Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Indian Economy: News that caught my eye this week!

8% Growth: According to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (and hints from the Indian Finance Minister) the Indian economy is expected to grow by 8% in the financial year ending March 2007. This comes in the wake of plenty of new capital investments, high credit growth, and improved profitability in the corporate sector.

11th largest 'services' exporter: While overall growth this year is expected to stay healthy, the services business in India is growing by leaps and bounds. According to the WTO's International Trade Statistics, Indian services exports have grown by 41.6% to 56.1 billion USD versus 39.6 billion USD last year!

Indian Insurance companies have reason to smile: While the Indian government is planning to hike FDI in the insurance sector, there are indications that the government is also planning changes in the Insurance Act, which currently mandates that the local promoters in joint ventures with international insurance companies have to compulsarily reduce their stake from 74% to 26% within 10 years. This is good news for Indian companies like Bajaj, Max, HDFC and ICICI who would perhaps want to remain in the business and go solo instead of living under the shadow of their JV partners. FYI, the Indian insurance industry is growing at a rate of around 20% every year!

Taj Group checks into Ritz-Carlton, Boston: Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, one of Asia's largest and finest hotel groups (headquartered in Mumbai, India) has entered a definitive agreement to purchase The Ritz-Carlton, Boston from its current owners, Millennium Partners for around US $170-million and close the deal in January 2007. Read the full story here.

For more information/other news around India and its economy, check out IBEF, The Economic Times, Business-Standard

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