Govt clears way for Asianet share transfer to NRIs

NEW DELHI: Kerala-based Asianet Communications Ltd is undergoing a shareholding restructuring that has got government approval

Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, the government has given the green signal to technology magazine publishers International Data Group (IDG) to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in India.

The Asianet proposal, cleared by finance minister P. Chidambaram today, envisages transfer of shares from resident Indians to non-residents.

The foreign direct investment/NRI inflow has been pegged at Rs 66 million and the overseas company that had sought permission is the Mauritius-registered Americorp Ventures Limited.

The company's activities have been listed as procuring, leasing, establishing and operating all types of telecommunications and space linkages systems, including producing audio, video and film productions and distribution of TV and satellite signals.


In the case of IDG Inc, which envisages an investment of over Rs 130 million in the country and owns magazines like PC World and Computer World (available in India freely), permission has been granted for setting up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Bangalore for printing and publishing of scientific and technical magazines.

As per present government guidelines more than 74 per cent FDI is not allowed in print medium ventures envisaging printing and publishing of scientific and specialty magazines in India. IDG is the world's leading technology media, research and event company. Founded in 1964, IDG had 2003 revenues of $2.41 billion and has more than 13,000 employees worldwide. IDG offers the widest range of media options, which reach more than 120 million technology buyers in 85 countries representing 95 per cent of worldwide infotech spending. IDG's diverse product and services portfolio spans five key areas of print publishing, online publishing, events and conferences, market research, and global marketing solutions. It's five global publication product lines ---Computerworld/InfoWorld, CIO, Macworld, Network World, and PC World --- account for more than 175 of the total titles the company manages.

IDG group company IDC undertakes activities in global marketing intelligence. With research centers in 50 countries and more than 575 research analysts worldwide, IDC provides a global perspective on IT market and technology trends, serving more than 3,900 clients worldwide.

These two FDI proposals were among 24 proposals from various sectors of the industry cleared by Chidambaram today on the recommendations of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. The total FDI amounts to Rs 1.59 billion.

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