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The 2014 All-India Research Team: Economics, No. 1: Chetan Ahya

< The 2014 All-India Research TeamChetan AhyaMorgan StanleyFirst-Place Appearances: 4

Total Appearances: 4

Analyst Debut: 2011

Undefeated champion Chetan Ahya of Morgan Stanley remains buy-siders’ favorite India economist, extending his winning streak to a fourth year. Based in Hong Kong, he covers all of Asia ex-Japan. But “despite being extremely busy,” one admirer in Singapore reports, “he always has time for us.” Ahya, 45, is also dubbed “diligent and humble” by another asset manager, who highlights the economist’s small about-face after India’s spring 2014 general elections. The researcher had expected a rally in economic activity but thought it would emerge gradually. “The strength of the pent-up demand that was visible through monthly growth indicators was a surprise to us,” Ahya acknowledges. Looking ahead, he now anticipates “a faster transition toward higher growth and lower inflation.” The first step will be a reduction in “administrative bottlenecks” to accelerate approval of “investment projects,” he adds. Then the corporate sector will respond by lifting capital expenditures, says Ahya, which in turn will “push India back toward an environment of higher growth and lower inflation.” He predicts that India’s real gross domestic product expansion will accelerate to 7.2 percent by the second quarter of the fiscal year that begins next April; it stood at 5.7 percent for the quarter ended in June. “Chetan’s tons of experience is evident in everything he does,” cheers a third advocate.

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