September 2008
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Sebi may ease foreign venture capital investment norms

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is likely to discuss clearing applications through the foreign venture capital investor (FVCI) route when its board meets on October 6. As many as 80 such applications are pending with Sebi due to the Reserve Bank of India’s reservations on the issue. Sources familiar with the developments said RBI was not clearing them earlier as there was a need to control the flow of foreign capital. But the situation has changed now, raising hopes that Sebi will resolve the issues with RBI and review the status of the FVCI applications. [...]

JPMorgan Plans to Double Private Equity in India to $1 Billion

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the third- largest U.S. bank, plans to double private equity investments in India to $1 billion as the nation's equities head for the worst year on record. The bank will also invest about $500 million to build its corporate finance and advisory operations, Kalpana Morparia, who took over as chief executive officer of JPMorgan in India on Aug. 28, said in an interview in her Mumbai office yesterday. Private equity investments in India climbed 3.2 percent in the first six months of the year, bucking a 23 percent decline for all of Asia. JPMorgan, which acquired Bear Stearns Cos. in March in a bailout orchestrated by the Federal Reserve, has recorded about a quarter of the losses posted by Citigroup Inc., its bigger rival, after the U.S. home-loan market collapsed. [...]

Samena Cap lines up $350 m fund

Samena Capital, the Bahrain-based investment management group focusing on markets in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, is likely to invest about 35% of the newly announced $350 million in the Indian corporate sector. Samena, which has already raised $200 million of its debut Samena Special Situations Fund, targets a $350 million final close by October 31. Its Mumbai office will be opened by November. Samena plans to pump in about 80% fund meant for the Indian market in listed companies. The company has not made any allocations for companies it plans to invest in or specified sectors. Speaking to FE from his London office, Shirish Saraf, president and founder of Samena Capital, said, “We wanted to invest as much as 30-35% of our total funds in India, though no allocation has been made so far.” [...]

PE funds continue to bet big on India

India does not seem to be losing its sheen among private equity, or PE, investors even as the global liquidity crunch is now assuming significantly larger proportions and investors are increasingly turning bearish. According to the investment banking arm of Mumbai-based financial services house JM Financial Consultants Pvt. Ltd, 13 of the world’s 20 largest PE funds — in terms of fund mobilization in the past five years — have already invested in India. Besides, two more — Apollo Global Management Llc. and Bain Capital Llc. — have recently set up offices here and started seeking deals. This means only five of the world’s top 20 firms — Permira Advisers Llp., Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd, American Capital Ltd, Silver Lake and Cerberus Capital Management Lp — haven’t come to India yet. [...]

Reliance Technology Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners Invests in ‘S-commerce’ Pioneer, ‘Suvidhaa’

Suvidhaa Infoserve Pvt Ltd (SIPL), the pioneer of the Services Commerce (“S-Commerce”) revolution in India, today announced that it has received funding from two leading global venture capital firms, Reliance Technology Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners India (NVP India). Reliance Technology Ventures directed the investment from one of its Group entities. Suvidhaa, promoted by Paresh Rajde and initially funded by Mr. Shapoor Pallonji Mistry, will use the new capital to aggressively expand its portfolio of service offerings into vertical markets throughout India and enhance business development and marketing efforts. [...]