Mar. 23 – The year’s most awaited car will officially be launched today. Tata Motors jellybean sized 10.2 feet, US$2000 Tata Nano will make Indian automotive history. Due to its revolutionary price tag, the People’s car, or the Nano, is designed for India’s burgeoning middle class and is expected to sell 50,000 cars during the next year.
Mar. 20 – Within a span of just seven months India has moved from a 16 year high inflation rate of 12.91 percent to a 32 year low inflation rate of 0.44 percent. The situation however represents a cruel paradox for consumers as food prices continue to rise during the deflation – food prices rose roughly nine percent year on year.
Mar. 19 – Besides the traditional research and development powerhouses of the United States, Germany and Japan, India too is proving to be the destination of choice for global technology, pharmaceutical and engineering companies. Large multinational corporations like GM, IBM, Cisco, Motorola, Huawei and GE have already set up large R&D centers in India and many small and medium companies are actively considering establishing R&D facilities in India.
Mar. 18 – India has just announced the purchase of eight Boeing P-81 maritime patrol aircrafts, worth US$2.1 billion. The deal, just approved by the Obama administration, is the largest U.S.
Mar. 18 – The Indian government is mulling a Rs 100 billion (US$2 billion) package to help shipping companies buy new vessels as Indian and foreign banks tighten credit lines.
"Foreign banks are not lending now. Traditionally they’ve been the lenders for shipping acquisitions. This is some sort of financing for acquisition of new ships by Shipping Corporation of India and also by other Indian private shipping companies," APVN Sarma, secretary, ministry of shipping told Reuters.
Mar. 12 – The Government is considering proposals to scrap the cap mechanism by which foreign institutional investors are restricted in certain industries from investing in Initial public offerings, according to the Economic Times. The proposal, put forward by the Dept. of Industrial Policy & Promotion will be studied by various secretariats before being presented to parliament.
The move would lift the uncertainty over whether FDI applications in sectors such as retail, auto, aviation and telecoms will require permission from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). Currently, both the Reserve Bank of India, which manages foreign exchange and investment through the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and regulations concerning FDI into India conflict over the requirement. Common practice is that applications to FIPB are required. It frees up uncertainty over the routes via which investments can be made, provided they remain within the pertinent capped FDI ceiling.
Mar. 6 – India’s foreign investment promotion board on Wednesday gave the green signal to allow 29 FDI proposals worth Rs 6.16 billion (US$119 million) to be passed. Due to the gloomy global economic scenario, the government has eased FDI entry regulations allowing many more companies entry into the vast Indian market than before.
The largest deal to be passed on Wednesday was hospitality group AAPC Singapore Pte. Ltd.’s proposal of Rs 3.65 billion (US$70.5 million). AAPC plans to set up a wholly owned venture to construct, develop, own and manage low-budget hotels in India. Other sectors that were given FDI clearance included cargo – bulk handling, telecom and retail clothing sectors.
Mar. 3 – The all-share merger between Reliance Industries India's largest private sector firm with its subsidiary Reliance Petroleum which created the world's sixth-biggest refiner also marks the country’s 10th largest M&A deal ever.
While 2005-2008 saw large, M&A deals, the past few months have seen a significant plunge in M&A deals in India, even as valuations of Indian companies have become extremely attractive. So far 2009 saw M&A deals worth US$4 billion, less compared to 2008’s M&A deals worth US$30 billion.
Not only has M&A activity fallen, but deal values have also plummeted. During 2005-08, listed Indian companies have been involved in 54 M&A activities worth US$45 billion, but the current mark-to-market value of such M&A’s is down to US$20.96 billion, indicating a loss of 53 per cent, SMC Capital said in a report.