Gauri Bhatia is a former editor for CNBC who was in charge of developing, editing and writing feature and news articles for the website. Earlier she worked as editor on the Asian editing desk at Platts, as an assistant editor with the Edge newspaper and as a copy editor with Dow Jones in Singapore.
After promising for months now a plan to turnaround India’s troubled economy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh finally delivered on Thursday what’s widely viewed as the boldest measure yet—in the form of a controversial fuel price hike.
A falling rupee, that has depreciated about 25 percent over the past one year, coupled with red hot inflation at home and skyrocketing airfares is making foreign travel unaffordable for many Indians.
A 28th floor apartment in south Mumbai, facing the Arabian Sea, sold for a record-setting 390 million rupees ($6.8 million) this month, underscoring the dichotomy in India’s property market where prices remain stubbornly high, even as the economy falters and the currency nosedives.
A recent survey of 2,800 millionaires across the region, conducted by Scorpio Partnership, a global wealth-management consultancy, shows that high net worth individuals, especially those living in India and Indonesia, are the happiest, and most optimistic about growing their fortune.
The Reserve Bank of India’s intervention in the currency market on Thursday is being viewed by some market watchers as a desperate move to prop up the currency in the absence of government policies to boost sentiment among foreign investors.
Despite gloomy economic news out of India in recent months, foreign investors have continued to bet on Indian stocks with the benchmark Sensex rising more than 12 percent since the start of the year. Analysts tell CNBC the momentum is likely to continue with stocks set to gain double-digits over the next year.
As India grapples with rapidly slowing growth, a depreciating currency and policy inaction from a weak government, the country’s huge appetite for gold is putting the economy in a precarious position. The country imported a record 969 tons in 2011, putting enormous pressure on its already ballooning trade and current account deficits.
While investors fret over the debt crisis in Europe and discuss its possible impact on Asia’s growth, one economist tells CNBC that emerging markets face a greater risk from rising oil prices than from Greece’s rising woes.