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Nov 25, 2009

Morgan Stanley: India share sales to surge

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley’s <MS.N> India head expects share sales in the country to surge as companies seek to expand, and said Indian companies are poised to resume global acquisitions helped by the rupee’s strength and low valuations.

Indian companies could raise roughly $70 billion through share sales over the next three years, provided markets remain strong, Narayan Ramachandran, who has been with Morgan Stanley since 1996, told the Reuters India Investment Summit.

Nov 24, 2009
via Summit Notebook

Six months a long time for BSE’s Kannan

When 36-year old Madhu Kannan took over the reins at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) earlier this year, he was faced with the task of turning around Asia’s oldest bourse, which had lost market share to tech-savvy new rivals.Kannan, the youngest-ever CEO at the 134-year-old exchange, also had to gain acceptance from his employees in what had until then been a largely hierarchical firm.He went as far as to stop gelling his hair to reveal more grays and look older, but at the Reuters India Investment Summit on Tuesday, the gel was back.Kannan said he had become a lot older with his hair streaked with several more grays in the past six months, during which he moved out of a 26th floor office with sweeping views of Mumbai to a smaller office to be closer to his employees.The old office is now a conference room.But Kannan has a lot more to do if he wants to turn around his firm, something he hopes to do by more innovation to transform “what was essentially a single-product exchange to one which offers tradable products across all asset classes.”He sees similarities between the current challenges facing the BSE and what his former alumnus, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), faced earlier this decade.One of Kannan’s recruits to a seven-member top executive team that possibly seeks to emulate the NYSE’s successful turnaround includes James E. Shapiro, who worked at the NYSE for 16 years in several senior management roles.At NYSE, Kannan was part of a top team that oversaw the purchase of an electronic trading system and a subsequent IPO.In a move that invites comparison to his past, the BSE under Kannan has bought a financial technology services firm, Marketplace Technologies, and is in a preparatory stage for a listing.

Nov 23, 2009

Lyondell should consider Reliance offer-creditors

MUMBAI/NEW YORK, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Reliance Industries’
<RELI.BO> offer for LyondellBasell Industries [ACCEIN.UL] is a
serious one and should be closely considered by the bankrupt
petrochemicals maker, a lawyer representing unsecured creditors

The Indian energy company made a cash offer for Lyondell
reportedly worth $10 billion to $12 billion over the weekend.

Nov 23, 2009

BofA-Merrill fears India reform delays

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India, whose protected financial sector helped insulate it from the worst of the global economic meltdown, should not be complacent in its push for financial sector reforms, a top Bank of America-Merrill Lynch <BAC.N> executive said on Monday.

“One thing that does worry me is that the conservative nature of Indian regulation. That may persist longer than it would otherwise have done because of the financial crisis,” said Kevan Watts, who heads the combined Indian operations of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.

Nov 20, 2009

India on recovery trail, but challenges loom

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India evaded the eye of the storm that sucked the global economy into the worst downturn since the Great Depression, and has emerged, along with China, as a leader of the nascent worldwide recovery.

The stock market has surged more than 70 percent this year, growth in Asia’s third-largest economy is expected to be 6 to 7 percent this fiscal year and accelerate in 2010/11, and a rash of companies are raising billions of dollars to fuel expansion.

Nov 20, 2009
via Summit Notebook

Welcome to the 2009 India Investment Summit


India managed to escape the worst of the global downturn and is poised, along with China, to lead the global economy out of the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Confidence is returning, with the stock market up 70 percent this year. A rousing re-election win for the Congress party in May has spurred expectations that long-delayed financial sector reforms will be implemented and sorely needed infrastructure investment will accelerate. Still, questions linger. Global demand that drives India’s once red-hot outsourcing sector is slow in returning. Companies that hoarded cash to tide themselves through the downturn are wary of adding capacity until there are clear signs of demand. Consumer spending is being driven by stimulus measures that are unsustainable. The government is hamstrung by a stubbornly high fiscal deficit. Other challenges include India’s infamous red tape, the threat of inflation in a fast-growing economy prone to bottlenecks, widespread poverty, and infrastructure that is inadequate to support a rapidly urbanising population of more than one billion. Top executives and bankers will discuss their own plans and the broader opportunities and challenges for Asia’s third-largest economy during the Reuters India Investment Summit in Mumbai and Bangalore, which will generate exclusive stories, video and analysis. These will be immediately available only to Thomson Reuters clients during each Summit.

Nov 13, 2009

Is Reliance Industries’ underperformance a blip?

MUMBAI, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Shares of India’s biggest listed
company Reliance Industries <RELI.BO> are down since mid-June,
compared with the rising benchmark index, in an unusual
occurrence for a firm seen as a bellwether for the country’s
stock market.

Investors have been worried about a gas-pricing dispute
between the company, led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and
Reliance Natural <RENR.BO> that is controlled by his estranged
younger brother Anil. The dispute is being heard by India’s top
court. [ID:nBOM489932]

Nov 4, 2009

Ambani dispute back to square one as judge quits

MUMBAI, Nov 4 (Reuters) – A high-profile legal dispute
between India’s billionaire Ambani brothers was disrupted on
Wednesday when a judge withdrew from a Supreme Court hearing,
citing potential conflict of interest.

The hearing is expected to continue on Thursday, but
arguments will have to begin again from scratch before a new
bench, potentially delaying a verdict in a case that has
unnerved investors and clouded the outlook for India’s biggest
conglomerate. [ID:nBOM410990]