Modi's cash takeaway seems not to dent India's growth

IndiaThe Indian government's surprise decision to withdraw millions of banknotes from circulation in November caused only a modest drag on economic growth. The country's growth rate fell to 7%, on an annualised basis, during the quarter ending on December 31, according to official figures. The comparable rate for the preceding three-month period was 7.4%. The latest growth rate was, “above most of the estimates made by various economists and rating agencies who had expected demonetisation to have a deeper impact on the GDP number”, said a report by Mumbai-based investment firm ZyFin. “India remains a bright spot after the growth numbers beating China,” added the company. The demonetisation policy withdrew all 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee notes from circulation, equivalent to about 86% of India's cash by value. Prime minister Narendra Modi explained the initiative as an assault on corruption. Although many financial analysts predicted long-term economic gains from the policy, the surprise move caused chaos across the country. “For now the country is in a state of panic. Hotels don't have exchangeable cash. Corporates don't know what will happen. Logistics have come to a halt,” wrote Avinash Vazirani, a fund manager at Jupiter Fund Management, at the time. ©2017 funds global asia

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: ‘We have to improve ourselves’

Jul 17, 2017

Raising productivity is essential for Abenomics to succeed, says Mitsuhiro Yuasa, co-founder of Rheos Capital.

INTERVIEW: Cash-rich and hoping to grow

Mar 20, 2017

The chief executive of Value Partners has ambitious plans and $335 million to spend. George Mitton meets King Lun Au.

Roundtables

REAL ESTATE ROUNDTABLE: In search of a home

Jul 17, 2017

From Korean warehouses to Chinese hospitals, investors’ holding periods are growing in Asia. But in a market awash with liquidity, so is competition for assets. Our panel in Hong Kong discuss real estate investment.

ROUNDTABLE: More transparency, less certainty

Mar 20, 2017

Our panel discussed exchange-traded funds, regulatory overdrive and whether mutual fund recognition has been a failure. Chaired by George Mitton in Hong Kong.