Investment Opportunities in India

March 20, 2013

Investments options for NRIs in Indian infrastructure sector

Infrastructure development in India has contributed majorly in the country’s economic transformation and growth during the last decade. Roads, ports, railways and power are key segments of the infrastructure sector. Some of the key facts related to the same are –

  • Indian Shipping segment, with 187 minor ports and 13 major ports, is spread across nine maritime states
  • The Indian Railways network is spread over some 64, 000 km, with 12, 000 passenger and 7, 000 freight trains plying each day from 7, 083 stations carrying around 23 million travellers and 2.65 million tonnes (MT) of goods daily
  • Indian road network is the second largest in the world with a total length of 4.1 million kilometres (km)

Investment Opportunities for NRIs

Overseas investors looking for high return on investments are going to target Indian infrastructure companies in the coming years, says a report by research agency Preqin. As per the study, India is attracting the highest number of unlisted, closed-end funds that focus on a single country, making it the most preferred choice among the business investors. India is expected to require around US$ 1 trillion worth of infrastructure investment over the next five years

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) investing in India can choose from sub-sectors such as power, telecom, roads and ports. The Preqin report says 74 per cent of India-focused funds will invest in greenfield projects, 84 per cent in brownfield assets, and 42 per cent will buy out the stakes of other PE funds.

Investments Policy Updates

  • FDI up to 100 per cent under the automatic route is permitted in exploration activities of oil and natural gas fields, infrastructure related to marketing of petroleum products, actual trading and marketing of petroleum products, petroleum product pipelines, natural gas/LNG pipelines, market study and formulation and Petroleum refining in the private sector. This will be subject to the existing sectoral policy and regulatory framework in the oil marketing sector and the policy of the Government on private participation in exploration of oil and the discovered fields of national oil companies
  • FDI up to 49 per cent is permitted under the Government route in petroleum refining by the Public Sector Undertakings (PSU)
  • FDI up to 100 per cent under the automatic route is allowed both in setting up new and in established industrial parks from overseas investors

Recent Investments in Indian Infrastructure Industry

  • IVRCL Ltd has entered into an MoU with the Haryana Government for the development of Rai Malikapur-Kharak road corridor which would cover a stretch of 151 km of Rai Malikapur close to the Rajasthan border up to Kharak corridor and enhance the north-south connectivity. The Rs 1, 605 crore (US$ 292.23 million) project will take about 30 months to execute
  • Indian Railways has recently launched an application namely RailRadar which envisages an interactive map to allow users to track train movements on real-time basis. Such an application has been launched for the first time in India, wherein any of the public transport system can be tracked on the internet and mobile

Future of Indian Infrastructure

India is betting high on business investors in infrastructure as the Government hopes that the private sector, through public-private partnerships (PPP), will invest US$ 350-400 billion in infrastructure sectors (like roads, ports, railways and airports) between 2012 and 2017.

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June 27, 2012

India: Hotspot Investment Destination for Foreign Investors

India is the largest democracy in the world. It ranks second in terms of population. The policy of liberalization has transformed the prospects for the Indian economy. Today India is one of the favorite destinations for global investments. The major investors in India are Mauritius, Singapore, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, etc. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India went up by 31 per cent to US$ 27.5 billion last year. The sectors that attracted maximum FDI last year include services (financial and non financial), telecom, housing and real estate, and construction and power.

The government has come up with several incentives like import of capital goods at concessional customs duty, liberalisation of external commercial borrowing norms, tax holiday to encourage investments, etc. “The government should allow 100 per cent FDI in sectors like domestic airlines and insurance sector to boost inflows and generate employment, “as per Rajiv Kumar, Secretary General, FICCI. Sectors like automobiles, chemicals, food processing, oil and natural gas, petrochemicals, power, services and telecommunications have witnessed tremendous investments.

