Govt clears Vodafone’s stake buy in JV with Essar

However, the FIPB has deferred decision on another request of Vodafone-Essar to "transfer of shares from resident (firm) to non-resident (entity) to carry out the activities relating to telecommunication"

New Delhi: The plea of UK-based telecom operator Vodafone to buy 5.48% stake in the joint venture-Vodafone-Essar-from two Mauritius based entities has been approved, reports PTI.

"Since the transaction is between non-resident (firms) to non-resident, there is no foreign equity inflow," the finance ministry said in a statement.

The transaction is for transfer of shares of Vodafone Essar from Mauritius based Essar Communications and Essar Com to Euro Pacific Securities-an indirect Mauritius based subsidiary of Vodafone International Holdings BV. The transaction worth about Rs2,700 crore.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) cleared the transaction based on information provided by the company and inputs from a committee headed by a senior government official, the statement said.

However, the FIPB has deferred decision on another request of Vodafone-Essar to "transfer of shares from resident (firm) to non-resident (entity) to carry out the activities relating to telecommunication", it added.

Vodafone-Essar is joint venture between UK-based Vodafone Group Plc and India's Essar Group.

One of the Mauritius based indirect subsidiaries of Vodafone had approached the FIPB for permission to buy the stake in Vodafone-Essar.

As per the FDI norms, proposals involving foreign investment of more than Rs1,200 crore require the approval of the CCEA.

Recently, Vodafone entered into an agreement with its JV partner Essar to acquire 33% stake from it for $5.46 billion.

Before that, in 2007, Vodafone had bought majority stake of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Telecommunications-former partner of Essar in the JV-for about $11 billion.

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Government clears FDI proposals worth Rs243 crore

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board, however, deferred decisions on 15 FDI proposals, including those of Vodafone Essar and Bangladesh-based Rahimafrooz Batteries, and rejected seven applications

New Delhi: The government today announced that it has cleared 12 proposals for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country worth a total Rs242.88 crore, including one from Indian Rotorcraft to carry out the assembly of both military and civil helicopters, reports PTI.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), however, deferred decisions on 15 FDI proposals, including those of Vodafone Essar and Bangladesh-based Rahimafrooz Batteries, and rejected seven applications.

"Based on the recommendations of the FIPB... The government has approved 12 proposals for FDI amounting to Rs242.88 crore," the finance ministry said.

Mumbai-based Indian Rotorcraft had sought permission to induct foreign equity to carry out the business of final assembly of both military and civil versions of helicopters. The proposal, if implemented, would attract Rs17.42 crore in FDI.

The board, headed by economic affairs secretary R Gopalan, also gave its nod to an Allcargo Global Logistics' proposal for FDI worth Rs141.36 crore.

The Mumbai-based firm had sought ex-post facto approval for the issuance and allotment of optionally convertible warrants to raise funds for setting up multi-modal transport operations and inland container depot/container freight stations as part of its logistics business.

Another major FDI application that was cleared in the FIPB meeting held on 2nd September was of Checkmate Services. The Gujarat-based firm had sought the government's permission for induction of foreign equity in its private security services business. The proposal is worth Rs66 crore.

The proposal of PTC India Financial Services, Delhi and Haryana, for transfer of shares by way of a share swap to carry out the business of power generation, as well as Honda Siel Cars India's application for FDI in a vocational training institute on automobiles and related fields were also cleared.

On the other hand, the board deferred a decision on Bangladesh-based Rahimafrooz Batteries' proposal to set up a wholly owned subsidiary to undertake the import and wholesale distribution of batteries and provide services in India.

A decision on Vodafone Essar's request to transfer shares from a resident to a non-resident to carry out activities relating to its telecommunications business was deferred.

Among the other proposals on which decisions were not taken were those of Walt Disney Company (Southeast) Asia Pte, InterCall Asia Pacific Holdings, Singapore, 9X Media and Cordia International Corp, USA.

The proposals that were rejected include those of Jadoli Systems (Bangalore) and AOS Holding India SAS France.

At the last FIPB meeting in August, FDI proposals worth Rs122.79 crore were approved.

The next meeting of the FIPB would be held on 30th September.

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Srei Infra Finance increases lending rates by 75 bps to 17.5%

Srei Infrastructure Finance increased its benchmark rate by 75 basis points, from 16.75% to 17.50%

Srei Infrastructure Finance has increased its benchmark rate following the Reserve Bank of India's hike in key lending rates. The company increased its benchmark rate by 75 basis points (bps), from 16.75% to 17.50%, it said in a release.

The apex bank raised its key rates by 25 bps points to 8.25%, the 12th hike since last March, in a bid to batten down inflation, which stood at an elevated 9.78% in August.

"Hike in key policy rates by RBI to contain high inflation and the resultant increase in interest rates by banks has necessitated this hike. We hope that any more rate hikes by RBI will be minimal as the high interest rates have already slowed the growth momentum," Srei Infrastructure Finance chairman and managing director Hemant Kanoria said.

The NBFC added that its Asset Liability Management Committee met on 13th September and decided to increase its benchmark rate in line with the upward moving interest rates in the domestic market. Srei, having a customer base of over 30,000, has a pan-India presence with a network of 77 offices and three offices in Russia.

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