10-Dec-2011

Help The Billionaires, The Poor Dears


“I’m sick and tired of what’s happening here. I don’t want to live in this country anymore,” said one of India’s biggest barons. 
My heart bleeds for these people, as every right-thinking Indian's would.

Also, at the same link, this: Why put CEOs in jail: Rahul Bajaj.  Indeed, why?  It's not as if they are going to influence anyone.  Has anyone ever heard of such a thing happening in India?  No way.  

So our billionaires are downbeat on India and are setting up house in upmarket 'ghettos':
In the past year, many highprofile Indians have bought homes in London’s toniest neighborhoods. Bharti’s Sunil Mittal, who purchased a home in Grosvenor Square a few months ago, is spending more time working out of there to keep up with the firm’s global needs. The Munjals are said to have bought two homes in Kensington. DLF’s K P Singh, Essar’s Ravi Ruia and Sahara’s Subrata Roy often live and work out of the city that once ruled India. Real estate circles in London often refer to the Berkeley and Grosvenor Square areas as upmarket ‘Indian ghettos’. 
Says a former top banker based in London, “Cities like London and Singapore are safe havens and the rule of law is clear. There is a sense of individual security and privacy.” 
Ajay Piramal of Piramal Lifesciences has also bought himself a sprawling home in London, although he isn’t shifting base. He points to India’s problems: “You don’t know what regulation is going to hit. Sometimes it is not even rational. Very old cases are being pulled out. This doesn’t give you a sense of certainty.” 
Old cases being brought, so the captains of Indian industry are going to 'safe havens'.  Very interesting.

ICICI chairman K V Kamath puts things in perspective:
Animal spirits are clearly at a low right now, acknowledges ICICI Bank chairman KV Kamath. “Negativity as a whole pushes you down,” he says, adding that he has seen such trends every time the country has been hit by a slowdown in the last 40 years. 
A banker says that of his top 100 clients, 75 are sulking and say they have no incentive to offer to potential investors. It’s a far cry from the ebullient Indian promoter, hungry to buy assets and expand, that one had got used to.
Of course.  What was that saying?  The tough leave when the going gets tough? 

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