Investment Opportunities in India

December 27, 2012

Opportunities for foreign investors in India

Indian markets, across all industries, are considered as viable long-term investment options as the country stands strong amid global financial turmoil. India is considered to be the third most favoured destination for investment after China and the US for major global companies, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2012. The report anticipates that foreign investments in India could increase by over 20 per cent in 2012-13.

Foreign Direct Investments in India

In recent years, bulk of the foreign direct investments in Indian business sectors of infrastructure, telecommunication, information technology, computer hardware and software, and hospitality services, have been made by investors of countries like US, UK, Mauritius, Singapore, and many others.

The foreign direct investment in India can easily be made in a variety of ways, through the Governmental and automatic routes. However, the joint ventures (JV) are the most popular and preferred forms of making investment in Indian industry.

The Government has recently cleared 14 foreign direct investment proposals worth Rs 113.35 crore based on the recommendations of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). Major proposals include an equity increase of Rs 68.22 crore by the UK-based Dashtag to conduct business of pharmaceuticals specialising in dermatology, anti-histamines, antibiotics and oncology products.

Some of the major foreign direct investments in India are:

  • Japanese auto major Nissan intends to introduce 10 new passenger car models by the end of March 2016 in a bid to boost its volumes in India. The company also aims to double its vehicle sales in 2012-13
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Austria has appointed Ramky Enviro Engineers Limited (REEL) as its strategic partner to work on a project for the Bhilai Steel plant
  • Mahindra Finance’s subsidiary Mahindra Insurance Brokers (MIBL) has formed a venture with LeapFrog Investments wherein the latter’s subsidiary, Inclusion Resources Singapore, would infuse Rs 80.41 crore for a 15 per cent stake in MIBL

Major reforms in foreign direct investments in India

The Government of India has given its nod to 51 per cent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. The decision will pave way for retail giants like Walmart, Tesco and IKEA to enter into Indian market and make footprints in the US$ 450 billion retail industry. Moreover, the Government has relaxed sourcing norms for single-brand retailers and has permitted them to buy at least 30 per cent of the goods from Indian industry, rather than particularly from Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as per earlier stipulation.

In case of civil aviation, the Government has allowed foreign carriers to buy up to 49 per cent stake in their Indian counterparts.

Further, to sustain the momentum of the above stated reforms, the Government would take more decisions to create investment options for overseas investors. The measures being considered include raising the ceiling for foreign borrowings, easing curbs on portfolio investors, and liberalising norms for overseas borrowings.

Future of foreign investment in India

With the Government of India laying intense focus on increasing the country’s share in the global FDI space from 1.3 per cent in 2007 to 5 per cent by 2017 by relaxing and un-complicating the FDI norms, it is expected that foreign majors would invest aggressively in the flourishing Indian markets.

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November 23, 2012

Scope of Investment Environment in India

India is in the middle of fast economic and social conversion and it provides a constant, flourishing platform for businesses to grow. It also provides rich investment opportunities to non-resident Indians (NRIs). It is one of the quickest, easiest and successful cost-effective commitment locations to set up a company. In fact, India is the second-most successful location, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Leads Study 2010-2012.

Foreign Investments in India

Indian equities have attracted maximum investments by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) as compared to any other Asian market on the back of policy reforms undertaken by the Government of India to promote economic growth. Foreign investors in India remain substantially strong and have invested over US$ 13 billion into Indian stocks till September 2012. Some of the key investments and developments are:

  • Overseas investors infused about US$ 645 million from October 1, 2012 to October 5, 2012 itself, while they invested more than US$ 3.5 billion in the month of September 2012, according to data released by capital market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)
  • FIIs also infused Rs 1,382 crore (US$ 260.47 million) in the debt market in the first week of October 2012
  • As on October 5, 2012, the number of registered FIIs in the country stood at 1,753 while, the total number of sub-accounts were 6,329
  • Another statement issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) revealed that foreign exchange reserves stood at US$ 294.81 billion for the week ended September 28, 2012 wherein the value of gold reserves was recorded at US$ 28.133 billion and that of foreign currency assets (FCAs) was at US$ 259.96 billion

The Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) projects that FII inflows would strengthen in the second half of FY13 at US$ 11.2 billion as India is looked upon as a viable long-term investment destination on the global canvas. Major FIIs like JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank are believed to drive the positive wave of foreign investments.

