India Insight

Markets this week: Mahindra and Mahindra, RIL top Sensex losers

By Ankush Arora and Sankalp Phartiyal

The BSE Sensex and Nifty, India’s main stock indexes, both fell 0.5 percent this week as worries over escalating Iraq tensions, a weak domestic monsoon and profit-taking weighed on sentiment.

On Friday, global oil prices inched towards a nine-month high on increased risks of supply disruption from Iraq. Investors fear spiraling crude prices and a weak monsoon could add to inflation woes and hurt India’s current account deficit.

The monsoon has covered half of India four days behind schedule, failing to recover from a late start that has slowed the sowing of summer crops.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted that interest rates would stay low for a while.

In the currency market, the rupee fell for the fourth straight week on higher global oil prices.

Organised players, growing acceptance boost India’s used car market

One would expect the former head of India’s No. 1 car maker to drive a glitzy new SUV or an imported luxury car, but Jagdish Khattar thinks differently. The industry veteran who spent 14 years at Maruti Suzuki now buys only second-hand cars and drives a used Volkswagen Passat.

Rich people buy new cars, intelligent people buy second-hand cars,” said Khattar, the founder of Carnation Auto, a service and used-cars company he started in 2008 after leaving Maruti. The used car market, he said, is the future of automobiles.

The rising presence of well known car brands in the used cars business, coupled with growing acceptance of second-hand vehicles, is spurring demand. That is putting in shape the largely unorganised used-car business at a time when new car sales have slumped for the first time in more than a decade.

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