Archive for November, 2015

3rd Nov, 2015: Session on ASEAN-INDIA Integration for Development, New Delhi

November 30, 2015
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20th Nov 2015: China Zhejiang-Investment & Trade Symposium 2015, New Delhi

November 30, 2015

Foreign Investments Back In India After Lacklustre Five Years

November 29, 2015

India-specific cumulative fundraising attained its peak in the pre-global financial crisis (GFC) period. During this period between 2005 and 2008, there were 50 such funds that raised USD 16 billion in total. However, post-GFC, only 29 funds got raised in five years, with cumulative fundraising of only USD 3.9 billion.
The cycle started gaining momentum again just before the 2014 general elections on the hopes of a Modi-led government coming to power at the Centre. Around USD 2.2 billion has been raised so far in the current investment cycle. This shows a definite rise in confidence for Indian real estate.

Quantum of domestic investment v/s foreign direct investment
Not only has the volume of investment increased but there has also been an increase in the average ticket size from USD 134 million to USD 184 million. This shows how investors turned positive towards India post-Modi becoming the prime minister. If investment done in USD alone is considered, the average ticket size has gone up from USD 159 billion in 2009-13 to USD 388 billion in the ongoing phase that started in 2014.

Foreign investor interest grows once again
During the pre-GFC phase, 82 per cent of funds got raised in USD. This reduced to 57 per cent in post-GFC phase when the going got tough and micro-market understanding was required more than banking on the macro-economy alone. The contribution, 2014-onwards, has increased considerably to 70 per cent – hinting that the positivity is here to stay for some time.

These changes reflect how foreign investor participation rises when the economy is moving up but when the tide turns, it’s the domestic investors – with familiarity of developments in micro-markets – that increase their focus on investment.

 

Source:- Business World

PM Modi promises more reforms; hopes to rollout GST next year

November 29, 2015

Promising more reforms to make India more attractive for foreign investments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today assured investors that he would “carefully hold” their hands and expressed hope that the GST regime would be rolled out in 2016.

Speaking at the India Singapore Economic Convention here, Modi said India is exploring a potential partnership with Singapore’s Changi Airport for developments of two Indian airports and invited companies here to join in building smart cities.

“In the last 18 months, the run-ways for the take-off of the economy have been made. Reforms are happening in a big way. They are now reaching to the last mile. Reform is to transform the system so that they perform. They aim at helping people realise their dreams.

 

“It means more charm on the faces and less forms in the offices. Efforts to deepen financial markets have been made,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said his government began to liberalise FDI laws soon after coming to power last year and the latest round of FDI reforms have made India the “most open economy” in the world.

“We are also conscious of last mile operational issues in such matters and we are fine tuning the norms. Recently, we further eased FDI norms, after which India is the most open economy in terms of FDI,” he added.

While talking about 40 per cent increase in FDI and improvement in rankings like ease of doing business and world competitiveness index, Modi said, “Perceptions are turning into positive outcomes”.

“We are hopeful to roll out GST regime in 2016. The company law tribunal is being set up. FDI inflows have gone up by 40 per cent compared with previous year’s comparative period. Perceptions are turning into positive outcomes. FDI commitments are translating into reality,” he noted.

Modi also outlined 14 decisive steps taken to address regulatory and taxation concerns and said that India offers tremendous opportunities for investments, ranging from affordable housing to smart cities, railways to renewable energy. “I am here to invite you to India in a bigger way. I have also come to assure you that I am there to carefully hold your hands,” Modi said.

“Our commitment to mitigate the dangers of climate change arise from the belief that nature is our mother. We will do more than required,” he added.

About his two-day visit, Modi said, “My visit has been very positive and productive and I had excellent meetings with Singapore leaders. We have concluded a strategic partnership which takes the relationship to a new level.”

“We have set high level of ambitions for this relationship. Our historic ties and cultural proximity are our assets,” he said, while referring to a large Indian diaspora present here.

The Prime Minister said economic partnership has been the key driver of the India-Singapore relationship.

Noting that Singapore is India’s tenth largest trade partner globally and second largest in ASEAN, Modi said the bilateral trade has risen manifold.

“Singapore has emerged as the second largest source of FDI into India. The outward Indian FDI into Singapore has also risen in the recent times. Singapore is one of the top destinations for Indian investments. A significantly large number of companies are registered in Singapore,” he noted.

Modi also referred to the partnership in development of Amaravathi, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, and the new container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port.

