India bucks crunch with foreign buying spree

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India has shrugged off the global credit crunch with a rash of acquisitions of foreign firms over the past six months, research by accountants KPMG has showed.

The pace of acquisitions brings the country to the brink of buying as many companies as it sells, with Indian firms picking up 322 firms in developed economies, compared to 340 deals in the opposite direction, since 2003.

Ian Gomes, the chairman of KPMG's emerging markets practice, said: "This is testament to the growing power of the Indian corporate base. When everyone is talking about the credit crunch and sovereign wealth funds, Indian trade buyers have continued doing what they've done for years. They are now serious players on the world scene." However, the Indian powerhouse is not immune from the global slowdown, he warned.

The figures for the first half of 2008 show India has bought 50 companies in developed countries, more than half of the total of Western companies snapped up by emerging economies.