Money on the markets

A maturing market amid the mayhem

from India Insight:

Budget speeches in India: it’s how you say it

The annual budget is a big event in India, but ministers' speeches on the budget can be mighty boring. From Shakespeare to Bollywood, ministers have used all kinds of popular and esoteric sources to make their points. Whether that has helped is up to you. Here are a few examples from recent years:

President Pranab Mukherjee is a veteran Congress politician and has presented four budgets. His favourite authority to quote was Kautilya, the great Indian pioneer of economics and politics who was prime minister in the court of King Chandragupta Maurya in the fourth century BC. Mukherjee quoted Kautilya in his first budget speech in 1984 and as recently as in 2010.

Thus, a wise Collector General shall conduct the work of revenue collection ... in a manner that production and consumption should not be injuriously affected ... financial prosperity depends on public prosperity, abundance of harvest and prosperity of commerce among other things

He invoked Lord Indra, the Hindu rain god, and prayed to the goddess of wealth Lakshmi in 2011:

from India Insight:

A look at India’s last five annual budgets

The countdown has begun for the biggest business and economic event of the year, the release of India's annual budget at the end of February, and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has a tough job on his hands. With general elections a year away, he must please voters, boost growth and control deficits.

In the last five years, the finance minister has always relaxed income tax slabs -- by either increasing the basic exemption limit or widening the tax slabs. As far as markets go, the 2009 budget day was the worst for stocks as the index fell around 950 points during trade. However, the focus has always been on the government's fiscal deficit targets, which have hovered around the 5 percent mark in recent years.

from India Insight:

Understanding the repo rate, cash reserve ratio and the Reserve Bank of India

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday cut the repo rate as well as the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 25 basis points, or 0.25 percent. Here's a quick explanation of what that means. It will be obvious to some readers, but many people haven't studied economics and are unfamiliar with the terms.

The repo rate, which now stands at 7.75 percent, is the rate at which the central bank lends money to Indian banks. As the repo rate goes down, it gets cheaper for banks to borrow money. That makes it easier for people to borrow money at cheaper rates too. As more people borrow money, which ought to be the result of action like this, they'll spend more money. That's good for the Indian economy.

Bharti Infratel IPO: What brokerages are saying


(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters)

Bharti Infratel’s initial share sale will likely be India’s biggest in nearly two years and key for the country’s troubled telecom sector, which has been hit by regulatory flip-flops.

Goldman, Moody’s bring some cheer; can the govt build on it?


A battered government has some good news to cheer this week. First, rating agency Moody’s kept the country’s rating outlook at stable, providing a breather after two other global firms downgraded it to negative.

Goldman Sachs on Thursday upgraded Indian equities to ‘overweight’ from ‘market-weight’. The Wall Street investment bank has cited a recovery in growth and inflation moderation going ahead as reasons for its upgrade. It has set an end-2013 end target for the Nifty at 6,600 points, a 14 percent upside from current levels.

from Expert Zone:

Will Indian stocks end 2012 on a happier note?

(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)

The rally in the Indian stock markets, fuelled by the so-called reform announcements, seems to have fizzled out. Frontline indexes have retraced more than 60 percent of the gains made since Sep. 13, 2012, the day the reform measures were made public.

Subbarao goes against his panel, again


(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters)

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is not the only one walking alone.

Duvvuri Subbarao, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) chief, also seems to be on a solitary, and one hopes, contemplative walk.

No solution in sight for bipolar Indian stocks


(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters)

As the end of 2012 approaches, investors will likely remember this as a bipolar year for Indian markets.

from India Insight:

Wary of stocks, Indians cling to safe havens

Sometimes people suspect that the grass is greener in the next field ... but they're not always right.

Consider this. India's gross domestic product has grown about 7 percent on an average per year for the past nine years. Its industrial growth has been steadily rising since then. Buoyed by economic growth, the country’s capital markets also offered itself as an attractive and inflation beating investment option.

from Expert Zone:

Hopes fade as investors await concrete action

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

It was an action-packed week for the markets but not for the reasons we had anticipated. Manmohan Singh’s government, which was expected to announce a string of policy action steps starting with a diesel price hike, failed to make any announcements which would have cheered markets.