India’s fragile financial system is swinging between despair and hope. Two separate incidents — both featuring the lender Yes Bank Ltd. — recently underscored the drag of past underwriting follies as well as the lift from a digital reset, a Bloomberg View reported. It will take time, but good things will come to Indian banking as a result of the present crisis. Start with the sudden default by financier Altico Capital India Ltd. on a 199.7-million-rupee ($2.8-million) interest payment to Dubai-based Mashreqbank PSC.
Global investors are starting to fall out of love with Narendra Modi. After pouring $45 billion into India’s stock market over the past six years on hopes that Modi would unleash the country’s economic potential, international money managers are now unwinding those wagers at the fastest pace on record, Bloomberg News reported. They’ve sold $4.5 billion of Indian shares since June, on course for the biggest quarterly exodus since at least 1999.
A unit of Reliance Communications Ltd., Anil Ambani’s distressed telecom firm, has filed for bankruptcy protection. GCX Ltd., which owns the world’s largest private undersea cable system, is the latest company owned by the tycoon to stumble, Bloomberg News reported. The former billionaire’s Reliance Communications itself fell back into bankruptcy earlier this year. The move by subsidiary GCX comes after it missed payment on its $350 million of 7% bonds that matured on Aug. 1.
India on Saturday announced a series of measures to revive the housing sector and boost exports as the government tries to kick-start an economy hit by a lending crisis and a slowdown in demand, Reuters reported. A fund worth 100 billion rupees (£1.13 billion) will be available to complete unfinished affordable and middle income housing projects, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. An equal amount of funding will come from the private sector or from a government insurance company, she added.
The Bank of Japan is growing more open to the idea of cutting short-term interest rates deeper into negative territory, responding to global risks that are forcing other central banks to cut rates, said people familiar with the bank’s thinking, The Wall Street Journal reported. If the bank were to do so, however, it would look for ways to avoid sharp declines at the longer end of the yield curve, the people said.
Chinese companies have become net sellers of global assets this year for the first time since corporations from the country became big players in international mergers and acquisitions a decade ago, the Financial Times reported. The shift in status for Chinese groups — which have been prolific buyers of assets around the world in recent years — comes as economic growth in China slows to a 30-year low and trade tensions with the US begin to take a toll on manufacturers.
The financial health of Indian firms is worsening, adding pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come up with more measures to kick-start a sputtering economy, Bloomberg News reported. Debt quality deteriorated for the fourth straight month in August, the Care Ratings Debt Quality Index showed. That’s the longest losing streak for the gauge that tracks 1,601 domestic firms since April 2014, and puts it at a 20-month low. India’s economic growth cooled for a fifth straight quarter to 5% in the three months ended June, the slowest pace since March 2013. Read more about that here.
A year ago, the rallying cry among Chinese policymakers was deleveraging the economy — but now the country’s senior leadership is moving quickly to revive bank lending in a fight against flagging economic growth, the Financial Times reported. The change in tactics, underlined by a Rmb900bn ($126.4bn) boost to bank lending capacity last week, is a sign that China’s policymakers acknowledge they must do more to support the country’s economy as US tariffs on Chinese goods take a greater toll than originally expected.
India’s plans to expand its corporate bond market are running up against a yearlong credit crisis, in another obstacle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to jumpstart a sputtering economy, Bloomberg News reported. Sales of rupee bonds rated below AAA have halved so far this year to 691 billion rupees ($9.6 billion) as a wave of debt defaults and a funding crunch in the shadow banking sector make investors reluctant to buy riskier notes.
Passenger car sales have contracted for 10 straight months, plunging to 115,957 units in August, a 41% drop from the previous year—the biggest decline on record. Automakers are cutting investment and production; hundreds of dealerships have shut down, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Nationwide, job losses in the sector, which employs more than 32 million people directly and indirectly, have climbed to more than 580,000 in the past 18 months, according to estimates from labor unions and auto dealers. R.C.