India Insight

Kingfisher situation an example of India’s free market/welfare state identity crisis

Bailout. A term which till recently was alien to India.

It was something the West did, to save their big financial institutions which had grown too big too fast and had squandered their cash positions while betting on complex instruments that even they did not fully understand.

India, and largely Asia, was rather different. We were the growth engines of the world. The Asian giants would prevent the global meltdown from getting worse and would reverse it eventually, or so went the perception.

Three years on and as the Greek crisis looms, the major Asian economies and their counterparts from around the world are still pondering on how to prevent the problems in Europe from spreading worldwide.

India, meanwhile, is facing economic and policy conundrums of its own.

From record prices of fuel, food and other essential commodities and multiple rate raises by the central bank, to a growth slowdown and a government struggling to meet its deficit targets.

Bailouts may now become a reality for Asia’s third largest economy in the post-Lehman world. The most prominent example which comes to mind is of course that of the troubled national carrier, Air India.

from DealZone:

Reliance aims big with $12 bln bid for LyondellBasell

Ranked by Forbes as India's richest man with a net worth of $32 billion, Mukesh Ambani Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, is no stranger to taking risks.

The move by conglomerate Reliance Industries, controlled by Ambani, to bid for bankrupt LyondellBasell is a calculated one. Markets seem to think this is a bargain and investors pushed up Reliance's stock nearly 4 percent on Monday.

If the deal, which sources say may be worth $12 billion,  goes through, it would catapult Reliance into the ranks of top petrochemical makers such as Saudi Arabia's SABIC, Germany's BASF and Dow Chemical Co.

Uneasy numbers stacked against Air India

State-run Air India, which enjoyed a monopoly in the country till the deregulation of the aviation sector in 1991, is besieged by ballooning debt and a litany of woes, pushing it to the brink of collapse.

Unless, of course, the central government steps in to bail out the national flag carrier.

Air India is now seeking a 39.81 billion rupees package from the state, though the airline has been asked to come out with a plan of action to make its existence viable.