INDIA FOLIO

Vol.3 No.12

Embassy of India ~ Copenhagen  

 December 20, 2002

 

POLICY


FOREX LIMITS HIKED

The Reserve Bank of India , possessing record reserves, has doubled the ceiling on foreign exchange that residents may carry on private visits abroad to US$ 10,000. The Central Bank already allows resident Indians to carry up to US$ 25,000 while going abroad on business. For a higher amount, they must approach the Central Bank for approval. The Central Bank has been steadily relaxing foreign exchange controls, gradually moving towards making the Rupee fully convertible on the Capital Account. The Rupee is already fully convertible on the Current Account though tightly policed.

The Central Bank also allowed Indian banks to invest up to 50% of their equity of US$ 25 Million, whichever is higher, in overseas money markets or debt instruments, thus rising the limits from the former 25% or US$ 15 Million. Earlier in November, Indian residents were allowed to deposit foreign currency obtained abroad – through payments received for services provided, honorariums, gifts, or residual travel money – in domestic current accounts with no ceiling. In September 02, Indian firms were permitted to borrow up to US$ 50 Million from global sources without Government approval and prepay foreign loans ahead of schedule.  

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY


BILL GATES VISITS INDIA

The Chief Executive of Microsoft initiated his tour to India by visiting the Silicon City of Bangalore, where he addressed more than 3,000 Indian software developers at a function co-hosted by NASSCOM (National Association of Software & Service Companies) at the Infosys campus.  Gates declared that India was on its way to becoming a global hub for mission critical software development and was earning a reputation for quality work and timely delivery. Unstinting in his praise of the Indian developer community and educational system, he reaffirmed Microsoft’s commitment to India and announced an investment plan exceeding US$ 400 Million.

Gates later proceeded to another NASSCOM event held at Satyam’s Technology Center in the IT-city of Hyderabad .  During this meet, he urged Indian companies to develop products more on the component side rather than the applications side, adding that Indian vendors needed to focus on the domestic market also and develop products, which create intellectual property. Bill Gates reiterated his promise to Indian software and services players that Microsoft’s presence in India would translate into additional business for the country’s IT-companies.


INFOTECH EYES ACQUISITIONS

Hyderabad-based end-to-end GIS (Geographic Information Systems) application solutions provider Infotech Enterprises Ltd. is set to enter new markets in the Benelux countries (with a base in Amsterdam), in the Asia-Pacific region, and in West Asia. The company has projected total revenues of about US$ 100 Million in about 3 years, which would be based on both substantial, organic growth as well as inorganic growth through acquisitions. The company has already established a major facility in Bangalore .

Infotech has undertaken the strategic initiative of aligning its subsidiaries with the parent company and has managed to turn these around into more focussed and profit-driven outfits. The company is targetting more data conversion work from both North America and Europe and is also keen to expand its engineering services offerings. Its strategic partnerships with majors like Pratt & Whitney have broadened its business spectrum and work engagement.

  

BIO-MEDICAL SECTOR


Glenmark Acquires Glaxo Uni

Mumbai-based drug company Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has acquired the manufacturing facility of GlaxoSmithkline at the town of Ankleshwar in the constituent state of Gujarat for In. Rs. 140 Million (approx. DKK 21 Million) in an all-cash deal. Glenmark, which is all set to enter the overseas markets, said the unit manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) would be the cornerstone of the company’s entry into the regulated markets of the UK and the US .                                                               

The Managing Director and CEO of Glenmark thus declared that his company would make its foray in those regulated markets by June-July 2003 with the filing of its first Drug Master File (DMF) with the United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA). The company has about 4 to 5 DMFs in its pipeline ready for filing with the USFDA and is talking with several international generic companies to partner in its endeavours to enter the speciality API markets in the USA and Europe , targetting  medium-sized products.

 

 
RANBAXY'S 2ND GENERIC DRUG TO HIT US MARKET SOON

Indian pharma major Ranbaxy is all set for its second largest generic drug launch in the US market – the generic version of GSK’s blockbuster antibiotic drug Augmentin – in the first week of January 03. Ranbaxy will be launching two variations of the drug, namely 500 and 875 mg tablets through its US subsidiary.                                 

The company is reported to have set a sales target of around US$ 80 Million during the first full year of the launch. Ranbaxy’s first big time generic drug appearing in the US market, Cefuroxime Axetil, has already fetched close to US$ 90 Million since its launch in March 02.

Ranbaxy is also learnt to be planning the organization of off-line promotion for its Augmentin drug. Although Ranbaxy got the USFDA approval for its generic version of Augmentin already in September 02, the company is reported to have studied all legal aspects before finalizing its launch plan for the generic brand of Augmentin. GlaxoSmithkline Plc, whose patent for Augmentin is expiring on December 24th this year, is still waging a litigation against all generic manufacturers of this drug.

