Bloomberg News

Pantaloon Leads Drop in India Retailers as Rules Opposed

November 30, 2011

(Updates with closing share prices in second paragraph.)

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Pantaloon Retail India Ltd., the nation’s largest retailer, led a decline among store operators as the government faces political opposition to its decision to ease limits on foreign investment in the industry.

Pantaloon fell 12 percent, the most since Nov. 21, to 196.70 rupees at close of trading in Mumbai. Shoppers Stop Ltd. declined 3.3 percent to 356.05 rupees, Trent Ltd. declined 4 percent to 985.80 rupees and Vishal Retail Ltd. dropped 2 percent to 20.05 rupees.

India’s government approved a proposal last week to allow foreign investors to own as much as 51 percent of stores selling more than one brand, and raise the limit for overseas ownership of single-brand stores to 100 percent from 51 percent. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer and rivals including Carrefour SA and Tesco seek to step up their presence in India to tap a market estimated by Business Monitor International to double to $785 billion by 2015 from $396 billion this year.

The main federal opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, communist parties and two allies of Manmohan Singh-led government have said they oppose the decision. Debate in parliament was suspended for a sixth successive day today as lawmakers demanded the government reverse the policy.

India’s benchmark BSE India Sensitive Index declined 1 percent.

--Editors: Dave McCombs, Subramaniam Sharma

To contact the reporter on this story: Malavika Sharma in New Delhi at msharma52@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at swong139@bloomberg.net


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