Friday, March 21, 2014

40 or 70?

Team USA is really pitching it strong with the Pew survey and most recently, a "bankers for Modi" cheer-leading squad.

The question is whether all this support will be converted into some relative advantage on the ground. It is doubtful (for example, multi-brand retail is not supported by the BJP).

In case Modi decides he is more comfortable with China- there will be a lot of eggs on a lot many faces (including secular NRIs who keep focusing laser like on the symbolism of an US VISA).
Will AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal threaten to put Adam Gilmour, Citigroup head Asia-Pacific currency and derivatives sales, into jail for saying that if Narendra Modi becomes India’s next prime minister the weak rupee which had dropped to an all-time low of over 68 to the US dollar will strengthen by some 35% to become 40 to the dollar?

Gilmour was unstinted in his praise for Modi as the man most likely to help kick-start the country’s fortunes, saying “The market view is that if Modi gets in, it will be a game-changer.  We always take politics with a pinch of salt, with the rare exception of India, where it’s going to really make a difference.”

On the other hand, the banker said that if the upcoming elections resulted in the ‘worst-case’ scenario of a weak coalition, it could see the Indian rupee fall below its record low of Rs 68.83 against the US dollar.

Gilmour is not the first foreign financial analyst who’s given his personal thumbs-up sign in favour of the politically controversial saffron ‘strong man’.  Earlier, a former head of Goldman Sachs had expressed  similar views about Modi, and the company itself in its official report had highlighted the Gujarat chief minister as being pivotal to India’s hopes of economic recovery.


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