India approves Shell Gas, STAR News' FDI proposals

Wednesday, 29 October 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India Tuesday approved the foreign direct investment (FDI) proposal of global energy major Shell Gas and media major STAR News, according to the finance ministry.

The proposals, with Shell Gas wanting to start a marketing subsidiary and media major STAR News to acquire up to 26 percent stake in Media Content and Communications Services, were among 23 FDI proposals worth 4.9 billion approved by Finance Minister Jaswant Singh.

Shell Gas B.V and Petroleum Assurantie Maatschappij B.V., wholly owned members of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies, have got the go ahead to bring in 4.6 billion investment to set up a wholly owned subsidiary in India to start retailing transportation fuel.

The move will mark the entry of a multinational into transportation fuel retailing, which was opened to the private sector and foreign companies April last year.

News and current affairs television channel STAR News Broadcasting Ltd's proposal to pick up 26 percent stake in Mumbai-based Media Content and Communications Services (India) Pvt Ltd will see an investment inflow of 162.5 million, the finance ministry has stated.

The major investment proposals approved Tuesday pertain to sectors like chemicals, petrochemicals, mines, petroleum and natural gas, media and cash and carry wholesale trading.

State-owned Indraprastha Gas Ltd, the sole distributor of compressed natural gas to the transport sector and piped natural gas to domestic and commercial customers in the capital, has been allowed to make an initial public offering to non-resident Indians (NRIs), financial institutional investors (FII), foreign nationals and companies.

The IPO to be offered by November end is aimed to "effect a secondary transfer of equity shares up to a maximum of 40 million shares or 28.57 percent of the issued and paid up equity share capital of the company," the finance ministry stated.

Among other major proposals approved was for Germany's Boehringer Ingelheim to invest 25 million to set up a wholly owned subsidiary for manufacture of drugs, medicines and allied products.

Another German firm Altana Pharma AG has got approval to set up a wholly owned subsidiary by way of transfer of shares from existing resident shareholders to foreign investors and by fresh issue of shares to the foreign investor.

The move will see inflow of 10 million investment.

Altana Pharma plans to establish a world-class pharmaceutical research and development facility initially dedicated to synthesizing of new compounds, carrying out initial development processes and other related work.

U.S. based Snap-on Global Holdings Inc has got the go ahead for setting up a wholly owned subsidiary in New Delhi for handling bulk imports for carrying on cash and carry wholesale trading of hardware and tools.

The company is planning an investment of 47 million.

Source: IANS
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