as saying in a recent interview.

Where will the rupee finally rest?

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

For nearly a decade, the rupee has been stable — moving in the narrow range of 44-45 to the dollar. But since August last year, the rupee began to slide and in less than six months was down 23 percent.

How do we explain India’s economic woes?

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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)

Our GDP growth rates have slid consistently quarter on quarter from 8.5 to 5.3 pct. Surely this is in keeping with a glaring trend. Therefore, this sudden surge of emotions and panic after wallowing in so such mass self-deception is surprising to say the least.

What if Greece exits the euro zone

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

While the idea of a Greek exit from the euro zone has long been rejected by politicians and deemed nothing more than a “tail risk” by most investors, there has been a clear shift in opinion after the Greek election in early May failed to form a new government. The repeat election on June 17 is therefore critical to the country’s future in the euro zone and to financial markets worldwide. If Greece fails to form a new government, or forms one that rejects its bailout plan with official creditors, the probability of an exit would rise significantly.

India Market Weekahead – Brace for lows

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

Equities reacted sharply due to continued concerns over the euro zone crisis and particularly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth numbers which were much below the most pessimistic forecast. Minor relief in the form of favourable opinion polls in Greece along with expectations for a policy stimulus in China to support growth failed to provide the necessary impetus to take the Nifty beyond the 5000 mark on a sustainable basis.

India Market Weekahead – Policy action, rupee to decide market direction

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

The week gone by displayed indecisiveness by participants as the markets garnered small gains after moving in a tight range. The Nifty managed to hold on to the 4900 level mark as investors cheered the government’s announcement to raise petrol prices in an attempt to revive the policy inaction tag.

More joining the general insurance party in India

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

Well, I don’t know if it should be called a party. But while there have been talks of a few exits (or shall we say strategic re-alignment) in the life insurance space, we have seen three new entrants in the general insurance space in the last few months.

Should the RBI delay a rate cut?

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

With the return of inflation, there are doubts whether the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will go in for the next cut in repo rate any time soon. In April, inflation was up at 7.2 percent, 2 percent more than in March.

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