“I expect even more exciting partnership. India has a scope for expansion. Your are fond of going vertical, India’s growth prospects are both vertical and horizontal. India and Singapore can work together in many promising areas,” he said.

“We are also exploring potential partnership with Changi Airport of Singapore for two airport terminals in India.

“I am fully aware of the importance and role Singapore has played in Act East policy. I am looking to working with Singapore in a much bigger way,” he said.

Modi also said that Singapore could join in launch of rupee bonds in foreign countries.

Referring to IMF chief Chrtistine Lagarde’s statement that India was a bright spot in the global economy, Modi said he was here to personally deliver this message.

Emphasising that money must reach the marginalised, Modi said with this objective, 190 million new bank accounts have been opened.

“Through them, we are trying to ensure direct transfer of benefits to the poor. This targeting is also bringing discipline in government expenditure. We have also launched new insurance and pension schemes,” he said.

Listing out various measures taken by his government, the Prime Minister said small traders and businessmen are provided funds through MUDRA bank.

“We have set time bound goals for providing access to housing, water, electricity and sanitation for all. Thus, India is now the next frontier of economic revolution. Our changing paradigm has created new opportunities for global investor community,” he noted.

The Prime Minister said opportunities in India range from building 50 million affordable houses to setting up 100 smart cities, modernisation of railway network and re-development of stations to setting up new railway corridors.

Besides, there are opportunities with respect to generation of 175 GW of renewable energy to transmission and distribution networks as well as in construction of national highways, bridges, and metro rail networks, he added.

“Such a huge potential for creation of infrastructure and production of goods will not be available in any other country. More importantly, no one place on the earth can offer the customer base on such a massive scale,” Modi noted.

Noting that there has been a massive growth in the number of start-ups in the recent past, Modi said some of them have begun to challenge established global players.

To tap this energy fully, the government has recently launched the Start up India Campaign. “We are trying to harness this development potential through our policies and people. The campaigns like Digital India and Skill India are designed to prepare the people to take part in this process,” he added.

Modi said there were a number of regulatory and taxation issues which were adversely impacting on investor sentiments. “We have taken very decisive steps to remove many of long the pending concerns.”

He added: “For example, we have expedited clearance. We have greatly liberalised licensing regime. We have taken almost 60 per cent of defence items out of the licensing process.

We have clearly articulated that we will not resort to retrospective taxation and we have demonstrated this in a number of ways.

“We have introduced composite caps. We have rationalised the capital gains tax for REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts). We have modified permanent established norms and we have also decided to defer the GAAR by two years.”

Modi said India has consistently been ranked as the most attractive investment destination by several agencies and institutions.

“India has also jumped 16 places on WEF’s global competitive index. Moody’s has upgraded India’s rating outlook to positive,” he said, quipping “Moody’s not Modi”.

Just in 18 months, the government has successfully restored India’s credibility in the eyes of global players, Modi said adding that soon after assuming power, FDI laws were liberalised.

“We are launching rupee bonds in some countries and Singapore could be one of them. We are quite eager to work with Singapore on this,” the Prime Minister said.

According to the Prime Minister, the immediate challenge is to productively employ the youth and in this regard, there is a need to provide a huge boost to manufacturing.

“We must increase manufacturing share from 16 per cent to 25 per cent in the short to medium term. We are creating global skill pool. To achieve these objectives, apart from vigorous efforts to improve ease of doing business, we are giving a big push to infrastructure investment,” he said.

“We are focusing on good governance, which is participatory and policy driven. I hope to further dedicate the next three months even the remotest issues affecting the free flow of capital,” Modi noted.

Stating that climate is a major issue, the Prime Minister said, “We must nurture the Nature. I affirm the global community that we will do more than what is required”.

Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran, while giving the welcome address, lauded the economic cooperation between the two countries.

After his address at Economic Convention, Modi also met representatives of Corporate Singapore.

 

Source:- Zee News

Govt clears project to skill 5 mn Indians with WB support

November 29, 2015

The government has approved a project entailing World Bank assistance worth USD 1 billion to provide skill training to over 5 million people.

Skill Training for Employability Leveraging Public Private Partnership (STEPPP) project was cleared by the Department of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE)said in a release today.

“The project will see a World Bank assistance of USD 1 billion and is expected to provide skill training to over 5 million people in addition to strengthening the skill training infrastructure in underserved geographies and sectors”, the release said.

