Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why Jim Rogers is Shorting India

In an interview at Wall Street Journal’s Livemint, the legendary investor Jim Rogers says that he is shorting India…
I used to own tourist companies in India at a time. India should have had the greatest tourist companies in the world. If you can only visit one country in your life, my goodness, it should be India—it is an astonishingly spectacular place to visit. There is no place that has the depth of culture that India has. Yes, I have new reasons to short India—just read its newspapers everyday and you will see why.

The government goes from one mistake to another—no matter what the controls are, no matter how much the debt keeps rising, Indian politicians are only looking for scapegoats. Look at the latest thing with gold—Indian politicians want to blame the problems of their economy on someone else, and now it is gold. Gold is not causing India problems, but it is quite the contrary. Exchange controls in India are absurd, the regulations that India puts in place result in foreigners going through 70 loops before they can invest in India. Foreigners cannot invest in commodities in India.

India should have been among the world’s greatest agriculture nations—you have the soil, the people, the weather, but it is astonishing that you have not become one—it is because Indian politicians, in their wisdom, have made it illegal for farmers to own more than five hectares of land. What the hell—can a farmer with just five hectares compete with someone in Australia or Canada? Even if you put together the land in all your family, it is still not possible to compete. Much as I love India, I am not a fan of its government. Every one year, they (Indian government) come up with more reasons for me to be less optimistic about that country.

India’s major equity benchmark the BSE 30

The more a country’s economy becomes politicized and the more their government engages in bubble blowing activities resulting to inflated asset prices, this usually makes for an attractive ‘short’ opportunity.

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