ABN Amro wants to return to India. The Dutch bank is planning a comeback after exiting the country four years ago. Mint has learnt it has applied to the Reserve Bank for a new license to open a branch in the country. ABN Amro is hoping the return will help it finance its lucrative diamond financing operations. The bank is also hoping to cash in on India’s burgeoning demand for loans. ABN Amro sold its Indian business to the Royal Bank of Scotland group back in 2007.
In other news, the controversy over DMK leader and textile minister Dayanidhi Maran has sent stocks of two companies controlled by his family crashing. Investors are worried both firms could come under government scrutiny in the days ahead. Shares of Sun TV plummeted nearly 27.90% on the BSE to 272.10. And those of Spice Jet nose dived 16.06% to 34.50. Media reports have claimed the CBI is going to question Maran over the 2G spectrum scandal. Among other things, Maran is alleged to have helped Malaysian firm Maxis Communications, which later bought a stake in businesses controlled by the Maran family.
Moving on, some relief for consumers. After surging in the middle of May, food inflation has slowed down once again. Prices of lentils and potatoes fell during the period, pulling down overall costs. India’s food price index stood at just 8.06% in the period to 21 May. The previous week it had shot up 8.55%. The Reserve Bank has said rising prices of fuel and other commodities are now driving overall inflation instead of food.
In more good news for food prices as India’s monsoons are progressing well. On Thursday the met department said rains were 12% above normal as of 1 June. The better than average showers in southern part of India are expected to help coffee and rubber crops.