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Foreigners keep faith in India

Mar 18, 2009

India remains a hotspot for FDI
Here is some good news for Indian companies and investors. As per an official from the industry ministry, foreign direct investment (FDI) into India increased by 55% YoY (to US$ 2.7 bn) during January 2009, thereby snapping a three month fall. Also, FDI inflows during the April 2008 to January 2009 period grew by 65% YoY to US$ 23.9 bn. While, given the rate, India will still miss the FY09 target of US$ 35 bn of FDI, the fact that funds (and these are long term in nature unlike FII money) continue to flow in amidst an extremely weak global environment is some reason to cheer. Stocks surge in US yesterday, Asia today
Led by an unexpected strength in the housing market, the US markets saw another day of gains yesterday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Index closed 2.5% up. And the effect is clearly seen in the way stocks in Asia are trading currently, as the benchmark indices in Hong Kong, China, and Singapore are trading amidst gains. The Bank of Japan's announcement that it may provide loans to help banks replenish capital and restart lending has also aided sentiment in Asia today.

As per data from the US Commerce Department, housing starts (or initial construction of houses) rose to 583,000 in February, up 22% from 477,000 recorded in January. Importantly, in a slowing housing market, this was the first time housing starts increased since June 2008, when they had risen by 11% on a month on month basis. However, the starts are still lower by 47% on a year on year (YoY) basis, indicating that the trouble continues to rules roost for US homeowners and the economy.

The current Obama government has taken some measures to prop up the economy, including cutting taxes to spur consumption. However, leading economists continue to argue that the measures are too less than what is required to take the US economy out of recession.

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