Rs 940 million FDI application in Hindustan times cleared

NEW DEHI: The Indian government today approved 57 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals worth more than Rs 6.3 billion, including increase in foreign equity in Hindustan Times Media and restructuring of Hutchison Max in India.

The FDI applications, amounting to Rs 6339.8 million to be exact, were okayed by the finance ministry on the recommendations of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in its meeting held on 25 October, 2004.

Hindustan Times case relates to Henderson Asia Pacific Equity Partners of the UK upping its stake in an HT joint venture company, HT Media Ltd, to 26 per cent from 19.23 per cent. Henderson is making the investments through its affiliate HPC (Mauritius) Ltd.

This approval would bring into the joint venture company, set up to undertake a variety of activities, including those related to the Internet, radio and TV, an additional sum of Rs 940 million.

At one time it was being speculated that it would be this joint venture company that would launch HT's Mumbai edition.

Meanwhile, the government okayed restructuring of Hutchison Telecommunications (India) Ltd, Mauritius and Hutchison Max Telecom Private Ltd.

The proposal involves consolidation of equity by Hutchison Max Telecom Private Limited in its Indian telecom companies by way of acquisition of entire domestic and foreign shareholding and in lieu of issuing its shares.

The proposed restructuring had been pending a government nod for quite some time now and would pave the way for an IPO of Hutch. This particular case was taken up by the FIPB on 27 October.

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