Welcoming the partnership with the World Bank, Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship highlighted the importance for an integrated approach towards Skill India.

“The target for skill development in is huge and requires a partnered effort by the centre, states, industry, PSUs, and trainers. The association with the World Bank is of strategic importance to achieve the Prime Minister’s vision to make India the skill capital of the world”, said Rudy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the National Skill Development Mission (NSDM) on July 15 this year.

The skill training project aims to implement the mandate of the NSDM through its core sub-missions, among other objectives. The STEPPP project will be implemented in mission mode through World Bank support and is aligned with the overall objectives of the NSDM.

 

Source:- Business Standard

India’s growth will benefit from recent policy reforms: IMF

November 29, 2015

Stating that India’s growth will benefit from recent policy reforms, a consequent pickup in investment, and lower commodity prices, the IMF projected a 7.5 per cent growth rate for India in 2016, against China’s 6.3 per cent. However for the current 2015 year, the IMF has projected 7.3 percent growth rate, which is 0.2 per cent less than its projection made for the year in July.

In emerging economies, growth will decline for the fifth year in a row in 2015, before strengthening next year, the IMF said in its report ‘G-20: Global prospects and challenges’ issued ahead of the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey next week.

“Growth in China is expected to decline as excesses in real estate, credit, and investment continue to unwind. India’s growth will benefit from recent policy reforms, a consequent pickup in investment, and lower commodity prices,” the report said. In Brazil, weak business and consumer confidence amid difficult political conditions and a needed tightening in the macroeconomic policy stance are expected to weaken domestic demand, with investment declining particularly rapidly.

In Russia, economic distress reflects the interaction of falling oil prices and international sanctions with preexisting structural weaknesses. Emerging-economy growth is projected to rebound in 2016, reflecting mostly a less deep recession or an improvement of conditions in countries in economic distress (eg. – Brazil, Russia, and some countries in Latin America and the Middle East), the report said.

“Strong domestic demand in India should also be a positive factor in 2016,” IMF said. “However, if the world economy’s transitions are not successfully navigated, global growth could be derailed,” it warned. Prominent risks include: negative spillovers from China’s growth transition; further falls in commodity prices; adverse corporate balance-sheet effects and funding challenges related to dollar appreciation and tighter global financing conditions; and capital flow reversals.

Any of these could substantially weaken the recovery, particularly in emerging and developing countries, the report said.

Source: Moneycontrol.com

India 5th on doing biz in clean energy

November 29, 2015

Considering India’s notable in thesector, has ranked the country at fifth place on a list of 30 countries on in the renewable energy space. The ranking done by Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s annual report indicates that clean energy’s centre of gravity is shifting from developed to developing countries. The report ranked China in the first place, followed by Chile, Brazil, South Africa and India.

The report said: “The new policy ambitions from the (Narendra) Modi government signal clean energy opportunities in the country.” The strongest parameter in favour of India was value chain, while lower-than-expected investment continues to be the weak link.

As became more cost-competitive in emerging markets in 2014, there would be a surge of investment and capacity-building in the Asian countries, especially China and India, the report noted. Last year, India added 5 gigawatt (Gw) of clean energy generation capacity.

 

 

CLEAN BREAK IN RENEWABLE SPACE
  • $343.2 billion Total clean energy investments (2009-14) in China
  • $52.5 billion Total clean energy investments (2009-14) in India
  • 262.5 Gw Installed power capacity
  • 38,360 Mw Total renewable energy capacity
  • 5,009 Mw Renewable capacity added in 2014
  • 14.6% Renewable share in total installed capacity

Top Indian states: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan & Gujarat

“Major reforms in India brought by the Modi administration bring hope of quicker deployment for the country’s eager renewable energy developers,” said Climatescope.

Among the states, Tamil Nadu led the pack with the highest wind energy capacity, followed by Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Madhya Pradesh scored the highest among Indian states on growth rate of clean energy investments. The state’s favourable land policy and easy clearances have resulted in attracting projects. Gujarat, which was once a haven of clean energy investments, slipped from the top slot due to policy uncertainty and litigation over tariff.

Maharashtra’s high feed-in tariff led to a surge in wind capacity.

The report noted: “Maharashtra has done relatively little to encourage private investment in solar; it has held no tenders for power contracts and offers no feed-in tariffs.”

