Government is likely to come out with a list of hybrid instruments next month which Indian companies will be able to issue for raising foreign direct investment (FDI).
“We have completed our deliberation and in next 2-3 weeks, we will be coming out with the list of instruments which will get the status of FDI,” Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said at a CNBC TV18 event here.
Hybrid instruments include optionally convertible or partially convertible debentures, Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds – which are intrinsically debt-instruments.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in last Budget announced that a basket of eligible instruments would be brought in to include hybrid instruments that will expand the scope of instruments that foreigners now use to invest in India.
“The basket of eligible FDI instruments will be expanded to include hybrid instruments, subject to certain conditions,” Jaitley had said.
“In Budget, we had announced certain hybrid instruments will be allowed under FDI… It is work in progress… You will see some new policy initiatives with regard to the hybrid instruments of FDI in coming weeks,” Das said.
As of now, only instruments which are fully and mandatorily convertible into equity within a specified time is reckoned as part of equity under the FDI policy and eligible to be issued to persons residing outside India.
Besides equity investment, FDI capital means fully, compulsorily and mandatorily convertible preference shares; fully, compulsorily and mandatorily convertible debentures and warrants.
In the past two years, the government has taken a series reform measures to liberalise the FDI regime.
Last week, it announced FDI liberalisation in nine sectors such as civil aviation, retail and private security services. This was the current government’s second round of relaxation in FDI rules.
Net FDI inflows have increased over the past two years, reaching record highs of USD 36 billion in the last financial year from USD 24.2 billion on average during the preceding three fiscal years, according to Moody’s Investors Service.