Foreign and Indian business leaders say the world has learned to live with terrorism, and the bombings that rocked India's financial hub, Mumbai, are unlikely to slow the country's fast growing economy or harm investor confidence.
Reflecting that optimism -- and defying worries about a sell-off -- Indian stocks surged on Wednesday, with the Bombay Stock Exchange's 30-stock Sensitive Index, or Sensex, rising 315.74 points, or 3 percent, to 10,930.09.
"These cowardly and dastardly attacks cannot break our will or resolve," Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters on Wednesday. "India's growth story is intact. No need to worry about the Indian economy."
Chidambaram said that foreign investors "still have confidence" in India and should continue to do so.
"Solitary attacks cannot set back economic activity all over India, and even in Mumbai," he said.
The rise in Sensex was led by gains in technology shares after software bellwether Infosys Technologies reported better-than-expected quarterly results.
Many market players had expected shares to fall sharply following the blasts, which occurred during the evening rush hour on Tuesday and left 200 dead and more than 600 wounded.
"The sharp rise took most people by surprise," said S. Tulsian, an investment adviser in Mumbai. "Not just Infosys, many other large caps also rose sharply amid good volumes. It appears that there is a change in the market trend, with the pessimism that one saw over the past one month disappear in just one trading session."
Market sentiment was also helped by official data showing the country's industrial output grew a robust 10 percent in May, driven by strong performance in the manufacturing sector, a key index in India's economy that has been expanding about 8 percent a year, making it one of the world's fastest growing.
Foreign companies ranging from IBM Corp to Merrill Lynch joined Indian firms in denouncing Tuesday's bombings on Mumbai's commuter rail network that killed 200 people during the evening rush hour.
"This stuff happens everywhere. We have learned to live with it," said William Ireland, a director at IBM in India.
Speaking in Bangalore, a southern city that is the hub of India's lucrative high-technology and outsourcing industries, he said the bombings had no impact on the services that IBM offers to 250 global clients from its India.
"All investors live with this risk [of terrorism] today," said Andrew Holland, a Merrill Lynch executive based in Mumbai. "A year ago it was London, now it has happened in Bombay [Mumbai]."
Holland said the market's resilience was reflection of strong fundamentals of the Indian economy.
On Wednesday, India's software companies reported more work being transferred by global companies to India.
Infosys Technologies Ltd. said it added 38 new clients during the April-June quarter, adding that its net profit jumped 44 percent to US$174 million, surpassing expectations.
Projecting strong outsourcing orders in the year ahead, the company also raised its earnings forecast for the fiscal year through March.
Indian business leaders vowed not to let the attacks derail the economy.
"No factory is shut, schools are open, people are going to jobs," said Rahul Bajaj, chairman of Bajaj Auto Ltd. "We have to carry on with life."
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
RELATIONSHIP ‘TERMINATED’: US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the president’s action was ‘an act of extraordinary senselessness,’ a tone Chinese media echoed US President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Washington would withdraw funding from the WHO, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government. Trump said in a White House announcement that Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the organization to mislead the public about the outbreak. “We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” he said. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be