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Currency Threat Biggest for Company's in India

Even as the subdued global environment and domestic concerns loom large, a majority of chief financial officers (CFOs) of leading companies in India feel that there will be economic expansion in the country. However, they expect currency fluctuation to remain as the biggest threat to their company’s growth prospect.

According to the fifth annual American Express/CFO Research Global Business & Spending Monitor, 86 per cent of the CFOs in India are confident of an economic expansion.

On a global palette, the sentiment, however, continues to remain weak in the UK and Japan where only 24 per cent and 36 per cent, respectively, feel that there will be economic expansion. In the US, however, 78 per cent of the CFOs are positive about the country’s economic situation.

The survey covered 541 senior finance executives from leading companies across the US, Europe, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia.

While 45 per cent of executives in India termed exchange-rate volatility as the biggest threat, 21 per cent stated that changing interest rates and increased volatility in capital markets are the main risky zones. Only 12 per cent said that restricted access to funding and credit is the top threat to their company’s growth.

“The weakening rupee, high production input prices, a sharp hike in borrowing costs, and geo-political situations leading to fluctuating oil prices and high inflation are some of the factors influencing the confidence level of Indian finance executives,” says Manoj Adlakha, country head, Global Corporate Payments, American Express India.

“However, we see Indian finance executives expressing higher optimism for growth and with the overriding belief that they will see a quick recovery.”

Most of the Indian executives (60 per cent) feel that India’s growth will come from domestic sales. On the other hand a majority of global CFOs (61 per cent) are looking at emerging markets like India, Argentina and Mexico for growth over the next two years.

Even as growth may come, Indian finance executives do not want to touch their reserves. Almost 47 per cent respondents in India are not inclined to tap their cash reserves over the next year while globally only 34 per cent said so.

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