India Considering Rule Change on Foreign Ownership of Banks

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Apr. 30 – India is considering changing some investment rules on foreign ownership of banks according to industry secretary R.P. Singh.

Singh told Dow Jones Newswires on Friday that the government may treat fresh investments by banks that are majority owned by foreign investors as local. Under the current rules, any investment made by foreign banks into their local units is treated as a foreign investment, making the lenders vulnerable to the restrictions on overseas investments.

“ICICI Bank and some other banks are not majority owned by Indians, but controlled by Indians,” Singh said.

Details of changes in rules will be disclosed in a discussion paper that will be released by June, he said.