What値l drive investments this year?

Jan 06 2014, 11:52 IST
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In 2013, markets faced several challenges such as sharp outflow of funds from the Indian debt market (AP) In 2013, markets faced several challenges such as sharp outflow of funds from the Indian debt market (AP)
SummaryIn 2013, markets faced several challenges such as sharp outflow of funds from Indian debt market...

In 2013, markets faced several challenges such as sharp outflow of funds from the Indian debt market, rupee depreciation of almost 25 per cent against the dollar in a matter of three months, negative returns from debt funds because of huge swings in the short-term interest rates, and volatility in the equity markets in anticipation of tapering in the bond purchase programme of the US Federal Reserve. The year also witnessed gold generating negative return for investors, and all major asset classes remaining under pressure. While 2014 is also being looked at with apprehension as the year braces up for the general elections, and fallout of the tapering of bond purchases by the US Fed, there are expectations that the economy will growth. A clear mandate to any coalition or party in the elections may lead to a revival of investment by companies on their projects, and a surge in the stock markets but a failure on that part may further doom the prospects. Express Money presents the views of the leaders in the financial industry on how they perceive the year 2014 to be:

Chanda Kochhar,

MD & CEO, ICICI Bank

選ndia痴 future cannot only be viewed from the perspective of just the coming months but also needs to be viewed through the prism of India痴 long-term prospects.

In the next decade or so, India has the potential to be a global economic power, growing at a robust pace driven by its demographic profile and its strong infrastructure and industrial investment potential. As for the near term, I believe that the economy has bottomed out, as evidenced by the second quarter GDP numbers. The CAD has been brought under control, and that together with the measures to bring in capital flows has made us better prepared for the tightening of extraordinary global liquidity. We see growth improving in the coming quarters. Agricultural growth has been reasonably good this year and export-driven sectors are expected to benefit from the currency depreciation and better global growth. Some progress is also being made on delayed project approvals. However, we need to think beyond these cyclical trends and challenges and prepare ourselves to realise India痴 full potential across sectors. We need a stable and facilitative environment for building infrastructure. We need to give a focused boost to manufacturing, to create jobs and reduce import dependency. We need to drive accelerated growth in agriculture by addressing supply

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