BMO: India Poised to Emerge Strong from the Global Crisis with GDP Growth of
7.5%

    
    Visit by Canadian Prime Minister is an important milestone in India-
    Canada relations
    

MUMBAI, India and TORONTO, Nov. 15 /CNW/ - India's economy is well positioned for post-recession growth and stands to rank amongst the best in the world, with a GDP forecast of 7.5% next year, according to a new report by BMO Capital Markets, the investment and corporate banking arm of BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO).

Citing the report, Michael Rayfield, Vice Chair, BMO Capital Markets, said, "Positive signs that the Indian economy is turning a corner continue to emerge, most notably including a surge in industrial production growth."

"BMO is committed to India and we recognize this country as an area of emerging global growth. We'll continue to build on our strong relationships here," said Mr. Rayfield who is participating in an Investment Roundtable with the Canadian Prime Minister in Mumbai tomorrow. "BMO expanded into India one year ago at the height of the economic crisis and today, we look back knowing our timing couldn't have been better as we continue to focus on serving Indian clients over the long-term," added Mr. Rayfield.

Mr. Rayfield's trip to Mumbai follows a visit made earlier this month by Bill Downe, President and Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group, to mark the anniversary of BMO's entry into India.

BMO Capital Markets, through its Indian subsidiary, opened its corporate and transaction advisory services office in Mumbai last fall. The move was to assist Indian companies interested in growing their presence - mainly in North America and Europe - in sectors that include global mining and metals, oil and gas, information technology services, education, auto and industrials, healthcare and food and agri-businesses.

"Our mission is to help Indian companies successfully execute M&A cross-border opportunities primarily between India and North America," said Ashutosh Sharma, Managing Director of BMO Capital Markets' Indian subsidiary. "Indian companies, as part of their global strategy, should capitalize on the attractive valuations that currently exist in the North American market," said Mr. Sharma

"We also continue to explore with our North American client base on opportunities for investment into India," added Mr. Sharma, who works with a BMO team of more than 250 leading professionals that can advise North American companies looking to expand into India across a range of sectors.

BMO's economic report indicates India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth stands to rank amongst the best in the world, with a GDP forecast of 7.5% for fiscal 2010/11, largely backed by fiscal and monetary stimulus and an improving external environment. This compares favourably to India's pre-recession performance when it was considered one of the world's high-flyers with average growth of almost 9% in fiscal 2007/08.

"While global growth is slowly strengthening, India is ideally positioned to take advantage of its strong credit rating to pursue international opportunities," said Mr. Rayfield. "We believe the central government is poised to take bold measures in infrastructure development, one of the driving factors to future economic growth," he added.

The report notes growth this year could still be impeded by weak monsoons and rising inflation. Fiscal challenges also continue to mount and, even with a strengthened government in place, political resolve will be critical to meet budget deficit targets, said the report.

    
    Other highlights of the report include:
    -   Wholesale price inflation has rebounded and is set to rise rapidly
    -   Rebounding capital inflows are bolstering the balance of payments
    -   Lower oil prices and improving exports should reduce the current
        account deficit this year to around 1% of GDP before an improving
        domestic economy and a commodity price revival leads to a modestly
        wider deficit in 2010 and 2011


    India Economic Indicators

    Fiscal Years Beginning April         07/08     08/09    09/10f    10/11f

    GDP Growth (%)                         9.0       6.7       5.8       7.5
    Wholesale Inflation (%, pd avg)        4.7       8.4       2.3       6.5
    Wholesale Inflation (%, pd end)        7.7       0.8       7.5       5.0

    Central Govt Balance (% GDP)          -2.7      -6.1      -7.0      -6.2
    Central Govt Debt (% GDP)             62.1      61.5      62.0      64.0

    Trade Balance ($bn)                  -91.6    -119.4    -106.0    -119.1
    Current Account Bal ($bn)            -17.0     -29.8     -11.7     -18.3
      % GDP                               -1.7      -2.7      -1.0      -1.3
    FX Reserves ($bn)                    299.7     242.3     280.0     300.0

    Source: BMO Capital Markets Economics
    

BMO Financial Group is highly committed to the South East Asian population in Canada. "We recognize that Canada and India have strong cultural ties - and our relationship with India, the world's largest democracy, continues to grow," said Mr. Rayfield. "We applaud the visit to India this week by Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper, which reflects Canada's interest in widening relations with India."

For a copy of the BMO Capital Markets India Economic report, visit, http://www.bmocm.com/aboutus/news/india/

About BMO Capital Markets

BMO Capital Markets is a leading full-service North American financial services provider, with over 2,200 employees operating in 14 North American offices and 27 worldwide, offering corporate, institutional and government clients access to a complete range of investment and corporate banking products and services. BMO Capital Markets is a member of BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO), one of the largest diversified financial services providers in North America with US$385 billion total assets and 37,000 employees as at July 31, 2009.

SOURCE BMO CAPITAL MARKETS

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Paul Deegan, paul.deegan@bmo.com, Toronto, (416) 867-3996; Kim Hanson, kim.hanson@bmo.com, Toronto, (416) 867-3996; Ronald Monet, ronald.monet@bmo.com, Montreal, (514) 877-1873; Internet: www.bmocm.com

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