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    Investment gets hotter in India

    June 6 – Following China, Central Europe and Western Europe, India has been ranked the fourth most attractive investment destination in a survey of 834 respondents across the world. The survey conducted by Ernst and Young found the South Asian country being preferred in terms of prospects of alternative business locations, according to the Economic Times.

    While China received 47 per cent votes, Central Europe and Western Europe got 42 per cent and 33 per cent votes respectively. With 30 per cent votes, India emerged ahead of the US and Russia, which received 21 per cent votes each.

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    Exports Rise 32 percent to US$14 billion in April

    June 3 – India's export growth accelerated in April as companies shipped more gems, jewelry, oil and other manufactured products to overseas markets, reported Bloomberg.

    Shipments jumped 31.5 percent to US$14.4 billion from a year earlier, faster than March's 26.6 percent gain, the government said in a statement in New Delhi today. Imports in April rose 36.6 percent to US$24.3 billion, widening the trade deficit to an all-time high of US$9.87 billion.

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    ArcelorMittal Plan US$20Billion India Foray

    June 2 – Global steel giant ArcelorMittal will spend at least $20 billion setting up two new integrated steel plants in India from 2009 onwards, company executives told CNN.

    The two projects, based in the eastern states of Orissa and Jharkhand, will be the largest foreign direct investments yet seen in India and will add 24 million tonnes of annual steel production capacity.

    Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal is the world's biggest steel maker, with annual capacity of 120 million tonnes, but has no presence yet in the fast-growing Indian market.

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    Consumer Good Prices rise in India

    May 27 – India's consumer goods companies are hiking prices across categories as they battle rising costs of commodities such as steel, copper and oil, which are inputs for their products, company officials told Reuters.

    Videocon Industries, Mirc Electronics, which owns the Onida brand, Whirlpool of India and Samsung India are among home appliance makers who have either raised prices or plan to do it in coming weeks.

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    EU Investment in India Highest Amongst BRIC Countries

    May 20 – The flow of European cash into Indian firms surged more than fourfold last year, jumping to 10.9 billion euros (US$17.0 billion) last year, up from US$2.5 billion in 2006, Eurostat told AFP. Among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries, India emerged as the largest source of foreign direct investment for the European Union in 2007, thanks to high value takeover deals like Tata-Corus.

    Meanwhile, the flow of EU foreign direct investment (FDI) into China — excluding Hong Kong — slumped last year to 1.8 billion euros from 6.0 billion euros in 2006 despite intense media interest in the country as an emerging Asian economic power.

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    HSBC Buys 73 percent of IL&FS Investsmart

    May 19 – British banking company HSBC Holdings has expressed interest to buy 73.2 percent of IL&FS Investsmart, an Indian brokerage firm, for 10.03 billion rupees (US$235 million).

    HSBC will acquire 43.85% from a Mauritius-based unit of E*Trade Financial Corp and the rest from the Indian brokerage's founder, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services, for Rs 200 a share, HSBC said in a statement e-mailed from Hong Kong. "India presents a huge scope for its large savings to be invested in equities, debt and commodities," said Dipak Acharya, who helps manage the equivalent of $22 million as a fund manager at BOB Asset Management Co in Mumbai, reported the Times of India.

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    Rupee Weakens to 42.44 per U.S. Dollar

    May 15 – The rupee weakened by about 34 paise at Rs 42.44/46 per US dollar on Wednesday, making it costlier for the travellers and students going abroad, reported the Hindustan Times.

    At the same time, the remittances from those working abroad would fetch more money now, than it did a couple of weeks back when the rupee hovered around Rs 40 against the dollar. The rupee weakened against the dollar by 6.52 percent from April 10, 2008 when it closed at Rs 39.84 against a dollar.

    On the corporate front, the weakening rupee will help exporters to fetch more bucks for the same unit of exports. No wonder, the market has given a thumps up for the information technology stocks on Wednesday by taking the IT sector index on Bombay Stock Exchange up by 3.8 per cent to 4,256 points. On the contrary, imports will become costlier to the extent of weakness in the domestic currency.

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    US$90 Billion Industry Corridor on Track

    May 14 – India's US$90 billion industrial corridor is project is going according to schedule despite rising prices of steel and cement Minister of State for Industry Ashwani Kumar told Reuters.

    The project spanning New Delhi and Mumbai is being built with Japanese help on the lines of the Tokyo-Osaka industrial corridor.

    It includes high speed rail freight lines, power plants to supply an additional 4,000 megawatt, three new sea ports and six airports, 12 new industrial clusters, 10 logistic parks and agricultural hubs.

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