Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Wednesday, September 19, 2001





India luckless in the FDI game
THAT Hong Kong virtually rode on a foreign direct investment boom last year with a massive $64 billion in inflows, developing Asia's FDI inflow was a record $143 billion, is axiomatic. Against this spectacular show of Chinese market-savvy, India garnered $4.50 billion in 2000 as per the Indian authorities' admission.

Fall halted?
THESE ARE EXTRAORDINARY times. If it was a Disaster Monday, it was Relief Tuesday. The lower-than-expected fall in Dow and Nasdaq obviously helped sentiment across Europe and Asia. If there was no ``patriotic rally'' on Wall Street, when it resumed tradi ng on Monday after a four-day shutdown, it was because investors were too unnerved.

Rupee's fall: Driven by speculation
THE likely impact of the US war against terrorism on India's oil import bill seems exaggerated. The panic among the foreign institutional investors and their withdrawals also look out of proportion though their assessment of the condition of the economy with no signs of a revival may not be inaccurate. But if the FIIs are safeguarding their positions because they expect the Indian economy to be hit harder than the others, they are thinking too much. It is more speculation than good assessment. An unstab le and volatile exchange rate regime can scare away potential foreign investors. The first ones to go are the portfolio investors, as is happening now.

BBC's apology
IN AN extraordinary public display of submissiveness and contrition, the Director-General of the BBC, Mr Greg Dyke, has apologised for the special edition of Question Time, telecast live on September 13, two days after the barbaric attacks on the World T rade Center and the Pentagon. He has taken his aides to task for an ``inappropriate'' programme of which the anchor was Mr David Dimbleby, who enjoys popular appeal as a professional of high calibre in his line.

US markets: Boosted by active trading
AMERICA Inc responded with a resounding vote of confidence in the world's giant economy when Wall Street went back to business. There was brisk trading in the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, leaving behind a week of terror, horror, shock and anger, w hich steeled the nation to fight a long war to safeguard its liberty and way of life.

NCBS: Recognition of sorts
THE Bangalore-based National Centre for Biological Sciences) is still to decide whether to apply to the US National Institute of Health (NIH) for funding its research on stem cells.

Stem cell research: The new cutting edge
THE Indian software industry may have dropped the ball, partly because its elbow was jostled by the market and partly because it fumbled. But there seems to be a fair chance of the country running with the biotech ball with two domestic entities -- Relia nce Life Sciences Pvt Ltd (RLS) and the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) -- being included by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) in its list of ten institutions in five countries that possibly have some of the 60-odd human embryonic stem cell lines eligible for federally funded research.

Crusade against terrorism -- Mixed utilitarian and ethical angles
THERE have been two sorts of reactions in India to the efforts by the US to constitute a worldwide coalition against terrorism. One reaction is that India should join this coalition and actively participate. The second is that India, while sympathising w ith the US's losses consequent to the horrible events of September 11, should not join the above coalition. Strangely, the political parties and leaders who have taken the second stand are partly in the same boat as the Pakistan Government, which does no t want India and Israel to be associated in the US-led war against terrorism. The Indian Government has reacted positively to the creation of a world wide coalition. It is aware that terrorism from external sources can potentially destabilise the Indian polity. No single country can fight organised terrorist movements with world wide links.

Promises may undo Musharraf
THE US authorities seem to be increasingly focussing, inter alia, on the likely involvement of Osama bin Laden in the terrorist incidents in the US on September 11, which President George Bush has described as the beginning of the first war of the new mi llennium.

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