PAN verification during FPI share allotment

Markets regulator SEBI has said that allotment of shares to foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in initial public offers would need to be verified with PANs. This step is taken as a check against any breach of investment limit through multiple entities. Under the rules, purchase of equity shares of each firm by a single FPI would have to be below 10% of the firm’s total issued capital.

MoU to boost inter-parliamentary dialogue

For the first time, Rajya Sabha has signed a MoU with its counterpart in a foreign country, Rwanda, for promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue. The MoU, with 6 articles of cooperation, aims to promote inter-parliamentary dialogue, capacity building of parliamentary staff & organisation of conferences among others. M Venkaiah Naidu is the first Rajya Sabha chairman to sign such an agreement.

Jeremy Hunt named UK foreign secretary

Jeremy Hunt will replace Boris Johnson as the U.K. foreign secretary following Johnson’s resignation. Hunt had served as health minister for more than 5 and half years, the longest term in the history of the State-funded National Health Service.

Forex reserve fell to 10.8 months

RBI in its biannual report announced that import cover of foreign exchange (Forex) reserve had fallen to 10.8 months in December. The Forex reserve is India’s holdings of cash, bank deposits, bonds denominated in currencies other than, the Indian rupee and managed by the RBI. Import cover is an indicator for currency’s stability, typically a 10 months cover is seen as stable for the economy.

WB announces ‘one person, one car’ policy

In an attempt to cut the costs incurred by the state over travel expenses of ministers and bureaucrats, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced the ‘one person, one car’ policy. Further mandating economy class travel in low-cost airlines for all domestic air trips, she added that foreign travels will be sanctioned only by her.

Money in Swiss banks

India has moved up to 73rd place in terms of money parked by its citizens & companies with Swiss banks. India had slipped to 88th place with a 44% plunge in such funds in 2016, but the latest data shows an increase of over 50% during 2017 to CHF 1.01 billion (about Rs 7,000 cr). UK continued to account for the largest chunk at about CHF 403 billion of the total foreign money with Swiss banks

FDI growth hits 5-year low in 2017-18

Foreign direct investment in India seems to be petering out with the inflows growth rate recording a five-year low of 3% at USD 44.85 billion in 2017-18. Foreign inflows in the country grew by 8.67% in 2016-17, 29% in 2015-16 and 27% in 2014-15. Mauritius has emerged as the largest source of FDI in India with USD 15.94 billion in 2017-18 followed by Singapore, Netherlands, US & Japan.

Hyderabad to have UAE consulate

CM Rao has discussed with Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to come up with a consulate in Hyderabad. The consulate will further strengthen ties between Telangana and UAE. The minister also lauded various achievements of Telangana government by creating Asia’s biggest lift irrigation project at Kaleshwaram.

FIU forwarded highest over 65K in FY18

The Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU), the government agency mandated on terrorist financing and money laundering, has forwarded 65,829 Suspicious Transactions Reports (STRs) during FY18 — the highest in the history. This number was over 13% higher than the record 58,223 STRs in FY17. The spurt in the number of STRs is initiated under FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act), 1999.

RBI eases norms for FPIs to invest in debt

The Reserve Bank has eased investment norms for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in debt. The move can help attract more overseas flows and thereby help arrest the recent fall in the rupee on one hand and also lift the recent fall in demand for corporate bonds. FPIs are allowed to invest in various debt market instruments such as government bonds, treasury bills.