Government Initiatives

The Government of India is playing a vital role in attracting and providing an investment friendly climate to foreign investors in India. The policies have been liberalised to entice more and more cost-effective commitment methods. Some of them are as follows:

  • The Government has created many policies and schemes to maximize investment opportunities for NRIs in the real estate sector of India
  • RBI has allowed, both people residing outside India holding Indian passports and also person of Indian origin (PIO) to invest in residential as well as commercial properties in India
  • RBI has granted general permission to NRIs/PIOs, for undertaking direct investments in Indian companies, under the automatic route purchase of shares
  • NRIs/PIOs are permitted to invest in the foreign direct investment (FDI) scheme on a repatriation basis in equity shares/ Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares (CCPS)/ Compulsorily Convertible Debentures (CCDs) of an Indian company

Government’s involvement on policies, especially, tax rules and foreign direct investment (FDI) in areas like retail, aviation etc. will play an important part in driving large deals. India’s development tale continues to be unchanged and NRIs/PIOs can look ahead to see better financial commitment options in second half of 2012.

July 23, 2012

FDI in Indian Pharmaceutical Market

The pharmaceutical industry in India is one of the largest and most advanced among the developing countries. The industry stands third in the world in terms of volume. It ranks 14 in terms of value and is expected to grow 8 to 9 per cent annually. According to a research done by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), the Indian pharma industry is expected to reach US$ 20 billion by 2015, making it one of the world’s top 10 pharmaceuticals markets.

In India, there are many small sectors, medium sectors, private limited companies and public companies that have been consistently manufacturing various medicinal products to meet the increasing demands of the people. The foreign investors can invest in Indian companies through the purchase of shares, debentures, equities, or bonds from an Indian company.

Pharma industry in India is growing at a rapid pace, marked by a number of mergers and acquisitions and growth in foreign expenditure. The sector is going to be a major area of focus in the coming years as Indian medicines are increasingly becoming popular in many developed and developing countries because of the cost effectiveness and easy availability.

India saw FDI inflow of US$ 341.49 million in the drugs and pharmaceuticals sector between April 2009 and February 2012. Also, the government has liberalised investments made by registered Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) under the Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) from April 10, 2012. Earlier, these spendings required approval from the government.

There are numerous ways for foreign company to enter in to an Indian market. Different types of foreign investment in India are:

Green field investment is FDI when a company establishes a subsidiary in a new country and starts its own production. It involves construction of a new plant, rather than the purchase of an existing plant or firm. According to the latest rules of Reserve bank of India (RBI), FDI, up to 100 per cent, under the automatic route, is permitted for green field investments in the Indian pharmaceutical sector.

Brown field investment is FDI that involves the purchase of an existing plant or firm, rather than construction of a new plant. For e.g. many host countries encourage the formation of joint ventures, as a way to build international cooperation. Joint venture is an equity and management partnership between the foreign firm and a local entity in the host market. FDI, up to 100 per cent, under the government approval route, is permitted for brown field investments in the Indian pharmaceuticals sector. Under the new rules, the overseas investor will have to seek permission from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for any merger or acquisition.

In India, the cost of setting up research and development laboratory, scientific equipments, administration costs, transportation cost, raw materials cost and licensing procedure is much less when compared to any developed countries. The main determinants of FDI in India are availability of huge natural resources, cheap labor, steady economic growth, huge benefits and concessions granted by government, increasing population and per capita income, etc. So, there are huge opportunities for foreign investment in India.

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