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India economy & business for Nov 2: Sitharaman visits Indian investments in Sri Lanka

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivers a keynote address at the NAAM200, the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the arrival of Indian-Origin Tamils to Sri Lanka, at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, in Colombo on Thursday, November 2, 2023. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief on Indian economy and business for Thursday, November 2, 2023:

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday visited Sri Lanka’s eastern port town of Trincomalee where she opened a branch of the State Bank of India (SBI) and appreciated its role in supporting corporates in international trade. Sitharaman, who is in the country on a three-day visit, started her day by visiting the main Hindu Temple in the multi-ethnic city to pay homage to it before opening a branch of the SBI in Trincomalee. Senthil Thondaman, the governor of Eastern Province; Gopal Baglay, India’s high commissioner to Sri Lanka, and chairman, SBI, Dinesh Khara were also present at the inauguration. After inaugurating the branch, Sitharaman appreciated that SBI, with its 159 years of significant presence, is the oldest bank in Sri Lanka and continues to grow its business at home and abroad.

Zurich Insurance Group is set to acquire a 51 per cent stake in Kotak Mahindra Bank’s general insurance division for approximately Rs 40.51 billion (£399 million). This move grants the European insurance behemoth an entry into India’s rapidly expanding insurance sector. The announcement, previously disclosed by Reuters in June, marks the largest investment by a global insurer in an Indian non-life insurance company. Kotak’s shares surged by as much as two per cent, reaching Rs 1,758.65 (£17.31). “This development is just a matter of getting access to India, one of the key growth markets,” Emkay Global analyst Avinash Singh said, according to Reuters.

India is actively developing a domestic carbon tax, mirroring the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), Moneycontrol reported. According to commerce minister Piyush Goyal, this initiative aims to support India’s shift towards green energy and reduce its carbon footprint. Goyal explained that if India enforces a local carbon tax for its green energy transition, there will be no additional CBAM levy for its exporters. This strategy seeks to align with European carbon emission taxes. The minister was speaking at the first edition of the Energy Transition Dialogue of think tank Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.

Adani Green Energy, the renewable energy division of India’s Adani Group, is reportedly in discussions with foreign lenders to secure a loan of up to $1.8 billion (£1.47 billion), as per sources cited by Bloomberg News. The potential lenders include Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered, Barclays, BNP Paribas, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Rabobank, the report added. The funds are earmarked for expanding solar and wind projects and could rank among Asia’s top 20 major currency loans if finalised before December. In addition, the Adani conglomerate, led by Gautam Adani, has been seeking to raise around $4 billion for its green hydrogen initiatives, another report said.

Schools, colleges, paper mills and other buildings worth more than Rs 230 crore (£22.6 million) of Peoples Group based in Bhopal in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh have been attached as part of a money laundering investigation, India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) said Thursday. The ED case stems from three charge sheets filed by the Registrar of Companies against Suresh Narayan Vijaywargia, late Ramvilas Vijaywargia, Peoples International and Services Pvt Ltd, PGH International Pvt Ltd and Peoples General Hospital Pvt Ltd under sections of the Companies Act, 2013. The attached properties are in the form of land, buildings and machinery, colleges, schools, training centre, paper mill, newsprint machinery and others, the agency said in a statement.

Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd. and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), both 100 per cent subsidiaries of Tata Motors, have entered into a memorandum of understanding for the licensing of Jaguar’s EMA platform for the development of the ‘premium pure electric’ vehicle series ‘Avinya’. Pure electric mid-sized SUVs for international markets are to be launched from 2025 onwards, according to a release from Tata Motors. The electric cars, based on the Avinya concept, will now be developed on JLR’s Electrified Modular Architecture in exchange for a royalty fee, according to the press release issued on Thursday.

(With agencies inputs)

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