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Goldman Sachs in govt line of fire over predicting BJP win in 2014 polls

A recent report by Goldman Sachs praised BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi and suggested victory for the BJP-led NDA in 2014 elections, creating a political storm with commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma describing it as "most inappropriate and objectionable".

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: November 8, 2013  | 19:35 IST
Goldman Sachs faces govt flak over 2014 poll prediction
PHOTO: Reuters

Drawing flak over upgrading Indian equities on hopes of an electoral victory for Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections, global investment bank Goldman Sachs on Friday said it stood by its report based on investor sentiments and that it does not have any political bias.

"Our Asia-Pacific Portfolio Strategy report... contains no political bias nor any political opinion by Goldman Sachs or its analysts. It simply notes that investor sentiment is being influenced by party politics. We stand by that assertion and by our research," the bank said in a statement.

A recent report of the global investment banker which praised BJP's prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and suggested victory for the BJP-led NDA in the forthcoming general elections, created a political storm with commerce and industry Minister Anand Sharma describing it as "most inappropriate and objectionable".

Goldman Sachs further said that as securities firm, its role included providing "objective, impartial and independent research that explains to investors the fundamental reasons driving market sentiment and direction, including relevant political factors."

The November 5 report of the Goldman Sachs said, "BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) could prevail in the next Parliamentary elections that are due by May 2014 . Equity investors tend to view the BJP as business-friendly, and the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as an agent of change."

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Meanwhile, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said the country would not entertain any prescriptions from unconnected entities.

"India's growth story has always been strong and intact. What one needs to look at are the micro fundamentals of our economy (and) where the strength lies-the high rate of savings and investments," he told reporters.

Stressing that the report will have no impact on the general elections due early next year, the minister said: "People have wisdom and maturity. These reports could also be coloured, influenced and these are most inappropriate and objectionable."

Sharma further said: "We don't need these kinds of daily certification or assurances. We are a self-confident nation. What I feel is that any agency (or) organisation should be focused on their job particularly when it comes to functional democracies. We surely would not be entertaining prescriptive approaches or prescriptions from those who are totally disconnected... Do we tell other countries that what their voter should decide. Respect democracy and respect country."

Any prescription, he added, amounted to "insulting the collective wisdom" of 800 million voters .

India, Sharma said, had throughout demonstrated its commitment to reforms and an open economy and would continue to create an environment supportive of FDI.

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