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?

Keeping fingers crossed in the run-up to Budget 2012

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

It’s interesting that in India, the run-up to the annual Budget means individuals, companies and industry associations keep their fingers crossed in the hope their annual budgets don’t get affected by the announcements of the Finance Minister.

Sensex: Key takeaways from 2011

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(Nipun Mehta is an award-winning private banker with many years of experience across Asia. The views expressed in the column are his own and not those of Reuters)

About a year back in November, we were at the highest ever level of the Sensex with hopes of moving higher. A year hence, as we inch closer to the end of 2011, the Sensex has fallen more than 26 pct from its peak, and then recovered a bit.

Too many questions, no convincing answers

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(Nipun Mehta is an award-winning private banker with many years of experience across Asia. The views expressed in the column are his own and not those of Reuters)

If one were to evaluate global events of the last four years dispassionately, the subprime mess in the U.S. and the imminent debt default by Greece (and four other countries to a lesser extent) and the resultant crisis in the euro zone have virtually held the global economy to ransom.

Life after the U.S. rating downgrade

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(Nipun Mehta is a veteran private banker with many years of experience across Asia. The views expressed in the column are his own and not those of Reuters)

The unthinkable (for some) happened last week when the U.S. economy was downgraded from ‘AAA’ to ‘AA+’ with a negative outlook by Standard & Poor’s, one of the three large global rating agencies.

The one-instrument orchestra

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(Nipun Mehta is a veteran private banker with many years of experience across Asia. The views expressed in the column are his own and not those of Reuters)

The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday quite unexpectedly raised interest rates by as much as 50 basis points. It was a move that shocked the street and took a lot of people by surprise. It was also a move showing aggressive intent at inflation management.

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