Posts filed under ‘Funds-Investments’

Indian Government to relax SEZ policy soon

Pranab Mukherjee, Indian politician, current F...Image via Wikipedia

With the Left parties out of its way, the UPA government is likely to relax the SEZ policy and may consider the demand from developers for raising the land ceiling of 5,000 hectares.

The empowered Group of Ministers (eGoM), headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to meet tomorrow for clearing long-pending grey areas in the SEZ policy backed by a legislation.

The issues expected to be taken up by the ministers’ panel include demand from developers to revise the 5,000 hectare land ceiling for a SEZ. It would also provide clarification on the definition of what constitutes a ‘vacant land’ for the purpose of using it for SEZ units.

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August 6, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Foreign VCs reduce Indian real estate investments

Indian rupee

Venture Capital Funds (VCFs) and Foreign Venture Capital Investors (FVCI) have reduced their investment in real estate companies during the June-2008 quarter. However, the overall investment by VCFs and FVCI rose a modest 2.2 per cent to Rs 32,379 crore against March quarter figure of Rs 31,682 crore, according to a latest data available with SEBI.

The report has been compiled on the basis of quarterly information submitted to SEBI by registered VCFs and FVCIs.

While flows into real estate fell nearly 14 per cent to Rs 6,286 crore from March end quarter figure of Rs 7,285 crore; the other sector that took a hit was biotechnology, where their investment slipped to Rs 346 crore from Rs 385 crore.

However, media, Industrial and services sectors witnessed growth in inflow from VCFs and FVCI.

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August 6, 2008 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

Dow Jones India Titans 30 Index launched

An index of 30 leading Indian company stocks, Dow Jones India Titans 30 Index, was launched today (4 August 2008) by Mr Rupert Murdoch, the Chairman of media conglomerate News Corporation.

“The Dow Jones India Titans 30 Index includes 30 largest and most liquid stocks traded in India. The selection to the index will be based on rankings by float-adjusted market capitalisation and 12 month average daily trading volume,” the media company said.

The index will track share prices of leading players across various business segments incorporated on the index and will be a basis for investment. Calculated in US dollar and Indian rupee, it will be reviewed every March.

The index has been created by financial information company Dow Jones Indexes, a business unit of Dow Jones & Company, a News Corporation company.

Launching the index, Mr Murdoch said the blue-chip index for India will be licensed to financial institutions as the basis of investment products, such as exchange-traded funds.

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August 5, 2008 at 4:57 am Leave a comment

One Laptop per Child India – OLPC India launches

Nicholas Negroponte has found it tough going in India. For years as the head of MIT’s Media Lab, the famed computer scientist promoted radical ways to use technology to transform society. His best-known idea is the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program (BusinessWeek, 6/5/08), a plan to make a simple, $100 laptop that would create a digitally literate generation in the hardscrabble classrooms of emerging-market nations. The laptop, now dubbed the XO, is finally being mass-produced in China.

In 2001, the computer scientist came to India to promote the Media Lab, but failed to impress New Delhi. Negroponte clearly fell off the India map, when then-Information Technology Minister Arun Shourie dismissed his efforts as “pedagogically suspect” and wanted more accountability. When Negroponte’s nonprofit One Laptop per Child foundation approached the Indian government in 2006, his project was again rebuffed by India’s then-Education Secretary, Sudeep Banerjee.

Two years later, Negroponte is back to open a new office in New Delhi and launch the OLPC program in India on Aug. 4. Despite all the rebuffs, Negroponte’s urge to sell in India is stronger than ever. “India is the largest market for us, and I had to be here,” he says. More important, Negroponte has a new partner—one of India’s politically influential private-sector conglomerates. The Digital Bridge Foundation, part of Reliance ADA Group, owned by Indian billionaire Anil Ambani, is providing the technology backbone and logistics for the installation of OLPC’s white and green XO laptops in primary schools.

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August 4, 2008 at 9:38 am Leave a comment

RedFort Capital – 4,000 crores – 6 realty projects

Red Fort Capital, a private equity fund focused on real estate development, is in advance stages of negotiations with six developers for an equal number of projects worth Rs 4,000 crore in the metros across India.

The PE fund today joined hands with Godrej Properties to develop an IT park in Kolkata, where Red Fort Capital has picked up 49 per cent stake. The project, Godrej Genesis, is expected to generate sales of over Rs 750 crore.

“We are in the process of closing a number of transactions in the NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore. We are currently talking to six different developers in these cities,” Red Fort Capital Director Kuldip Chawlla told PTI.

Without divulging names of the possible builders, he said three of them are ‘big national developers’, while the rest are local players.

The company currently is evaluating one residential and one commercial project in each city, where the fund would pick up stake between 30 per cent and 80 per cent, he added.

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July 31, 2008 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

RBI hike hit real estate firms hard

Real estate companies see their cost of borrowing going up by one percentage point as the central bank has increased the repo rate by 0.5 per cent and cash reserve ratio by 0.25 per cent.

The rate hike will push up the corporate lending rates. This, in turn, is expected to further strain the balance sheets of realty companies, already reeling under a fund crunch in the wake of slower property sales, higher lending rates, rise in input costs and the central bank’s measures to check traditional sources of funding.

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July 31, 2008 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

Real estate mutual funds (REMF) – Rejoice!

The cloud over real estate mutual funds (REMF) has lifted. The finance ministry has brushed aside RBI’s concerns of REMFs violating foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in the realty sector. North Block has said the central bank’s concern — stating that REMF scheme notified by Sebi in April contradicted FDI norms — was unwarranted.

The finance ministry view could pave way for the launch of new investment avenues for small investors keen to tap the real estate sector’s growth potential. The doubts raised by RBI added to the hesitation in REMF launches.

Highlighting that the scheme allowed NRIs and FIIs to invest in real estate sector in conflict with the policy, the apex bank had asked finance ministry to intervene and take up the issue with Sebi. The FDI policy prohibits investment in real estate but allows investment in construction and development sector with conditions like a three-year lock-in, minimum capitalisation of $5 million for a wholly-owned subsidiary and $10 million for joint ventures, and development of at least 10 hectares. The government had allowed 100% FDI in the construction and development sector on the automatic route in 2005 under the Press Note 2 issued that year.

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July 31, 2008 at 8:52 am Leave a comment


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