India is “Best Bet,” Conglomerate Executive Says

If you listen to the chairman of an Indian conglomerate, India is the global economy’s safest place on Earth.

“We see a recession coming in U.S., recession coming in U.K., in Europe, problems in China, [a] problem in Southeast Asia under the fear of China-Taiwan. So looking to the overall scene, we focus now [on] India as an emerging market,” Hinduja Group Chairman Ashok Hinduja told CNBC. “India, politically, is well-settled.”

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His company owns businesses across sectors and about 40 countries, including the U.S and U.K. Ashok Leyland, a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer in India, is its flagship business.

India’s stability, Hinduja said, is due to its Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. “He has handled, in the current situation, relations with U.S., with Europe, with Russia, with China — though there were problems with China, but he has handled it well, it’s under control.”

In 2020, tensions with China increased as soldiers fought over a shared border, and unease between the two countries remains. Recently, Western nations have criticized India for buying Russian oil.

Hinduja also said that India’s Nifty 50, a benchmark Indian stock market index that represents the weighted average of 50 of the largest Indian companies listed on the National Stock Exchange, is up around 1%, compared to the S&P 500 and the Stoxx 600, an index of European stocks.

And, he said he believes that the country is managing corruption and making infrastructure improvements.

The country’s year-over-year economic growth has risen of late, but it may be slowing, according to the Organisation For Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), CNBC reported. On a quarter-to-quarter basis, India’s second-quarter GDP growth was second to last among the G20, and Goldman Sachs lowered its forecast for the country’s GDP growth from 7.6% to 7%.