Business Leaders React To Mumbai Attacks

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Suspected Islamist gunmen launched waves of attacks in the heart of India’s financial capital, killing at least 101 people and taking many foreigners hostage in two of the city’s plushest hotels, police said on Thursday. Wednesday’s late-night attacks sent shockwaves through an economy already under strain. Authorities closed stock, bond and foreign exchanges as commandos and armed police laid siege to the gunmen.

Following are reactions from top company executives and investors:

DR WILFRIED AULBUR, MANAGING DIRECTOR & CEO, DAIMLERCHRYSLER INDIA PVT LTD: “This will not have a major impact on foreign direct investment in India. India remains a very positive FDI location and we hope that the incident will be investigated and dealt with in a calm and fact-based manner. We will continue to do our business as usual but definitely everybody will be advised to be careful.”

SHANKAR NARAYANAN, MD, CARLYLE INDIA ADVISORS PVT LTD, CARLYLE GROUP:

“The country is strong and resilient. Nothing has changed fundamentally. The country will emerge stronger out of it. We are committed to investing in India. We are very optimistic about the future of India. The fundamentals of the country don’t change.”

SUSHIL GUPTA, MANAGING DIRECTOR (WEST), ASIAN HOTELS LTD. (ASHT.BO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz):

“We have beefed up security in all our hotels. It is early to say exactly how this would affect the hotel industry. There will be some effect which we can’t quantify at the moment, but I hope things would improve in a few days once the government comes up with a concrete plan of action”.

AKHIL GUPTA, CHAIRMAN, BLACKSTONE INDIA (BX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz):

“Mumbai is a very very resilient city. The last time we had terror attack, the city was up and running within 24 hours. I don’t think business confidence or any investment outlook will be hit much.”

V. ANANTHA NAGESWARAN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER FOR ASIA PACIFIC AT BANK JULIUS BAER IN SINGAPORE:

“I don’t think the impact (on business) should be big, should be short-lived if there is one. Things have already become difficult anyway before this from a macro perspective. That is what will dominate more than this as an issue.

“Attacks in Bali did not have a big impact on Indonesian markets or business confidence because things were good. I think this time around also additional impact coming from this is not going to be long-lasting

NARAYAN MURTHY, CHIEF MENTOR, INFOSYS TECHNOLOGIES (INFY.BO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz):

“Given the fact that all Indians will regroup quickly, given the fact that the government will fight it and we will take necessary precautions, I am not at all worried that this would have any permanent effect in terms of business flow into India.”

RAHUL BAJAJ, CHAIRMAN, BAJAJ AUTO LTD (BAJA.BO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz):

“How it affects the business, corporates, the financial situation, I repeat, is secondary. The government must provide security whether by law, whether by quota, whether by something I am not an expert… Some people just have to change.

VIJAY MALLYA, CHAIRMAN, KINGFISHER AIRLINES (KING.BO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz):

“The government needs to really start acting tough. In our political system we soft peddle issues many times… but this kind of national disgrace needs to be dealt with a very firm hand.

“As far as Kingfisher Airlines is concerned we have put everybody on high alert and we are reviewing the flights schedule in and out of Mumbai.”

PAUL DE VOIJS, MD, VOLVO CAR INDIA:

“It’s too early to say (whether it will have an impact on foreign investment). At the moment, I would say, we are much concerned about what is happening in Mumbai. But for us that, it doesn’t mean any… no it doesn’t have any influence so far. I think it certainly sends the wrong signals, but most of all its bad its happening, doesn’t matter if its for foreigners or anyone.” RANU VOHRA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, AVENDUS ADVISORS PVT LTD: “In the short term it does not mean well for us. What has been under siege are business landmarks. In the short term, will have an impact. It will take time to heal.

“I don’t think it will have an effect on portfolio investments in the country. I do not anticipate any change in portfolio investment levels from where we are.”

AMAR LULLA, JOINT MANAGING DIRECTOR, CIPLA LTD (CIPL.BO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz):

“It is a total breakdown of the security system in India. In terms of international business, the fear and uncertainty which was already there in the minds will be exaggerated. Business sentiment will be affected. It doesn’t bode well for business.” (Reporting by Janaki Krishnan, Bharghavi Nagaraju, Aniruddha Basu, Narayanan Somasundaram, Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Ramya Venugopal)