 

ENERGY


GAS PRICES TO BE LIBERALISED

Natural gas prices in India will be completely deregulated a year from now, the prices being linked to 100% import parity prices of fuel oil. The Cabinet is thus expected to grant its approval to the Indian Petroleum Ministry’s proposal for a complete deregulation of natural gas prices from October 2003, removing the existing floor and ceiling prices. Full parity with import prices of fuel oil will be achieved in three phases.


INDIA
PLANS TO BRING GAS THROUGH CENTRAL ASIA

Since 65% of global fuel reserves reside within the earth beds in Central Asia and this according to strategists would help the country’s long-term prospects of building its energy reserves, India intends to trail part of the ‘Silk Route’ to lay a gas pipeline to Russia and other parts of Central Asia across the Himalayas. The pipeline, to be sourced in Russia , will cover a large part of Central Asia , enter China , and end in India either via Ladakh or Jammu & Kashmir.

Parts of the ‘Silk Route’ are being explored by the ONGC’s (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation’s) overseas arm, the OVL in order to make operational aspects of the project simpler by taking advantage of the existing infrastructure on the route. A blueprint offering project details is currently being given finer touches by the OVL team, and once a comprehensive plan is in place, discussions would begin with the Petroleum Ministry and its counterparts of the respective countries.

 

INDIA’S NATURAL GAS MARKET MORE MATURE THAN CHINA’S

According to the International Gas Union’s Secretary General,     Mr. Peter K. Storm, the natural gas market in India may be categorized by insatiable demand, low supplies, and uncertain pricing so far, but it is nevertheless attracting unprecedented attention from the international gas industry. The Indian market is perceived to be more developed, simply because a huge demand exists, and methods to meet it are being devised. Mr. Storm thus feels that the Indian natural gas market is more mature than even the Chinese and that the best option for India would be sourcing gas from Russia, considering the geopolitical problems facing all piped gas projects – even when keeping in mind that till 1999, West Europe accepted no more than 30% of gas from Russia.


RELIANCE GAS FIND 40 TIMES HIGHER THAN ‘
BOMBAY HIGH’

Reliance Industries’ gas discovery in the Krishna-Godavari basin is expected to change the energy supply economics in India , reserves there estimated to be 40 times bigger than those of the Bombay High Field and double the total gas production of the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation. Reliance’s gas reserves in its exploratory block KGDN-6, off Visakhapatnam , are to the tune of 40-50 MCM per day and are expected to increase considerably over a 10-year period, feeding the gas-starved country for almost a century.

Still, the company will need to invest more than In. Rs. 70 Billion (approx. DKK 10.5 Billion) in extracting gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin. Reliance is understood to have received enquiries from several international oil majors already, but is, however, planning to go it alone. Such a scenario puts a question mark to the slew of LNG terminals planned in India . Although most of these are on the drawing board, several global firms including Shell, British Gas, and the local Petronet LNG have bought land and carried out detailed feasibility studies to import LNG.

ASHOK LEYLAND UNITS TO RELY ON WIND ENERGY


Ashok Leyland Ltd. proposes to make its Indian units at Ennore, Hosur, and Bhandara 100% wind energy-reliant. A senior official of Ashok Leyland states that the company proposes to lease wind mills owned by other firms, and that it has an understanding with its associate company Ashok Leyland Finance Ltd. for this (ALF already owns 59 wind mills and is planning to install another 5 in a few months).

 

KARNATAKA TO GET 30 MW  WIND POWER IN 6 MONTHS


 
The power-starved constituent state of Karnataka, in the bottom of
India ’s list of wind energy utilization, increased its wind power share by a small extent when a 10.2 MW wind energy project of the Shriram Group of Companies was commissioned in month of October 02. However, another 30 MW will be added to the grid within six months by 6-7 other private companies, that are now gearing up to erect their wind mills in the same district. This wind energy will be sold to Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd.

 

FORTHCOMING EVENTS


INDIA INTERNATIONAL SEAFOOD SHOW

(Biennial)

 

February 7th – 9th 2003

 Venue: Goa

Organizers:

Seafood Exporters’ Association of India &

Marine Products Export Development Authority, Cochin

E-Mail: dani@mpeda.nic.in
Web: www.mpeda.com

 

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AAHAR INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION
FOOD, FOOD PROCESSING EQUIPMENT,
HOTEL & RESTAURANT EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES

  Asia ’s Leading Event on Food Technology

  March 9th – 13th 2003

Venue: Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

Halls No. 14 & 18

 Organizers:
INDIA TRADE PROMOTION ORGANIZATION (ITPO)

Further Details & Information Obtainable from:

ITPO Frankfurt Office

26, Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage, D-60325 Frankfurt am Main

Phone: (00 49) 69 15 30 05 33, Fax: (00 49) 69 55 42 30

E-Mail: info@itpofrankfurt.com

 

Published by Economic & Commercial Section, Embassy of India, 15, Vangehusvej, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Tel: 39290854, Fax: 00 45 39270218 E-Mail: india@email.dk    
Website: https://www.indian-embassy.dk/

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