Investment options in India

There are number of options available for foreign investment in India for both short term and long term. The major options are real estate, bonds, mutual funds, money markets, gold, and financial assets (non-marketable, LIC policies & equity shares). Today, there are businesses and industries that are even 100% open for such investment. Some of the sectors that are still not open for foreign investment include, rail transport, lottery business, tobacco business, certain agricultural activities, atomic energy, mineral oils, etc.

Who can invest in India?

There are following categories of non-Indian resident who may invest in the capital of Indian Company:

  • A non-resident entity (other than citizen of Pakistan)
  • A citizen or entity of Bangladesh under Government route.
  • NRI resident as well as citizen of Nepal and Bhutan on repatriation basis.
  • Sebi registered NRIs through a registered broker on recognised India stock exchange.
  • Foreign venture capital investor registered by Sebi.
  • An FII (foreign institutional investor) may invest in the capital of an Indian company under the portfolio investment scheme.

Business Opportunities in India

There are various factors that create favorable business opportunities in India are:

  • There are huge business opportunities in Indian retail sector as people have become more conscious about branded products. Improvement in purchasing power and huge middle class population results in the growth of the economy.
  • India’s competitive advantage in information technology can be used to enhance productivity in industries.
  • Availability of large number of technical manpower has led to the expansion of manufacturing base across different industries.
  • India’s rich natural resources, availability of better infrastructure, well established banking system, better agriculture, etc. have created more investment opportunities.
  • The capital markets in India are one of the fastest growing markets in the world, attracting huge investments from foreign institutional investors.
  • The economic reforms have brought in policy changes in terms of freedom of entry, investment, location, usage of technology, import and export. These changes have created an investment friendly environment.

June 19, 2012

Increasing Investment Opportunities in India

India has become one of the fastest growing economies. Investment growth is eventually linked to the growth of the economy. So most of the investors look for emerging markets like India, where the growth rate is higher than the developed economies. Investing in India is becoming a big attraction for the foreign investors especially due to the booming Indian economy.

Every individual wants to invest his/her money in the right means. There are various wonderful investment options in India. The challenge is to find out the right option that can not only offer flexibility, but also provide good returns in the future.

Top investment options in India

Bank Fixed deposits (FD)
This is considered to be a safe investment and generates stable income. The minimum tenure of FD is 15 days and maximum 5 years and above. Senior citizens get special interest rates on fixed deposits. The period of ideal investment is 6-12 months.

National Saving Certificate (NSC)
It is one of the safe investment options in India backed by government. The lock-in period is 6 years. Minimum amount required is Rs100 and there is no upper limit. Since the NSC comes under section 80 C, it also entitles the individual to get tax deductions up to Rs 1Lac

Public Provident Fund (PPF)
PPF is also monitored and backed up by the government of India. A minimum investment of Rs 500 and maximum Rs 1, 00,000 is required to be deposited in a fiscal year. This includes fixed-income investment for high tax payers with low risk. Any individual in India can invest in this scheme and can earn a handsome tax free return. The lock-in period is 15 years and the interest rate is 8.8 per cent calculated annually.

Stock market
Investing in share market is another investment option to get more returns. But share market investment is volatile to market conditions. Investing in the stock markets potentially yield higher profits.

Mutual Funds
Mutual Fund companies collect money from investors and invest in share market. Investing in mutual funds is also subject to market risks but return is good.

Other investments
There are various other options for business investors in India like real estate, gold and private equity available in the country. One needs to be sure of the authenticity of the organisation, interest rates, benefits and conditions before investing.

Foreign Investment in India

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India is possible through automatic route (which does not require any approval) and government route (which requires approval).There are set of guidelines provided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (sebi) for NRI investment in India.

The government of India has created a favorable climate for foreign investors like tax exemptions, benefits from the state and central government bodies, etc. A foreign company could invest in India either by having a wholly owned subsidiary i.e. by having a joint venture with an Indian company or by having a branch office.

There are various investment options and opportunities available in India. However, it is important to invest in that instrument which suits the individual in terms of investment amount and risk.

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