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Private Equity investments ease to USD 14.60 bn in Jan-Sept: report

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi: Private Equity (PE) investments moderated to USD 14.60 billion during January-September period, owing to macroeconomic concerns, market volatility and valuations of companies, a report said on Tuesday.
According to Grant Thornton’s latest PE Dealtracker, 621 PE investments worth USD 14.60 billion were announced in the reported nine-month period of 2018. In the year-ago period, the value stood at USD 15.60 billion.
“India’s rupee has slumped to an all-time low amid an investor exodus from emerging markets, which threatened to dent business confidence, cautioning PE investors,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the July-September quarter marked 217 PE investments worth USD 5.20 billion, registering 41 per cent growth in terms of number of deals, even as the value dipped by 28 per cent.

“The environment for private equity market has been sluggish due to concerns like the economy, market volatility and valuations, among other things,” said Prashant Mehra, Partner, Grant Thornton India LLP.

 

Mehra further said: “We expect to see a rise in the PE activity due to the government’s focus on providing a fertile ground for digitisation and tech investment through policy initiatives by incubating tech funds with traditional banks”.

As per the report, the September quarter was dominated by investments in startups, which contributed to 60 per cent of total investment volumes garnering USD 1 billion.

FinTech also attracted significant attention from investors with 20 deals, followed by retail and health tech segments. Some of the other top deals during the third quarter include ADIA and TPG Capital’s investment in UPL Corp, KKR’s investment in REEL, Udaan’s series C funding for USD 225 million, the report said adding that Curefit raising USD 120 million marks the biggest ever fund raise by an Indian healthcare startup.


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Business

Cabinet clears setting up of centralised GST appellate authority

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New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of a centralised Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) under the goods and services tax that would decide on cases where there are divergent orders at the state level.

The setting up of a centralised AAAR would require amendments to the GST Acts. The centralised authority as an appellate body will only take up cases wherein the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) of two states have passed divergent orders.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and comprising state counterparts, in December decided to establish the centralised AAAR.

 

“The Cabinet has cleared the GST appellate authority,” a source said after the meeting of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In view of the confusion created by contradictory rulings given by different AARs on the same or similar issues, the industry had been demanding a centralised appellate authority that could reconcile the contradictory verdicts of different AARs.

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Urbanisation to be big driver of Indian economic growth: Kant

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Davos: Urbanisation will be a big driver of economic growth in India going forward, supported by favourable macroeconomic factors, accelerated infrastructure building and continuing reforms, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said.

Speaking here at an event on sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, he also said the Indian economy may even exceed the IMF growth forecast of 7.5 per cent for the country.

Kant said IMF has forecast 7.5 per cent growth for India despite a gloomy outlook for the global economy and this itself is good, though there are expectations that this estimate would be surpassed. He said India is giving a big push to urbanisation with more than 100 smart cities being developed.

 

The country is also using technology in a big way to change the way business and governance is done, he added. Besides a massive infrastructure building is happening, bank credit flow has rebounded and macroeconomic factors like inflation and fiscal deficit are also being supportive, Kant said.

DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek noted that states are competing with each other to attract investments and all political parties have adopted the economic reform process. He listed various reform initiatives undertaken in India, including on areas like ease of doing business, FDI, manufacturing and taxation.

They were speaking at Institutional investors’ breakfast roundtable, organised by the industry chamber CII and Kotak Mahindra Bank. Other participants included CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee and leaders from Indian and foreign companies.

On questions about some persisting issues in doing business including on tax and insolvency related issues, Abhishek said a lot of efforts have been put in to remove all bottlenecks and starting a business doesn’t take more than a day. Besides, special provisions have been made for startups and angel investors, he added.

Kant said efforts are also being made to remove all physical intervention and digitise the entire process of inter-ministerial and inter-department consultations to fast-track the decisions.

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India will surpass China, says Raghuram Rajan

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Davos: India will eventually surpass China in economic size and will be in a better position to create the infrastructure being promised by the Chinese side in South Asian countries, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said.

Addressing a session on Strategic Outlook for South Asia, Dr Rajan said that the Indian economy would continue to grow while growth rate is slowing down in China.

“Historically, India had a bigger role in the region but China has now grown much bigger than India and has presented itself as a counter-balance to India in the region,” Dr Rajan said at the WEF Annual Meeting 2019.

 

“India will become bigger than China eventually as China would slow down and India would continue to grow. So India will be in a better position to create the infrastructure in the region which China is promising today. But this competition is good for the region and it will benefit for sure,” he said.

The comments assume significance with China working on a lot of infrastructure projects across the region. In 2017, India became the sixth largest economy with a GDP of $2.59 trillion while China was the second large with a GDP of $12.23 trillion.

At the same session, Nepal PM K.P. Sharma Oli cited collaboration with China as well as India as reasons for the economic growth.

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