M&A deals in April see 96 per cent decline to $735 million: Report

Source: Business Standard, May 22, 2019

New Delhi: The value of merger and acquisition deals announced in April stood at $735 million (over Rs 5,100 crore), a decline of 96 per cent against previous year during the same period, as per a report.

According to a report by consultancy Grant Thornton, in April last year, the total M&A deal value stood at $19,142 million.

The report said the total number of deals announced last month stood at 35. Of this, two were billion-dollar deals, while 18 were valued at or above $100 million, together contributing 91 per cent of total M&A deal value.

When compared to March 2019, M&A transactions value plummeted 92 per cent despite a 17 per cent increase in the deal volumes.

“Absence of large ticket merger transactions and/or non-closure of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) transactions impacted the overall M&A transaction values,” Grant Thornton India LLP Director Pankaj Chopda said. Read the rest of this entry »

Key Indian companies finalise projects worth $300 mn for Kazakhstan

Source: The Economic times, May 22, 2019

New Delhi: Eyeing to widen presence in the Central Asian market, key Indian companies participated in the Astana Economic Forum and the Kazakhstan Global Investment Round Table (KGIR – 2019) on May 16-17 and finalised contracts of over $ 300 million

The Indian delegation included top officials of Punjab National Bank, NTPC, ONGC Videch Limited, CG Corp Global, India Power, as well as top officials of Indian companies India Invest, RV Healthcare, Refex Energy.

Visiting delegations of Punjab National Bank (PNB) and CG Corp Global were received by Askar Mamin,the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan.

Cooperation including interaction within the framework of the work of Tengri Bank JSC were discussed during the meeting with the Sunil Mekhta, CEO PNB. The parties also exchanged views on current global trends in the development of banking services and their potential impact on the economies of individual countries. Read the rest of this entry »

Taiwan looks to fast-track FTA talks with India, eyes higher tech exports

Source: Business Standard, May 16, 2019

New Delhi: With an eye on carving out a larger share of the Indian tech products and precision tools market, Taiwan is looking to fast-track discussions on a trade deal with India.

“Talks are on and we expect things to move quickly after the bilateral investment promotion agreement was signed last year. We look forward to the prospects of a free trade agreement (FTA),” James C F Huang, chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), said, on the sidelines of the Taiwan Expo 2019. Read the rest of this entry »

India, Mongolia to ink pact for petrochemical unit

Source: LiveMint.com, May 13, 2019

NEW DELHI: India and Mongolia are expected to sign an agreement this week for the construction of Mongolia’s first petrochemical refinery that is expected to cut some of its dependence on Russian fuel. When signed, the project will be the largest being undertaken by the government of India under its Lines of Credit programme, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The petrochemical refinery — near Sainshand in southern Dornogovi province — is to be built at an approximate cost of $1.25 billion utilising the $1 billion line of credit announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ulan Bator in 2015. It is expected to be completed by 2022.

“As of now the negotiations are on, many issues are resolved and others narrowed down,” said one of the people cited above. The decision to use the line of credit offered by India to set up the petrochemical plant was taken by the Mongolian government, a second person cited above said. On India’s part, “this is the largest project being undertaken by the government of India under its line of credit scheme,” the second person said.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the petrochemical plant took place in June 2018 during the visit of home minister Rajnath Singh to Mongolia. Read the rest of this entry »

E-comm policy, data localisation figure in Indo-US meet; GSP not discussed

Source: The Economic Times, May 07, 2019

New Delhi: E-commerce, data protection and localisation, along with airport ground handling topped the talks between commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu and US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross on Monday. The two sides skipped talks on Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).

“The prickly issues for them (US) were medical devices, IPR and e-commerce. These were discussions at the highest level but no decision or promises were made,” said one official aware of the talks. India’s refusal to allow liberalisation of pricing of medical devices such as knee implants and stents, whose prices are capped, is one spat with the US.

While New Delhi had intended to discuss at least 10 key issues, those on easier visa rules for movement of natural persons, GSP and compulsory registration order on multifunctional devices were left out. Read the rest of this entry »

India, Peru to hold next round of FTA negotiations in August

Source: Financial Express, Apr 29, 2019

India and Peru will hold their next round of negotiations for proposed free-trade agreement (FTA), aimed at boosting two-way commerce and investments, here in August, an official said. “Chief negotiators from both the countries will hold the fifth round of negotiations for the agreement in August,” the official said. In an FTA, two trading partners significantly reduce or eliminate duties on most of the goods traded between them besides relaxing norms and rules to promote trade in services and increase bilateral investments.

In the fourth round of talks, senior officials of both the sides deliberated upon issues such as customs procedures, trade facilitation, market access for goods and movement of professionals. The fourth round was held between March 11 and 15 this year in Lima, Peru. Read the rest of this entry »

India notifies pact with US for exchange of reports on tax evasion by MNCs

Source: Business Standard, Apr 30, 2019

New Delhi: India has notified the inter-governmental agreement with the US for exchange of country-by-country (CbC) reports on multinational companies regarding income allocation and taxes paid in order to help check cross-border tax evasion.

The agreement, which was signed by Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman P C Mody and US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster in March, was notified by the revenue department on April 25.

This agreement for exchange of CbC reports, along with the Bilateral Competent Authority Arrangement, will enable both the countries to automatically exchange CbC reports filed by the ultimate parent entities of multinational enterprises (MNEs) in the respective jurisdictions, pertaining to the years commencing on or after January 1, 2016. Read the rest of this entry »