New Delhi: India attracted $891 million (Rs4,023 crore) foreign direct investment (FDI) in the telecommunications segment in the first two months of the current fiscal, the highest among all sectors, reports PTI.
The telecommunications sector, including radio paging, cellular mobile, basic telephone services, had attracted $612 million (Rs3,055 crore) during April-May 2009-10.
It was followed by services sector that attracted $587 million investment, metallurgical industries ($461 million) and power ($313 million) in that order during the period.
The country managed to attract $4.42 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) during April-May 2010-11, while it was $4.43 billion in the year ago month, according to the latest official data.
The highest FDI of $1.29 billion came from Mauritius followed by Singapore ($854 million), Japan ($369 million) and the Netherlands ($298 million) in April-May 2010-11.
The government is making sustained efforts to make the FDI policy regime more attractive and investor friendly, with a view to attract investments from all major investing countries.
The government had floated discussion papers for public comments to liberalise FDI in multi-brand retail and defence sector.
The FDI for 2009-10 at $25.88 billion was lower by 5% from $27.33 billion in the previous fiscal.
What’s buzzing in these stocks right now
Kingfisher Airlines: The stock has risen sharply in the last 10 sessions or so from around Rs54 to around Rs61 mainly after its announcement to immediately raise up to $250 million through Global Depository Receipts to reduce its debt and and a further Rs5 billion through a domestic offering. Kingfisher's total debt is Rs60 billion as of 31 March 2010. However, there are a lot of rumours flying around this stock. One is that British Airways is likely to take a stake in this company.
Another is that about 13 of its aircraft are grounded because of some technical problems. United Breweries (Holdings) recently decided to convert Rs6.5 billion (which it had given as loans to Kingfisher) into preference shares.
GMR Infrastructure: The Bengaluru-based infrastructure company which is into airports, energy and roads has been in the news of late because it deferred plans to raise Rs50 billion (the buzz in the market was it was finding few takers). GMR Infrastructure's debt is about Rs180 billion, about 2x equity. It is looking at exiting its 50% stake in InterGen, a US-based utility, which it bought in 2008 for $1.1 billion. There were reports that Tata Power had made an offer to buy that stake for $1 billion-$1.2 billion. The latest buzz in the stock is that it is planning to monetise its airport land. The GMR Group operates the Hyderabad International Airport and Delhi International Airport and has around 5,700 acres of land at these two airports.
Mcleod Russel: After trending down for several sessions, the stock is up today on a 1:1 bonus buzz. However, it seems unlikely because its board meeting is already over and done with. Moneylife had reported in this section on 9 July 2010 that the stock is likely to rise on shortage in tea production and a subsequent rise in prices.
Since then, the stock moved up from Rs210 to as high as Rs265, before coming off to the current market price of Rs236. In its June quarter, its selling price was stable at Rs140/kg, operating profit was 60% lower at Rs142 million, sales quantity was marginally higher at 8.7 million kg but crop was 2.5 million kg lower at 17.7 million kg. It exports for the quarter also dipped sharply to 1 million kg against 1.82 million kg y-o-y. The company said in a communication after its results that weather conditions in Kenya and Sri Lanka have improved and this may lead to a revival in global tea production.
Mumbai: Insurance behemoth Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) today called upon the industry to invest heavily in training their agents if it wants to grow more profitably, reports PTI.
Pointing out that the biggest challenge to faster growth is non-professional or poorly/un-trained agents, LIC chairman T S Vijayan said it is high time that the life insurance industry professionalised its distribution channels by training its agents.
"We have to migrate to fully-trained professional agents.
Unless we as an industry invest in training our agents and making them qualified trained professionals, we cannot continue to grow. If we don't invest in this, at least we should entrust this job to some professional institutes which can do this for us," Mr Vijayan said at an insurance seminar organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) here today.
Pointing out that when LIC was created on 1 September, 1956 by nationalising as many as 245 private players, all of them making profits but even after a decade of operations, the private players are still in the red, he said better trained agents can help the industry clip at faster growth.
Stating that the controversial Unit-Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) have been the biggest growth driver ever since their induction, has for the past few years been contributing over 80% of new incremental premia, Mr Vijayan said, the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA) guidelines on ULIPs will offer the policyholders a much-fairer deal.
The IRDA norms on new ULIPs come into force from today, which besides offering life cover on all ULIPs, also offer lower lock-in periods among others.
On the just-introduced Direct Taxes Code (DTC), which exempts income tax on investment of up to Rs1 lakh in approved funds, he said it will help a lot more the people to buy insurance policies.