From consumer goods to nuclear energy, there was a wide sector coverage of India's investment interests across the globe.
Japan's Sumitomo eyes Indian JV
Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation has entered into a partnership with Gurugram-based Krishna Group to venture into the Indian real estate sector. Both corporations have formed a joint venture, Krisumi Corporation, to develop real estate projects across the country and will have a 50-50 stake in the venture.
Ashok Kapur, Chairman, Krishna Group, said: "The biggest challenge facing the Indian real estate industry today is with regard to quality, efficiency and commitment to timelines, all of which is exactly what Japan is known for - Japan is already beyond RERA. We are certain that our partner, Sumitomo Corporation, part of the 400 year old Sumitomo Group, with their extensive Global experience in real estate development shall contribute tremendously in creating projects with endearing value for our clients as well as the local communities around it."
The first project to be undertaken by the JV will be KrisumiCity. The total build-up area of the project is expected to measure over 18 million sq ft. It will be developed in different phases over four-five years. The project will be developed on a 65-acre plot in Sector 36A of Gurgaon with an investment exceeding $2 billion.
Britannia to scout for new markets
Indian Consumer packaged goods major Britannia Industries Ltd has plans to launch around 50 new products under its existing as well as new categories by the end of the next fiscal as part of efforts to be a total food company.
In view of its growth strategy, the Kolkata-headquarteredcompany will launch dairy products by October-November and croissants through its joint venture with Greek cakes and confectionery major Chipita by March 2020.
Besides, the company will continue with its strategy of adding new countries in its list and scout for new markets in Africa, while foraying into Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Britannia is looking to diversify in bakery and non-bakery segments and also focussing on snack items.
The company is in the process of putting up a manufacturing line with its JV partner Chipita for croissants, which is expected to come up by the third quarter of the coming fiscal.
The company is also in the process of setting up a Rs1,000-crore ($156-million) plant at Ranjangaon, Pune which would be an integrated food park, he said, adding two plants in Guwahati and export-oriented unit at Mundra SEZ would be commercialised early next year.
Britannia's Nepal plant would start in the fourth quarter of the next fiscal as it is awaiting environmental clearance there.
Bharti Airtel explores IPO of Africa unit
Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel Ltd said the unit managing its Africa operations is considering a potential initial public offering (IPO).
In a stock exchange filing, Bharti Airtel said the board of Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV has authorised the management to begin non-binding exploratory discussions with banks and intermediaries to evaluate the possibility of a public listing.
The company added: “The above discussions are at an exploratory/preliminary stage and at this juncture, there is no certainty of any final decision or outcome.”
The company's aggregate customer base in Africa has increased from 84.1 million as of December end from 76.9 million in the corresponding quarter last year, an increase of 9.4 per cent. It offers 3G services and Airtel Money across 14 countries in Africa and 4G services in four countries in the continent.
Bharti Airtel entered Africa in 2010 when it purchased Zain's operations in the continent for $10.7 billion. Over the past few years, it has been trying to capture the African market through local deals. It has made three small-ticket acquisitions in Uganda, Congo Brazzaville and Kenya.
Petronet in Sri Lanka JV with Japan firm
Petronet LNG Ltd, India's biggest importer of gas, and its Japanese partners will invest $300 million to set up Sri Lanka′s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal near Colombo.
The Indo-Japanese partnership will set up a 2.6-2.7 million tonnes a year floating LNG receipt facility off the island′s western coast, bigger than the previously envisaged 1.5-2 million tonnes a year facility.
Petronet will hold 47.5 per cent stake in the project while Japan′s Mitsubishi and Sojitz Corp will take 37.5 per cent stake. The remaining 15 per cent will be held by a Sri Lankan entity.
Prabhat Singh, CEO, Petronet, said: "We are in the process of signing MoU with the Sri Lankan government for setting up of the LNG terminal.”
Sri Lanka has plans to build a 300-mw gas-fired power plant in Kerawalapitiya, on its west coast, adjoining an existing power plant. The existing plant, which uses oil to generate power, will also be converted to LNG once the terminal is set up and gas imports start.
The terminal in Sri Lanka is part of Petronet's vision to own 30mt per annum of LNG import and regasification capacity by 2020.
Taiwan seeks business partnerships in India
Taiwan is likely to lead investments of more than $10 billion to make India its business partner, as an attempt to counter Chinese investments.
James Kuo, Deputy Executive Director, Taiwan External Trade Development Council, said: “A large Taiwanese chemical firm alone is setting up a $10 billion investment in the southern part of India, to make polypropulene raw materials for making plastic.”
Kuo said that alongside investments by firms in the chemical sector, Taiwanese companies are also seeking ′Indian partners′ for investments in sectors like Information and Communications Technology (ICT), virtual reality (VR), shoes, and even in the manufacturing of iPhones by Foxconn, the Taiwan based iPhone manufacturer.
India and Taiwan have an annual bilateral trade which currently stands at $3 billion per annum. Kou said that this is expected to multiply on the back of fresh Taiwanese investments and exports to be generated out of India.
Aiming to seek out capable partners in India, Taiwanese businesses are going to participate in three trade expositions to be held across India. One of them, Computex, is already reputed to be the best technology show around the world.
India, Russia & Bangladesh in nuke pact
India signed a tripartite agreement with foreign partners Russia and Bangladesh for civil nuclear cooperation last week.
Nuclear Power Cooperation of India Limited (NPCIL) will play a key role in building a nuclear power plant on foreign soil with the proposed supply of equipment and material for a power station being built by Russia in Bangladesh. India is also extending support for capacity building and has been training Bangladeshi nuclear scientists for the project.
Russia's civil nuclear body Rosatom is constructing nuclear power plant in Bangladesh on a turnkey contract basis. The scope of work includes design, production and supply of equipment, construction, installation, pre-commissioning and commissioning.
The Memorandum set a framework for the interaction of the Russian Contractor, Indian and Bangladeshi experts in the implementation of the project. The parties will cooperate in the field of personnel training and mentoring, exchange of experience and provision of consulting support.
This is first occasion where Delhi will be involved in a civil nuclear project on foreign soil marking India's global entry into a strategic sector. It will also boost the Make in India initiative amid a proposal by Delhi to Moscow for manufacturing of some nuclear power reactor equipment in India.