• JUNE 16, 2009

Is dollar admiration a conspiracy?

Russian FM affirms dollar's standing
Last week we had highlighted that BRIC i.e., Brazil, Russia, India and China had cited their concerns with respect to the status of US dollar as the world's reserve currency and that they were looking to reduce their dependence on the same. In fact, the four of them were looking to diversify by purchasing International Monetary Fund (IMF) bonds. But as reported on Bloomberg, the Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has put matters to a rest and has categorically stated that the dollar is in a 'good shape' and that there is no substitute for the world's reserve currency! In fact, Kudrin has his supporter in the form of IMF, which also sees the US dollar to remain the main global reserve currency 'for as far as it can see'.

After all, whether the BRIC nations accept it or not, they are to a large extent dependent on the US to bolster their respective economies (though India is in relatively better position given our lesser dependence on exports to the US). And therefore even if the US dollar is facing considerable pressure due to its mounting deficit and the ugly prospect of inflation due to the printing of more money, it will not be that easy to dislodge the dollar from its reign. The current recession is not a good enough reason to demand another reserve currency given that no economy has really been spared from the crisis either.

Especially if you take into account the Euro region and the UK, both of which are battling to keep their heads over water meaning that their currencies do not have a strong claim for the reserve status. Thus, despite US' various problems, the dollar will continue to stay at the top simply for the want of a better and shall we say, a more stable alternative.

Anyways, we wonder if there's a conspiracy theory at work given these experts' praise for the US dollar! This is given that the US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has been making rounds across the world talking about how his country will take care of its deficits and how the US administration believes in the strength of the dollar. For if he doesn't infuse such positive vibes, who will fund the burgeoning US deficit?

MNC pharma is strengthening its hold
Looks like multinational (MNC) pharma companies are back with a bang in the Indian market. In the past, these companies were slow in launching products due to the absence of the product patent law in the country. With India now complying with the product patent law, MNC pharma companies have started showing renewed interest in the country and have gradually started launching new products in the market.

What is more, the recent spate of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) by these MNCs in India is only set to heighten their clout further. For instance, Daiichi Sankyo's acquisition of a majority stake in Ranbaxy has catapulted it into the second place in the domestic market after Cipla. Further, Pfizer's acquisition of Wyeth globally (which will eventually happen in India as well) and its string of acquisitions in the animal health place will also improve its standing in the Indian market.

This means that GSK Pharma, which until now was the largest MNC pharma company in India, will have to brace itself for some tough competition. And Indian pharma companies themselves will have to develop new strategies if they want to maintain their standing in the domestic market against the growing force of their MNC peers.

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