June 17: India on time
June 17: India on time
An employee stands behind the luggage counter at the Trident-Oberoi hotel in Mumbai
In the US, big hotel chains get to float above the fray. India brings them down to earth. At home, and in some markets abroad, companies like Marriott International, which owns the Courtyard and Fairmont brands and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, owner of Sheraton and W, have virtually eliminated real estate risk.
They have sold all or most of their own hotels, and instead make money by franchising their well-known names. This business strategy of minimizing in-house resources is known as "asset-light."
But in India, hotel companies are finding it hard to grow without getting bogged down in bulky assets like land and, well, hotels.
A woman labourer works at a road construction site on World Labour Day (May Day) at Kamalghat village, about 30 km from Agartala, capital of Tripura
India will award a record 7,300 kms of road building contracts this year worth about $12 billion, as a huge privatisation drive makes developers more willing to take on projects and foreign funds eager to invest, a top official at the National Highways Authority of India said.
The new contracts will help India meet its target of building 20 kms of roads per day as part of a massive overhaul of its infrastructure sector, boosting the country's economic growth, said JN Singh, member finance at the authority.
"Compared to the last 4-5 years, the sector has substantially matured," Singh told at his office in New Delhi on Friday.
A man looks at a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo
The Nikkei stock average fell to a three-month low on Friday as investors moved into safer assets with worries over Greece's debt problems compounding jitters that the global economy may be slowly headed for a sustained slowdown.
Tokyo stocks hit their lowest close since March 18, after selling in the euro intensified with investors largely unconvinced that Greece can dodge a debt default without more political stability in Athens. A contraction in factory activity in the US Mid-Atlantic region to a near two-year low in June added to the gloomy picture.
Market players noted a change in the Tokyo market mood, with a US broker seen aggressively selling Topix futures and speculative accounts detected actively entering the market from Thursday.
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