Renewable energy in Rajasthan at 4 Gw represents a high share (32 per cent) of total power capacity of 13 Gw, compared to other states. “The overall renewable energy capacity grew 14 per cent in 2014 in the state, but it has done little policy-wise to encourage solar development through incentives and the state’s distribution utilities are among the financially shakiest in India,” said the report.

At 7.4 Gw, Tamil Nadu has more wind installed than any other state. Since 2012, however, annual new-build rates have fallen and in 2014, only 208 megawatt was commissioned. This is largely due to the poor financial health of state-owned distribution utility companies and occasional payment delays to power project owners.

The Indian government’s goal of providing round-the-clock power to 1.25 billion citizens has triggered huge interest from investors. The report noted that a strong energy minister overseeing coal, power, and new and renewable energy sectors could have a positive influence.

The Modi-led government has revised the targets for renewable energy to 175 Gw by 2022.

Source: Business Standard

British insurers to invest 238 million pounds in Indian joint ventures

November 21, 2015

British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed India’s decision to increase FDI limits in the insurance sector to 49 per cent and said it would result in British insurers investing around approximately 238 million pounds in their Indian joint ventures.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Cameron met here to discuss a host of issues.

Noting that the Indian government recently permitted foreign direct investment (FDI) upto 49 percent in the insurance sector, Cameron noted that several British insurers have announced a number of agreements to increase their investments in their joint ventures in India.

“These agreements would amount to approximately 238 million pounds of Foreign Direct Investment in the first instance subject to regulatory approvals,” a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting said.

“This will support the ongoing development of the Indian insurance and reinsurance sectors, which are key elements in promoting sustainable economic growth,” the statement added.

The passing of the insurance bill paved the way for Lloyd’s of London to establish their presence in India and provide local access to Lloyd’s specialist reinsurance services in India.

Life, non-life and health insurers of Britain have their joint ventures in India.

Once the regulatory approvals are given UK based Standard Life, Bupa and Aviva would invest a combined 238 million pounds FDI in their Indian joint ventures.

In addition Prudential and Legal & General, and insurance brokers, Howden, Willis and JLT, continue to grow their operations in India.

Indian insurance regulator is in the process of coming out with regulations to give effect to the legal provisions enabling hike in FDI cap to 49 per cent from the earlier 26 percent limits.

The two prime ministers welcomed HSBC’s “Skills for life” initiative in India, a 10 million pound programme to skill 75,000 disadvantaged young people and children over 5 years.

Source: Economic Times

India aims for at least 1,500 biotech start-ups

November 20, 2015

India aims to scale up start-ups in the biotechnology sector to at least 1,500 in the next two to three years to boost technological interventions in the health and agriculture sectors, a senior biotechnology department official said.

“We presently have around 500 start-ups in the biotech sector. It is less in comparison with other sectors. We plan to scale it up to 1,500 to 2,000 in the next two to three years,” said Renu Swarup, department of biotechnology’s senior adviser and managing director of the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

She pointed out that there was a growing market for biotech products and services given India’s population and its needs.

Biotech start-ups are into bio-pharma (diagnostics and therapeutics), agricultural (biofertilisers, hybrid seeds etc.), bioinformatics and drug development, etc.

“They are directly or indirectly linked to the health and agricultural sectors,” Swarup told IANS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year announced a ‘Start-up India, Stand up India’ campaign to promote bank financing for start-ups and offer incentives to boost entrepreneurship and job creation.

“Under the new initiative, if we can create a favourable business environment, we can tap into our own products and know-how for solutions in health and agriculture,” she said.

It would also help researchers to become ‘tech-preneurs’.

“We have seen good interventions happening in Odisha and Tamil Nadu,” said Swarup.

The Indian biotech industry holds about two percent share of the global biotech sector. At present India is ranked 12th in the world in the biotech sector and third in the Asia-Pacific region.

By 2017, the size of India’s biotech industry is estimated to increase to $11.6 billion from $4.3 billion in 2012.

Indian biotech entrepreneur Kiran Majumdar Shaw has said that the emergence of biotech start-ups is resulting in a reverse brain drain.

Currently, Swarup said, new products have emerged from the Grand Challenges India (GCI) Interventions. The GCI was jointly launched by BIRAC under the department of biotechnology and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013.

“These include improved sanitation technologies and bio-digester designs. Initially, they will be showcased as demonstrations on a large scale and subsequently introduced in the market,” she said.

