We are pleased to present "NRI Espresso", a handy newsletter just for our esteemed NRI investors for the month of May 2007.
It is our constant endeavour to serve your growing information, investment and servicing needs and the newsletter is created just for this purpose. This newsletter will be a collection of relevant articles of special interest to you. These include latest news, events, regulatory changes, and information on product offerings. ' NRI Corner', an exclusive section has also been created on our website for your mutual fund information and investment needs.
Latest News you can use
1. NRIs Being Bullish on Indian Stock Market (Source: www.nrirealtynews.com) NRI investments in Indian Equities have certainly shot up over the past few months. The market alone accounted to NRI investments worth Rs 1bn in less than two months. High rupee-dollar rate was what putting off the NRI investors from pumping in Indian stocks. But, the latest corrections in the market again opened all the doors for NRI investments. As per the figures showcased by BSE data, NRIs were net buyers at Rs 286.8m and Rs 703m in February and March, respectively. In January, they were sellers at Rs 21.6m. NRIs, foreign firms, and individuals may be allowed to make investments in the local stock markets by registering with foreign institutional investors (FIIs), who will further be responsible for any transgression of investment and regulatory norms in sub- accounts and will have to carry out all checks on the investors. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will have to redraft its rules and regulations relating to FIIs to facilitate the amendments. Likewise, RBI will require modify the Foreign Exchange Management regulations since NRIs just have the permission to invest only through Portfolio Investment Schemes.
2. NRI deposits in Kerala banks on a high (Source: Economic Times, India - 24 Apr 2007) NRI deposits in Kerala banks touched a new high of Rs 329 billion on Dec 31, 2006. NRI deposits in 3,539 branches of various banks grew from Rs 288 billion in December 2005 to Rs 329 billion, constituting 38.42 percent of all deposits in the state's banks.
3. NRIs deposit rates revised (Source: RBI Annual Credit Policy Review) In the context of large capital inflows and implications for liquidity and monetary management, the interest rate prescriptions related to NRI deposits, viz., foreign currency non-resident (banks) (FCNR(B)) deposits and Non-Resident (External) Rupee Account (NR(E)RA) deposits have been revised. Non-resident Indians (NRI) will now have to settle for lower returns from their deposits in India. The central bank has reduced the ceiling on NRI deposits - FCNR (B) and NRE - by 50 basis points.
4. RBI ups cap for priority sector lending (Source: Economic Times, India - 30 Apr 2007 & RBI Annual Credit Policy Review) Banks can now lend more funds to the housing sector with the Reserve Bank of India increasing the cap for home loans under priority sector to Rs 20 lakh from 15 lakh earlier. The guidelines specified that NRI deposits such as FCNR (B) and NRNR deposits balances will no longer be deducted for computation of Adjusted Net Bank Credit (ANBC) for priority sector lending purpose.
5. NRI Property Investments Put India on Emerging Markets Map (Source: www.nrirealtynews.com) Currencies Direct, the London based organisation which offers international payment services and commercial foreign exchange, puts India as the 5th most favourite destination for overseas property investors. Surprisingly, India's financial transactions being conducted in the English language add to its USP, and are welcomed by British investors who also find Indian banking and finance laws non-cumbersome and investor friendly.
With the economy performing above par at an average of 6% in the current decade, the growing volumes of the middle class offer a platform for increased demand and sustained growth.
6. Encouraging Monetary Moves to Revive NRI Investments (Source: www.nrirealtynews.com) Experts are expecting a slew of measures to control inflation further and the steps taken by the RBI so far have improved market sentiment to a large extent. The move to raise the growth level for non-food credit to 24 to 25% recognizes the fact that the demand for credit by corporates would not improve. Instead of restricting the external borrowing, the RBI has resorted to measures that would encourage dollar outflows. The move to allow Indian companies to invest overseas upto thrice their net worth and permitting a higher investment portfolio overseas of 35% has also been greeted by Indian industry. These encouraging measures would enable overseas expansion by Indian companies. However, bringing down interest rates on NRI deposits may dampen NRI investments in India marginally, and affect the liquidity in the banking system, leading to a scramble for NRI funds amongst banks. It is the economist's fervent hope that this is just a transitory phase, as improved business investment is expected by mid-2007, with a positive financing gap, higher profits, low debt ratios, active cash flow and low real interest rates falling in place.
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