RBI removes restriction on FIIs buying Maruti shares

The restriction has been removed as the aggregate holdings in Maruti Suzuki by FIIs under the Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) have gone below the prescribed trigger limit

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has removed the restriction on foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchasing the shares of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), following the compliance of their prescribed investment limit in the company, reports PTI.

“RBI has...notified that the aggregate share holdings in MSI by FIIs under the Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) have gone below the prescribed trigger limit. Hence, this company has been removed from the caution list for FII investment and the restrictions placed on the purchase of shares of this company are withdrawn with immediate effect,” the apex bank said in a statement.

It, however, did not provide details as to when the prescribed limit was crossed and by how much.

Maruti Suzuki is the country's largest carmaker.

RBI monitors the ceilings on FII/NRI/PIO investments in Indian companies on a daily basis.

For effective monitoring of foreign investment ceiling limits, RBI has fixed cut-off points that are two percentage points lower than the actual ceiling.

The ceiling for overall investment for FIIs is 24% of the paid up capital of the Indian company and 10% for NRIs/PIOs.

FIIs held 18.71% stake in MSI as per the June quarter shareholding pattern.

In another statement, RBI notified that FIIs can now purchase equity shares and convertible debentures of Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services through primary market and stock exchanges under the Portfolio Investment Scheme.

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India to be among world’s top e-commerce hubs by 2015: eBay

eBay India head (partnerships and pop culture) Deepa Thomas said though India is witnessing many changes in 3G and broadband, though there are issues with connectivity. “India is still not as connected as it should be. Connectivity beyond metros needs to be better,” she added

Bangalore: India will be among the top 10 e-commerce hubs in the world by 2015, reports PTI quoting eBay India head (partnerships and pop culture) Deepa Thomas.

"India definitely will be among the top 10 e-commerce hubs of the world by 2015 as it is the fourth largest internet users in the world,” Deepa Thomas told PTI here.

She said though India is witnessing many changes in third generation (3G) and broadband, though there are issues with connectivity. “India is still not as connected as it should be. Connectivity beyond metros needs to be better,” she said.

However, broadband penetration in countries like the Philippines and Malaysia is good. “Hence there is scope for e-commerce or online transactions,” Ms Thomas said.

Even so, Bangalore has tremendous potential to become number one e-commerce centre in the country. The city had been in the top five list of e-commerce states until now. “It has jumped to top three. Bangalore has immense potential as it is active on all fronts like e-commerce, imports and exports,” she said.

Ms Thomas however expressed reservation over Bangalore giving competition to Mumbai and Delhi this year as those cities have larger number of internet users.

Sceptical about the growth of online group buying in India, Ms Thomas said the space was already saturated.

Bloggers and small e-commerce sites are no threats to companies like eBay, she said. “In fact these small sites wish to occupy space on our site to build credibility in the market ... we actually encourage bloggers to share deals,” she said.

eBay has been on acquisition spree on regular basis for gaining technical competence and entering a market. One of the biggest acquisitions this year was GSI Commerce which gives platform to set up their own e-commerce sites, she said.

“Definitely there are acquisitions that have happened, but there are no acquisitions right now on our radar,” Ms Thomas said.

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Indian firms raised $3.7 billion in August through ECBs, FCCBs

Around 70 companies raised over $2.68 billion for various projects through the automatic route, which does not require the RBI or the government approval while another $1.02 billion were raised through the approval route, according to latest RBI data

Mumbai: India Inc raised over $3.7 billion from overseas markets in August through external commercial borrowings (ECBs) and foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs), reports PTI.

Around 70 companies raised over $2.68 billion for various projects through the automatic route, which does not require the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) or the government approval.

Another $1.02 billion were raised through the approval route, according to latest RBI data.

Auto giant Tata Motors alone raised $500 million through ECBs for its rupee expenditure.

Similarly, state-owned Steel Authority of India mopped up $500 million in two tranches through ECBs during the month for modernisation of projects. Electrosteel Castings raised $200 million for the same purpose.

Corporates, registered under the Companies Act, 1956, were earlier allowed to access ECBs up to $500 million in a financial year under the automatic route. The ECB, which is not covered by the automatic route, is considered under the approval route on a case-by-case basis by the RBI.

However, last month the government raised the limit of external borrowings, with tenure of five years or more under the automatic route, to $750 million.

For the services sector, the ECB limit under the automatic route was doubled to $200 million and for NGOs from $5 million to $10 million.

ECBs are used as an additional source of funding by Indian corporates to augment resources available domestically. FCCBs are also governed by norms similar to ECBs.

Other major fund raisers in August were Idea Cellular-$150 million, and Bhushan Steel-$135 million in three tranches for various project.

Under the approval route in August, national carrier Air India and private firm Spice Jet raised $366 million and $270 million, respectively, for import of capital goods.

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