By Andy MukherjeeA common refrain you hear in India is, “There’s no credit in the market.” The despondence cuts across industries as diverse as real estate, autos and road construction. An 88% slump in the flow of funds to the commercial sector between April and September shows that the producers’ unease is justified. However, one credit tap is starting to gurgle, giving some cause for optimism. Pocket-sized loans are feeding online consumption, with demand coming from smaller cities and towns. The amounts are still tiny, but as digital spending grows, financing it has the power to turn the page on Indian lenders’ underwriting of soured corporate loans: the source of a $200 billion sigh of collective agony.Taps Have Run DryAmazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart Online Services Pvt claimed record sales during the recently concluded six-day online shopping bonanza that marks the start of the Indian festival season. Although nowhere close to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s $31 billion Singles’ Day promotion in China, the Indian version of Black Friday has grown five-fold to $3 billion in four years, according to a review of this year’s sales by RedSeer, a consulting firm. Add the spending between now and Diwali, the Hindu… Read full this story
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