India's industrial output dips 0.1%

Updated 12 January 2013

India's industrial output dips 0.1%

MUMBAI: India's industrial output dipped marginally by 0.1 percent in November from a year ago, data showed yesterday, raising hopes that the central bank will soon cut interest rates to boost sluggish growth.
The figure matched market expectations but was well below the previous month's 8.3 percent growth figure and underlines the challenges the government faces as it seeks to kickstart the economy.
Manufacturing output, which accounts for three-quarters of the index of industrial production, rose just 0.3 percent, while capital goods — such as factory plant equipment — plunged by 7.7 percent, the data showed.
"The numbers were not a surprise," said Siddhartha Sanyal, chief India economist with Barclays Capital, who expects India's industrial output to grow in low single digits until March.
The once-booming South Asian economy has been hit by continuing high interest rates in the face of strong inflation, sluggish exports and slow investment.
India last month cut its growth forecast for the current fiscal year ending March to between 5.7 and 5.9 percent, putting it on track for its worst annual performance in a decade.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who with general elections due in 2014 is keen to revive the economy, announced a string of reforms in September, opening up retail and other sectors to wider foreign investment.
The government has also vowed to clamp down on tax evasion to help to lower the country's wide fiscal deficit.
India's output dip comes as industrial output in fellow Asian giant China has been growing much faster, rising 10.1 percent in November from a year earlier.

Financial crime leads to billions of lost business in Middle East, survey finds

Updated 24 May 2018

Financial crime leads to billions of lost business in Middle East, survey finds

  • Some 45 percent of MENA respondents in Thomson Reuters victims of fraud, corruption and bribery
  • 77 percent of MENA respondents deliberately avoided customers, suppliers, countries or industries viewed as most exposed to financial crime.

LONDON: Middle Eastern companies are losing billions of dollars in business opportunities because of fears about financial crime, according to a Thomson Reuters survey published on Thursday.

Concern about the possibility of severe financial and reputational damage due to regulatory breaches leads foreign investors and firms to shun companies and entire regions where they see “heightened risk.”

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), 77 percent of survey respondents said that they deliberately avoided customers, suppliers, countries or industries which they viewed as most exposed to financial crime.

“The impact in terms of lost opportunities at both organizational and national level is difficult to quantify, but likely to impact productivity and economic development,” Thomson Reuters said.

The report was conducted online by an independent third party in March 2018. More than 2,000 senior managers at large global organizations completed the survey, from 19 countries.

In a hard-hitting conclusion, the report said: “For the first time our research has put a price on financial crime: three and a half percent of corporate turnover for the 2,373 large companies in our survey alone. That adds up to a staggering $1.45 trillion.”

Financial crime was said to blight individual lives and undermine the ability of governments to provide key services such as education and health. The IMF has shown that it reduces economic growth and social cohesion.

Che Sidanius, global head of financial crime regulation at Thomson Reuters, said that financial crime caused “incalculable” harm around the world. The proceeds of activities spanning bribery, corruption, fraud, and narcotics trafficking have been implicated in the financing of terrorism, human rights abuses such as slavery and child labor, and environmental crime.

“This has serious economic and social costs in terms of the lost revenues to national exchequers that could be invested in social development, and in terms of the impact on individual lives,” Sidanius said.

Other key findings were that 45 percent of MENA respondents had been a victim of financial crime as opposed to 47 percent globally; 96 percent believed that bribery and corruption was an important issue to tackle; 57 percent indicated that the consequences of bribery and corruption meant less government revenue; only 59 percent said that they fully conducted due diligence; and only 60 percent fully conducted due diligence, the report said.