SingTel to be first to own 100% in Indian telco

fe Bureau Posted online: Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) on Thursday cleared a number of proposals, including that of Singapore’s SingTel to increase its stake in its local unit from 74% to 100% for R2.98 crore.

While the most high-profile proposal was that of Singapore Airlines and Tata’s plan to start a full service airline, the biggest proposal in terms of value was that of Federal Bank, wherein the lender asked for permission to hike foreign shareholding to 74% from the current 44%. Since the proposal involved foreign investments of about R1,400 crore, it would also require clearance of the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs, a finance ministry official said.

In case of SingTel, this approval means it will become the first foreign company to entirely own an Indian arm. As per the proposal, the company is now entitled to buy stakes from its Indian partners, including Bharti Enterprise which holds about 9.9% stake in SingTel’s Global (India).

The FIPB also approved JM Financial issuing warrants worth over Rs 22 crore to former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, who is expected to run the company’s banking venture once it gets approval from the Reserve Bank. The board, which is headed by economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram, also cleared two pharma sector investment proposals, including that of Castleton Investment and Intas Pharmaceuticals.