Around Rs20,000 crore of repayments were due by real estate companies by 31 March after loans were restructured by banks following the 2008-09 slump, but at least half a dozen of them have been unable to meet this deadline.“They are likely to default,” the chairman of a large public sector bank said, adding that some of these firms already have overdue interest repayments.
“Central banks are printing more money than they ever have, so what’s the value of money in terms of purchases of goods and services,” Bass said yesterday in a telephone interview. “I look at gold as just another currency that they can’t print any more of.”
Retailing employs more than 30m Indians, so some fear social unrest if the admission of foreign chains puts small shops out of business. But given India’s rapid growth there is plenty of space for supermarkets to expand without killing small stores. Such worries are greatly outweighed by the potential benefits to Indian consumers: lower prices and better quality, choice and nutrition. Economists in America talk about the beneficial “Walmart effect” that the ubiquitous cheap chain has had on curbing prices. Indians, as they fret over soaring food costs, might find such a thing a godsend.