- Created: Wednesday, 22 October 2014 20:39
Before Narendra Modi was elected India’s prime minister five months ago, Shishir Bajpai barely used his Twitter account. Now, he can’t do without it, as Modi attempts to reboot Asia’s third-largest economy.
“Every decision gets posted on Twitter,” the Mumbai-based director at IIFL Wealth Management Ltd., which has $10 billion under management and advisory, said in an interview. “There’s a lot of transparency now.”
While monitoring social media is nothing new for investors, it has become all but indispensable for followers of India’s $1.5 trillion stock market after Modi transformed the way official policy is announced by the oil and finance ministries. The government now uses the network more than any other globally, according to Twitter Inc. (TWTR)’s own data.
Bajpai is among a growing number of money managers using the microblog to understand how Modi is steering the economy. The 64-year-old politician and his ministers are sending dozens of tweets a day, including an Aug. 13 announcement of gasoline-price cuts that preceded the press release by 90 minutes and led to a 1.8 percent drop in Indian Oil Corp. shares.
ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co., India’s second-biggest money manager, is using social media to get a “handle” on the government’s policies, said S. Naren, the firm’s chief investment officer. Birla Sun Life Asset Management Co., India’s fourth-biggest money manager, plans to start looking at Twitter more closely, co-chief investment officer Mahesh Patil said in an Aug. 26 interview.