Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

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. #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } A worker displays rotten wheat grains at a godown on the outskirts of Amritsar June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Munish Sharma/Files An employee inspects a spinning wheel used to roll power wires at Kei Industries in the industrial estate of Bhiwadi, Rajasthan August 6, 2012. REUTERS/B Mathur/Files A labourer carries bricks at a residential complex under construction on the outskirts of Ahmedabad September 2, 2010. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

Having said that, the recent collapse in stock prices of some companies, in which promoters had pledged a significant portion of their stakes, shows that the system is cutting down on leverage at the very grassroot level — the stock broker. When this happens, you know that ‘the bottom is nigh’.

The near-term outlook for Indian markets, however, also hinges on developments in the U.S. and Europe. U.S. equities seem to be at the height of their infatuation with QE3 and may be in for a rude jolt.

Indian markets stuck in a rut

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

It’s now been close to four years since domestic and global financial markets have been in a state of flux, plagued by uncertainty, as a slowdown ensures that government after government revises its growth forecast downwards.

Is the economy drifting towards a crisis?

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

Standard & Poor’s India outlook downgrade was expected. What is disturbing — the government managed to do that in less than two years. It was in March 2010 that India was upgraded to ‘stable’ — and now it’s down to ‘negative’. It was not because the government took a wrong step but because it did not take any step at all. And if this continues, the economy will be confronted with a crisis.

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.

U.S. drops from AAA to AA+

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

It was S&P that took the lead and downgraded the U.S. with a ‘negative outlook’. The other rating agencies are not comfortable either with the current debt and fiscal status of the U.S. government and may only confirm later what S&P has already done now.

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