RBI’s Changes to Foreign Investment Policy

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced some policy measures as follows:
1. Issue of Shares for Consideration Other Than Cash
In its recent foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, the Government of India had announced additional methods for issue of shares for consideration other than cash, such as: (a) import of capital goods/ machinery/ equipment (including second-hand machinery); (b) pre-operative/ pre-incorporation expenses (including payments of rent, etc.). The RBI has now implemented these schemes by prescribing the detailed conditions on which this share issuance facility will be available to Indian companies.
2. Extension of Time for Buyback of FCCBs

Several investors holding foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) in Indian companies have not exercised their conversion options because the prevailing market prices of underlying shares are lower than the conversion price. In order to provide exit options to such investors, the RBI has been permitting buyback of FCCBs by Indian companies. The facility has now been made available until March 2012, both under the automatic route as well as the approval route. Some of the policy reasons behind this move are reported in the Times of India and the Hindu Business Line.

About the author

Umakanth Varottil

Umakanth Varottil is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. He specializes in corporate law and governance, mergers and acquisitions and cross-border investments. Prior to his foray into academia, Umakanth was a partner at a pre-eminent law firm in India.

1 comment

  • One query in the context of the Consolidated FDI Circular:

    1. The Circular allows FVCI's to invest into DVCF's under the automatic route.

    2. In the event the FVCI holds > 51% of the units of the DVCF (assuming DVCF is set up as trust), will the downstream by the DVCF considered as FDI and hence subject to the same restrictions?

    3. The policy as such seems to apply only to companies and not trusts, also in these cases FVCIs do not really control the DVCF. The control is with the trustee/manager

    Any thoughts? Any real life FIPB comments that anyone may share? Thanks.

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