Women traveling on a bus in Chennai. Photograph: Gustafsson/Rex Features
Of all the rich G20 nations, India has been labelled the worst place to be a woman. But how is this possible in a country that prides itself on being the world’s largest democracy?
Helen Pidd writes for The Guardian about an ashram perched high on a hill above the noisy city of Guwahati in north-east India where there is a small exhibit commemorating the life of India’s most famous son. Alongside an uncomfortable-looking divan where Mahatma Gandhi once slept is a display reminding visitors of something the man himself said in 1921: “Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex (not the weaker sex).”
One evening two weeks ago, just a few miles downhill, a young student left a bar and was set upon by a gang of at least 18 men. They dragged her into the road by her hair, tried to rip off her clothes and smiled at the cameras that filmed it all. It was around 9.30pm on one of Guwahati’s busiest streets – a chaotic three-lane thoroughfare soundtracked by constantly beeping horns and chugging tuk-tuks. But for at least 20 minutes, no one called the police. They easily could have. Many of those present had phones: they were using them to film the scene as the men yanked up the girl’s vest and tugged at her bra and groped her breasts as she begged for help from passing cars. We know this because a cameraman from the local TV channel was there too, capturing the attack for his viewers’ enjoyment. The woman was abused for 45 minutes before the police arrived.
Posted by Innovator on August 22, 2013
With few big deals, private equity moves to be Asia’s new banker
Aug 5 (Reuters) – In three years, global private equity firm KKR & Co has provided over $1.5 billion in loans to companies in India, a business traditionally handled by state-owned and private sector banks.
Encouraged by that success, KKR – which rose to prominence with its hostile $25 billion takeover of U.S. food and tobacco giant RJR Nabisco in 1989 – plans to expand the niche business in China and across Asia.
The move by private equity into lending comes at a time when buyout deals in Asia are few and far between and as traditional banks retreat. Apollo Global Management, KKR and Olympus Capital are raising credit funds as they seek out alternative sources of income. At least $6.6 billion is being raised by 12 funds for investment in Asia, according to Private Equity International and Thomson Reuters data.
Posted by admin on August 5, 2013
Tide Turns for Private Equity in India
The rupee’s slump to a record low is adding to the woes of foreign private-equity firms invested in India even as they deal with slowing economic growth and a big drop in initial public offerings this year.
Those firms piled into the country in 2007 and 2008, when the economy was expanding at 8% to 9%. Since then, growth has fallen, sliding to a 10-year low of 5% in the fiscal year that ended in March.
The rupee has fallen by around 52% since hitting a multiyear high in late 2007. It reached a record low of 61.20 to the dollar this month before strengthening to trade at around 59.40 on Wednesday.
The rupee’s decline has eroded the dollar value of investments made by private-equity firms five to seven years ago, their typical investment horizon. That makes it more difficult to sell out of investments with a profit.
“In dollar terms, almost every investor is down 30% to 40%” since 2008, said Nikhil Raghavan, principal at private-equity firm Bain Capital LLC in Mumbai.
Posted by admin on July 26, 2013
RBI measures take a toll on equity, bond markets
MUMBAI: The bond and equity markets paid a heavy price for Reserve Bank of India’s sledgehammer measures to control the rupee. However, despite the intensity of the measures, the rupee appreciated by only 58 paise to close at 59.32 as importers took advantage of the rupee appreciation to cover their positions.
Bank’s scrambled to borrow Rs 2.2 lakh crore from RBI before the cap on borrowing sets in on Wednesday and an attempt by ten state governments to raise Rs 8,600 crore through bonds flopped with collective subscription amounting to only Rs 2,210 crore.
In the bond markets, banks and bond houses booked heavy losses as prices of government securities dropped sharply as there was a rush to sell bonds. The yield on the benchmark 10-year bond shot up 52 bps to 8.05%.
Posted by admin on July 17, 2013
Nomura pegs India’s FY14 GDP growth at 5.6%
Reported by the Economic Times, Japanese brokerage firm Nomura today said today India’s GDP growth has bottomed out but pegged economic expansion to be at 5.6 per cent in the current fiscal, lower than the consensus estimate of 6 per cent.
“Growth is bottoming out and is at an inflection point. However, the recovery will be very gradual,” Nomura India chief economist Sonal Verma told reporters here, adding that the brokerage estimates the growth rate to pick up to 5.6 per cent in FY14.
Posted by Innovator on May 28, 2013
Asia’s number two and three economies will be having a summit level meeting next week when Japan will host Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Rajeev Sharma from FirstPost reports that Asia’s number two and three economies will be having a summit level meeting next week when Japan will host Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (27-29 May).
Japan is a crucial ‘swing state’ for India to counter the immense diplomatic, economic and military might of China that continues to power on. Both the leading democracies of the world have had their individual military face-offs with China on their respective boundary issues recently – Japan over the Senkaku (Diaoyu for the Chinese) islands, India over the Chinese incursion in the Depsang Valley of Ladakh.
Posted by Innovator on May 24, 2013
Singapore’s economy took an unexpected turn higher in the first quarter of the year.
Martin Vaughan from WSJ: Singapore’s economy took an unexpected turn higher in the first quarter of the year as a rally in financial markets buoyed the city-state’s banking sector.
Gross domestic product expanded 1.8% in the first quarter on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, an improvement from preliminary data that had indicated a 1.4% decline, the government said Thursday. Officials said they expect growth to pick up modestly for the remainder of the year on stronger external demand, but kept their full-year growth forecast at 1.0%-3.0%.
Posted by Innovator on May 23, 2013
First woman US Ambassador to India: Nancy J. Powell (Photo: Ranjeet Kumar)
According to the report from India Times, US Ambassador Nancy Powell on Tuesday called for greater economic opening and more foreign investments for India’s higher economic growth, saying “there is more yet to do” in the area of reforms to return to 10 per cent growth.
Washington’s first woman ambassador to India contended that it was high tariff and non-tariff barriers that were preventing American companies, among others, from “competing” in the country. “Currently, tariff and non-tariff barriers are too high, preventing India from obtaining the latest and best technology and the most advanced equipment it needs to meet its objectives,” Powell said.
Posted by Innovator on May 21, 2013