The Mint Report for 24 August 2011

The Mint Report for 24 August 2011

Three of India’s regulators are teaming up to encourage foreign firms to list in this country. We’ve learnt Sebi, IRDA, and the Reserve Bank are planning to change the rules for Indian Depository Receipts to make listing earlier. For one, they want to allow insurers to invest in ID They also plan to allow so-called two-way fungibility. Two-way fungibility means investors can deposit shares of the foreign company in the IDR holding. Last year, Standard Chartered made India’s first IDR issue. But the issue’s monthly turnover has since plummeted. What’s more, new Sebi regulations in June have made IDRs even more unattractive.

In other news, government-run Power Finance Corporation is a step closer to its goal of setting up a bank. Chairman Satnam Singh says six firms have bid for the contract to advise PFC on its bank plans. The companies in question include KPMG India, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Deloitte. PFC wants a bank of its own as part of its diversification plans. It will either set up a new bank or buy an already-established one. Power Finance is one of two leading lenders to India’s utilities.

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Steel Authority of India has announced plans to raise capital overseas. The government-run company says it needs the money to meet plant expenses. All in all, it wants to borrow $1.5 billion. Out of that, $500 million will come from two Japanese banks this month. The remaining $1 billion will be sourced through external commercial borrowings.

Indian shares ended Wednesday in the red after making gains the previous two days. Some attributed the fall to selling by index funds. The Sensex plunged 213 points to 16,285. And the Nifty fell 60 to 4,889.