Bombings In India Not Seen Having Big Impact On Business Climate

BANGALORE, India (AP) - The bombings that rocked India's financial hub, Bombay, are unlikely to hurt India's economy and investor confidence in a world that has learned to live with the risk of terrorism, business leaders said Wednesday.

A series of blasts on Bombay trains killed 190 people and wounded hundreds more on Tuesday evening, prompting fears the markets would take a beating.

Instead, India's stock market rose a surprising 3 percent Wednesday.

''All investors live with this risk (of terrorism) today,'' said Andrew Holland, a Merrill Lynch executive based in Bombay. ''A year ago it was London, now it has happened in Bombay.''

Holland said the economy had the strength to ride the attacks because the fundamentals of the Indian economy remain strong and would continue to draw foreign investors.

India's economy has been growing by about 8 percent a year, fueled by its booming outsourcing and software sectors and massive foreign investment.

One of India's biggest software companies, Infosys Technologies Ltd., played a key role in supporting the stock market Wednesday when it announced that its April-June net profit jumped 50.4 percent to a better-than-expected 8 billion rupees ($173 million).

The company, which handles businesses outsourced by U.S. and European firms, also said it raised its earnings forecast for the fiscal year through March on projections for strong outsourcing orders.

Taking cue from Infosys' earning reports, investors bought shares of other technology companies hoping they would also post better earnings.

After a shaky start, the 30-share Sensex climbed 3 percent to close at 10,928.

Bombay Stock Exchange Chief Executive Rajnikant Patel urged investors to remain vigilant against market manipulators who might try to exploit the situation in the wake of the attacks.

''Please be alert, do not get unduly influenced by rumors and take care,'' Patel said a statement on exchange Web site.

Indian business leaders vowed not to let the attacks derail the economy.

''This is an act of cowardice,'' Anil Singhvi, Director of Gujarat Ambuja Cement, told NDTV. Singhvi said employees at his company were ''saddened'' but people were already back at work.

''No factory is shut, schools are open, people are going to jobs,'' said Rahul Bajaj, Chairman of Bajaj Auto Ltd. ''We have to carry on with life.''

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