Singapore, September 9 (Nikkei Asia): Changing India’s name to Bharat in official documents and other places would not be cheap, according to one estimate.
Indian news organization Outlook estimated the move would cost 143 billion rupees ($1.71 billion) based on the budget for the previous fiscal year that ended March.
That number came from an analyst who estimated the marketing and rebranding costs involved in renaming the African country Swaziland to Eswatini, then applied the same formula to India’s budget
Impact on Stock Market
In the Nifty 500 index, composed of the top 500 companies listed on the National Stock Exchange of India, only six companies have “Bharat” in their names. Meanwhile, there are 71 companies with either “India” or “Indian” in their names
This week, an invitation to an upcoming Group of 20 dinner to be hosted in New Delhi caused a stir for naming Droupadi Murmu as the “President of Bharat” rather than the customary “President of India.”
The world’s most populous country has two official names, India and Bharat. Bharat comes from Sanskrit and is the country’s Hindi name while India is the English name. Official documents generally refer to the country as India.
The “Bharat” companies tend to operate in sectors like heavy industry or infrastructure where government influence is strong.
Bharat Electronics, which enjoys the largest market capitalization among the six, is a majority state-owned aerospace and defense supplier. The state also has big ownership stakes in Bharat Petroleum, which has the second-largest market cap, and power plant builder Bharat Heavy Electricals.
Bharat Dynamics manufactures missiles and other defense equipment, Bharat Forge is a metal processor, and Dalmia Bharat makes cement.
A theoretical weighted index composed of the six Bharat companies would show a 24% gain from the end of 2022 through Wednesday. The Sensex and the Nifty 50, India’s two major indexes, both rose by only about 8% over the same span.
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