Source:Economic Times

3 days, 27 deals: India ‘most open’, says PM Narendra Modi in UK

November 19, 2015
A look at the various deals struck between India and United Kingdom during Modi’s visit.
1. UK listed OPG Power Ventures plc will add to its existing investment in India by £2.9 billion to a total of £3.4 billion, creating around 100 UK jobs over next few years. The investment will create 4200 MW of new power capacity in India, of which 1000 MW will be solar power and 3200 MW will be thermal and renewable power in Tamil Nadu

2. King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Indo UK Healthcare have signed a pact to open King’s College Hospital, Chandigarh, which will lead to the creation of jobs for 2,500 nurses and 500 doctors

3. Merlin Entertainments plc has announced its first business in India — a Madame Tussauds wax attraction scheduled to open in New Delhi in early 2017. Merlin is also looking to roll out several more of its ‘Midway’ attraction brands such as Sea Life and Legoland Discovery Centres in key cities across India, and expects to invest up to £50 million there over the next ten years

4. Genus ABS will invest £1 million in India, providing latest dairy genetics and constructing a state-of-the-art facility near Pune

5. Solar PV generator in the UK and Europe, Lightsource, has announced a £2 billion investment in India. It will design, install and manage around 3 gigawatts of solar power infrastructure in India over the next 5 years

6. The UK’s Kloudpad Mobility Research Ltd has announced a £100 million investment in South India to ‘Make in India’ the next generation of smart watches, wearables and tablets, creating 2,500 skilled jobs in India and supporting 50 highly skilled researchers in the UK

7. Vodafone has announced a range of further investments in India totalling £1.3 billion (Rs 13,000 crore) to support the Government of India’s ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ campaigns

8. Representatives of the UK’s insurance industry with JVs in India have announced a number of agreements to increase their FDI in the country. For example, should their applications for regulatory approval be granted, Standard Life, Bupa and Aviva have committed to invest a combined total of £238 million of FDI in their Indian joint ventures

9. E-commerce cloud platform provider, cloudBuy, is signing a contract with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for an online business to business marketplace

10. UK technology company Intelligent Energy recently signed an agreement to acquire the energy management business of Indian firm GTL. It will provide clean energy to 27,400 telecoms towers in India, with a contract value of £1.2 billion over ten years

11. Holland & Barrett International has partnered with Apollo Hospitals in a deal worth £20 million. The partnership will open 1,000 Holland & Barrett outlets in India over the next 5 years. The first store will open in New Delhi in January 2016

12. Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited has invested £66 million into OakNorth Bank Limited, a recently authorised bank providing lending to UK entrepreneurs and small business owners

13. SSPSL, a subsidiary of India’s Strides Shasun will announce an £8 million investment in its England based facility

14. Advatech Health Care will invest £5 million in the UK and introduce ‘disruptive’ IT technology to ambulances

15. TVS is opening £20 million advanced logistics facility in Barnsley generating 100 new jobs, growing to 500 over 5 years, in addition to 50 jobs being created through market growth

16. Indian learning solutions provider Dexler is setting up Dexler Education UK with investments of around £10 million

17. London Stock Exchange Group and Yes Bank are signing an MoU to foster collaborations on bond and equity issuance, with a focus on Green Infrastructure Finance

18. HDFC will issue rupee denominated bonds overseas up to $750 million under the RBI guidelines, in one or more tranches. It will list the initial issue of bonds for trading on the London Stock Exchange

19. Bharti Airtel intends issuing its maiden sterling bond of up to £500 million to be listed on the London Stock Exchange

20. State Bank of India and London Stock Exchange Group to collaborate to create the ‘FTSE-SBI India Bonds Indices’ which will be used initially by a new investment fund run by SBI

21. The offshore arm of the UK’s Equiniti Group, Equiniti India announced its expansion plan in Chennai that will create 500 new jobs by end of 2017

22. Zyfin and Sun Global will be listing the world’s first India fixed income ETF on the London Stock Exchange

23. SBI UK will open two branches in Hounslow and Ilford and expand of its Manchester and Leicester branches

24. Wipro has increased its investment in the UK with the opening of its newest office for Wipro Digital

25. TCS, with British Council, will provide opportunities for 1,000 graduate interns from British universities to train and work in India over the next five years

26. HSBC has announced the launch of its ‘Skills for Life’ initiative in India, a programme to skill 75,000 disadvantaged young people and women over five years

27. MoU between the two countries on tech cooperation in the rail sector

Source:- The Indian Express