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Liberalisation / Rationalisation of Overseas Investments- June 03, 2008

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on June 03, 2008 has liberalized the overseas investment norms as follows:

1. Overseas Investment in Energy and Natural Resources Sectors

In terms of RBI notification dated September 26, 2007, an Indian Party is allowed to make direct investment in Joint Ventures and / or Wholly Owned Subsidiaries outside India up to 400 per cent of the net worth as on the date of the last audited balance sheet, under the Automatic Route. With a view to provide greater flexibility to Indian parties for investment abroad, it has been decided, in consultation with the Government of India, to allow Indian companies to invest in excess of 400 per cent of their net worth, as on the date of the last audited balance sheet, in the energy and natural resources sectors such as oil, gas, coal and mineral ores. The investments in excess of 400 per cent of the net worth shall be made only with the prior approval of the Reserve Bank.

2. Investment in Overseas Unincorporated Entities in Oil Sector

(i) In terms of RBI notification dated May 18, 2007, Navaratna Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) are allowed to invest in overseas unincorporated entities in oil sector (i.e. for exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas, etc.), which are duly approved by the Government of India, without any limits, under the automatic route. This facility is now extended to ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and Oil India Ltd (OIL).

(ii) With a view to further liberalise the procedure, it has now been decided, in consultation with the Government of India, to allow a similar facility to other Indian entities to invest in overseas unincorporated entities in oil sector. AD Category I banks may allow remittance up to 400 per cent of the net worth of the Indian company after ensuring that the proposal has been approved by the competent authority and is duly supported by a certified copy of the Board Resolution approving such investment. Applications by Indian companies, other than by Navaratna PSUs, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and Oil India Ltd (OIL), for investment in excess of 400 per cent of the net worth of the company as on the date of the last audited balance sheet, in overseas unincorporated entities, where such investments are approved by the Competent authority, should be referred by Abanks to the Reserve Bank for prior approval.

(iii) All investments in unincorporated entities overseas would be required to comply with the reporting requirements as prescribed in Regulation 15 (iii) of Notification No. FEMA 120/RB-2004 dated July 7, 2004 [Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of any Foreign Security) (Amendment) Regulations, 2004], as amended from time to time. Further, all such investments in unincorporated entities overseas by both Navaratna PSUs and other entities will be required to be reported.

3. Capitalisation of Exports

In terms of Regulation 11(1) of Notification No. FEMA 120/RB-2004 dated July 7, 2004 [Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of any Foreign Security) Regulations, 2004], as amended from time to time, an Indian Party making direct investment outside India in accordance with the Regulations, by way of capitalization, in full or part of the amount due to the Indian Party from the foreign entity on account of payment for export of plant, machinery, equipment and other goods / software to the foreign entity, has to obtain the prior approval of the Reserve Bank where such export proceeds have remained unrealized beyond a period of six months from the date of exports. In order to align this provision with the Foreign Trade Policy, Indian parties may, henceforth, approach the Reserve Bank for capitalization of export proceeds only in cases where the exports remain outstanding beyond the prescribed period of realisation.



ECB Guidelines revision in May 2008 ...Click here
ECB Guidelines revision in May 2007 ...Click here
Special section on External Commercial Borrowings ...Click here

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