MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - After more than five months of unrest in the city, a prolonged violent siege on a university campus ratcheted things up anew. Blocked roads and trains shuttered schools as tear gas wafted through the central business district. Its status as a financial hub may be under threat.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oyo Hotels & Homes might be the fastest-growing big company in the world. Ritesh Agarwal’s Indian startup is moving at dizzying speed, frantically racing to become the world’s top hotel-room provider and more. Oyo’s rise to a $10 billion valuation and dealings with Japanese investor SoftBank and its Vision Fund also echo some of the hype before the fall of Adam Neumann’s shared office space empire The We Company.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - India is at risk of getting stuck in anti-corruption crossfire. After chasing down errant tycoons, authorities this week arrested opposition veteran and former finance minister, P. Chidambaram. The dramatic move, months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landslide win, will fuel fears of factionalism. With the economy cooling and plenty of trouble spots to tackle, it also raises concerns over the unwanted consequences of an aggressive cleanup.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - A crisis focuses the mind. India’s shoppers are cutting back on everything from biscuits to a new car. Businesses are reining in too: the value of proposed new projects is at its lowest since 2004. Unemployment, meanwhile, is rising. All of that suggests the nearly $3 trillion economy is heading for a prolonged, painful slowdown. Luckily, New Delhi has a record of embracing reform in times of stress.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - India’s richest man is stocking up his disruption war chest. Mukesh Ambani says Reliance Industries intends to sell 20% of its oil-to-chemicals business to Saudi Aramco, at a healthy $75 billion valuation. At Monday’s annual shareholder extravaganza, the tycoon announced more telecoms plans and ideas to shake up retail too. The Aramco sale hints at how far he can - and will - go.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Few thought it was possible, but billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio has successfully upended the Indian telecoms industry. Barely three years after its launch, the upstart has now displaced Vodafone Idea to become the country’s top mobile operator by users, with 331 million subscribers. That milestone puts its parent conglomerate, $111 billion oil-to-retail Reliance Industries, on track to achieve a bigger aim: dominance over the country's consumers.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Narendra Modi faces a jobs problem. Early results on Thursday suggest the prime minister's Bharatiya Janata party has won a second term. Filled with nationalist sentiment following air strikes against Pakistan earlier this year, voters have looked past an employment crisis. The leader of this $3 trillion economy can’t afford to do the same.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Indian voters just gave the country’s stock market some support. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party is coasting to a comfortable second term, based on exit polls released on Sunday. If the electorate has indeed looked past employment problems and rural economic distress, the prospect of political continuity will keep valuations stretched for the time being.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - The rare Asiatic lion is no match for India's democracy. In the 2009 general election, a polling station was set up for a single voter in a wildlife sanctuary where big cats roam free. Officials go to ever-greater extremes to ensure voters in the world's largest democracy can cast their ballots, erecting booths in snow-capped mountains and in Maoist rebel-affected areas. Unfortunately politicians, also known as netas, show no similar enthusiasm for stamping out corruption in the electoral system. In a nation thirsty for good governance, that’s ripe for change.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - For global technology giants looking for growth, India was supposed to be an easier hunting ground than China. But New Delhi’s plan to compel the likes of Facebook and Alphabet's Google to actively police user-generated content threatens free speech. Coming after edicts that limit foreign giants Amazon and Walmart in e-commerce, the rules suggest India may not be a much easier bet than the People's Republic.