Bloomberg News

Pantaloon Gains as India May Revive Foreign Investment in Retail

December 15, 2011

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Pantaloon Retail India Ltd. gained for the first time in six days in Mumbai trading after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his government plans to overcome opposition to allow foreign investment in retail companies.

Pantaloon, India’s largest retailer, rose as much as 4.2 percent and was up 3.3 percent at 146.85 rupees as of 10:43 a.m. in the city. India’s benchmark Sensitive Index fell 1.3 percent.

India suspended a decision to permit overseas ownership of multibrand retail stores on Dec. 7, after protests by opposition political parties and some allies of the ruling coalition paralyzed the parliament. Singh said his government “will do everything” to overcome opposition and encourage foreign investment.

“We have to convince our allies. I feel we will succeed, though not in the next two months,” Singh said in an interview in his office in New Delhi yesterday. “The state elections should be over by March, and things should change.”

Singh’s ruling Congress party faces at least five regional elections next year, including one in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh.

India’s suspension of its decision last month to allow overseas retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Carrefour SA to own as much as 51 percent of stores selling more than one brand delays plans by foreign companies to expand in the nation’s $400 billion retail market and build supply systems.

--Editors: Subramaniam Sharma, Terje Langeland

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Longid at flongid@bloomberg.net.


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