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Jun 6, 2012

Investors in India’s Reliance need more to rely on

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The
opinions expressed are his own)

By Jeff Glekin

MUMBAI, June 6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Reliance Industries
(RELI.NS: Quote, Profile, Research) is underperforming. Yet the hydrocarbon-rich
conglomerate, which is controlled by Mukesh Ambani, India’s
richest man, also has a cash mountain of $13.8 billon which it
does not seem to know how to spend.

May 31, 2012

India needs an adult conversation

(Adds context)

By Jeff Glekin

MUMBAI, May 31 (Reuters Breakingviews) – As GDP growth
slumps to 5.3 pct, the county goes on strike. The people are up
in arms over a sensible cut in petrol subsidies. The
government’s instinct is to pander and roll back, but it might
get more respect by telling the truth about what’s needed to get
the economy moving.

Full view will be published shortly.

CONTEXT NEWS

- India’s annual economic growth fell in the January-March
quarter to a nine-year low of 5.3 percent, much lower than the
6.1 percent predicted by a Reuters’ poll. The manufacturing
sector shrank 0.3 percent in the quarter compared with a year
earlier. The farm sector grew just 1.7 percent. Gross domestic
product for the full fiscal year to the end of March 2012 rose
6.5 percent, the lowest rate since 2002/03 and a sharp slowdown
from the previous year’s 8.4 percent.

May 29, 2012

BREAKINGVIEWS: SEBI’s welcome market reform comes with a bonus

By Jeff Glekin

MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) – The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has done the right thing in removing the option to settle serious cases of market abuse like insider trading. The SEBI’s new regime now has a real incentive to secure hard convictions. The change won’t be smooth – but that’s not all bad news.

SEBI’s detractors argue that the reform effectively passes the buck to a snail-paced and corrupt legal system. That’s unfair. The legal system is by no means perfect, but in recent important cases it has proved to be robust and fairly speedy. The Supreme Court’s Vodafone and 2G rulings this year have been both tough and timely.

May 29, 2012

India’s welcome market reform comes with a bonus

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own)

By Jeff Glekin

MUMBAI, May 29 (Reuters Breakingviews) – India’s stock
market regulator has done the right thing in removing the option
to settle serious cases of market abuse like insider trading.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s new regime now has
a real incentive to secure hard convictions. The change won’t be
smooth – but that’s not all bad news.

May 25, 2012

SEBI needs to get tougher

By Jeff Glekin

MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) – India’s market regulator SEBI may remove the option to settle serious cases like insider trading without admitting guilt. That could lead to even less enforcement from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) than at present. But if it hardens SEBI’s resolve to land a high-profile conviction, such self-denying ordnance may be worth it.

The Indian consent order process is modelled on the U.S. system although in SEBI’s case settlements have become the norm. SEBI has only been around since 1992. Yet the lack of any major conviction in two decades weakens its credibility. Perhaps that’s why it wants to close off the settlement route for more severe transgressions. The regulator is to announce the changes within weeks, according to the Financial Express.

May 25, 2012

India’s market regulator needs to get tougher

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own)

By Jeff Glekin

MUMBAI, May 25 (Reuters Breakingviews) – India’s market
regulator may remove the option to settle serious cases like
insider trading without admitting guilt. That could lead to even
less enforcement from the Securities and Exchange Board of India
than at present. But if it hardens SEBI’s resolve to land a
high-profile conviction, such self-denying ordnance may be worth
it.

May 24, 2012

Petrol hike pumps hope for deflated India

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own)

By Jeff Glekin

MUMBAI, May 24 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Raising prices at
petrol pumps is never likely to be popular. India’s brave
decision will also prove meaningless unless it is followed by
bolder action to cut the more generous diesel subsidies. But the
direction of travel is right and if the journey continues India
could just turn a corner.

May 22, 2012

Anil Ambani mystery reflects poorly on India

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own)

By Jeff Glekin

MUMBAI, May 22 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Here’s a mystery.
How did two companies run by Reliance founder Anil Ambani manage
to invest $250 million in a related company without anyone in
the firm realising? And why has the UK’s financial regulator
secured a conviction in a connected case, when India’s regulator
merely settled? These unknowns reflect poorly on India’s already
downtrodden reputation among investors.

May 17, 2012

India’s slipping on oil as well as Greece

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own)

By Jeff Glekin

MUMBAI, May 17 (Reuters Breakingviews) – It’s too easy for
India’s leaders to say investors’ uncertainties over the future
of the EU are bringing the rupee down. Pranab Mukherjee, the
finance minister, did just that in parliament on Wednesday. But
such political blame-casting leads directly to the Greek trap:
knowing what’s good but failing to do anything. The currency’s
decline should be a trigger for action.

May 16, 2012

Emerging markets hit by double troubles

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own)

By Robert Cole and Jeff Glekin

LONDON/MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) – Emerging-market investors seem to get hit by trouble near and far. They suffer when euro zone troubles erode investment confidence generally. But they also have their own particular concerns about a slowing China and an intensification of resource nationalism.

    • About Jeff

      "Jeff Glekin is the India columnist for Breakingviews. Jeff is a former diplomat. He spent four years in Mumbai as the Deputy Head of Mission and First Secretary Financial and Economic at the British Deputy High Commission. Before joining the diplomatic service he spent four years with HM Treasury in London. He has a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Mansfield College, Oxford University."
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