FIPB defers decision on Bloomberg's investment

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) on Tuesday deferred important proposals including Bloomberg's investment in Raghav Bahl-promoted Quintillion Business Media and transfer of entire shareholding of Falstaff Singapore to Nikkei, among others.

It also postponed taking up of incorporating HSBC's wholly-owned subsidiary, which will act as a trustee company to HSBC Mutual Fund, and allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in the infrastructure subsidiary of Idea Cellular.

FIPB cleared seven FDI proposals worth Rs 290 crore. These included those of IMCD India, Samara Capital Partners Fund II, Reckitt Benckiser (India), Haymarket SAC Publishing (India), and Fincare Business Services, according to a statement by the finance ministry.

The statement said an application to increase foreign investment in Idea Cellular Infrastructure Services (ICISL) to 67.5 per cent was deferred by the panel, chaired by economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das.

ICISL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Idea, which has become a foreign-owned company with more than 50 per cent overseas investment. As such, ICISL is also deemed to have foreign investment in excess of 50 per cent as a mirror image of its parent company.

The proposal was to take on record the increase of foreign investment in ICISL beyond 50 per cent and allow foreign investment in ICISL up to 67.5 per cent.

Besides, Quintillion Business Media's proposal for approval for the issuance of equity shares to Bloomberg has been deferred. Financial Times (India)'s proposal to transfer 99.99 per cent equity to Falstaff Singapore was also deferred. The proposal involved transfer of entire shareholding of Falstaff Singapore to Nikkei Inc. Among other deferred proposals are Morgan Stanley India Primary Dealer's proposal for increasing equity participation from 75 per cent to 100 per cent by way of transfer of equity shares from Morgan Stanley India Capital to Morgan Stanley Mauritius Co Ltd, by amending the earlier approval.

The investment proposals of HSBC Securities and Capital Markets (India)'s proposal to incorporate a wholly-owned subsidiary, which will act as a trustee company to HSBC Mutual Fund was also put off. The proposal involved permission for additional activities by HSBC InvestDirect Financial Services (India), a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Invest Direct (India).

The FIPB rejected five investment proposals including that of pharma company Sanofi-Synthelabo (India).

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