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Monday,27-September-2021

Business

Private equity inflow in India realty up 19% in FY21

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Bucking the pandemic private equity (PE) investments into the India real estate sector rose around 19 per cent in FY 2020-21 to over $6.27 billion, according to an Anarock report.

During the previous financial year, PE investments into the realty sector stood at $5.8 billion.

Indian real estate recorded its highest-ever private equity investments since in the last fiscal, since FY16, noted the Anarock Capital’s ‘Flux – FY20-21 Market Monitor for Capital Flows’.

Unlike earlier, FY21 saw private equity investors focus majorly on portfolio deals across multiple cities and assets, rather on specific projects or cities. Such portfolio deals constituted 73 per cent of the overall investments, with around $4.58 billion invested through portfolio deals in multiple cities.

The average ticket size of PE deals rose by 62 per cent from $110 million in FY20 to $178 million in FY21. Both structured debt and equity witnessed strong growth during the year at 84 per cent and 15 per cent respectively, said the report.

Structured debt was largely towards portfolio deals instead of project-level assets, it said.

Though FY21 was an unprecedented year due to the pandemic, foreign PE funds showed much optimism for India. As much as 93 per cent of the total PE investments pumped into Indian real estate were by foreign investors.

Investments by foreign PE funds almost doubled from $3 billion to $5.8 billion in FY21. In contrast, domestic PE funds invested merely $300 million compared to $420 million in FY20.

Shobhit Agarwal, MD & CEO of Anarock Capital said: “Foreign funds are evidently very upbeat about India. High-grade rental-generating assets have attracted foreign investors in a big way during the year.”

Moreover, India has a strong underlying demand for office space with quality workforce and average rentals available at less than a dollar per square feet per month, he said.

“Alongside, the successful REIT listings have provided a good monetising option for PE investors, leading to a stronger demand for good quality rental earning office and retail assets,” Agarwal said.

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Service given by corporate offices to their branches taxable

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In what may pose challenge to companies having wider spread of employees and branches all across the country, an authority for advance ruling (AAR) had said that managerial and leadership services by a corporate office to its group companies and other construction sites registered in different states is considered as supply of service and would be taxable under GST.

This would mean companies having separate GST registration for its head offices and branches would need to pay GST on the services that a head offices gives to its branches and receive payment for it.

The order on the issue came from Maharashtra AAR or MAAR on application filed by Pune-based B.G. Shirke Construction Technology Private Limited.

The company supplied managerial and leadership services to its branch office and group companies, and received fixed monthly charges from each of them. It asked MAAR whether it is liable to pay tax on such service which gave its order on affirmative going by a similar order given Karnataka AAR on a separate application. This application is now pending before the Karnataka High Court.

Though AAR orders are valid only for the applicants, tax officials use it for other matters as well. These timings also form the basis for amendment to rules of taxation

According to the tax experts, the present ruling with respect to head offices and their branch operations would create a lot of confusion over the issue of valuation of services rendered and valuation taxes.

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India needs 4-5 more SBI sized banks: FM

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 India needs a lot more banks and a lot more large sized ones to meet the growing needs of the country needs in the path of making a smart recovery post pandemic disruptions, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Sunday.

Speaking at 74th Annual General Meeting of Indian Banks’ Association at Mumbai, Sitharaman said there was an urgent need to scale up banking to meet the growing needs of the industry and also to ensure that all economic centres of the country are covered with at least one physical or digital banking presence.

“We need to scale up banking. The need is for at least four-five more SBI sized banks,” she said, while reminding that the amalgamation exercise among public sector banks have helped in moving ahead with creation of large banks.

Having done two rounds of bank consolidation earlier, the Central government in 2019 decided to merge six disparate and weak PSBs into four in one stroke.

Accordingly, Punjab National Bank (PNB) took over Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India; Allahabad Bank became part of Indian Bank; Canara Bank subsumed Syndicate Bank; and Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank merged with Union Bank of India. Earlier, State Bank of India (SBI) with five of its associate banks while Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank were merged with Bank of Baroda.

Sitharaman lauded the efforts of the PSBs to see through that the amalgamation of banks during the pandemic period was completed without any inconvenience to customers.

She said that that in the post pandemic world, hanks would need to change their mindset and the way they conduct their businesses.

Digitisation, the Finance Minister said has changed a lot of how businesses are done and banks will now need to think futuristically and keep pace with evolving technology.

Sitharaman also asked the IBA to conduct a digitised mapping of each district of the country with regard to presence of bank branch operation and their location. This, she said, would help to plug areas of gaps with no banking presence effectively.

“Not necessary to have physical banking presence everywhere. The country’s optic fibre network has covered two-third of about 7.5 lakh panchayats. This could be used to deliver banking services in unconnected areas as well,” the Finance Minister said.

She also asked banks to develop models and better understanding of businesses focused on exports as country has set a $2 trillion export target by 2030.

With regard funding for the infra sector, she said that a government sector development financial institution (DFI) is coming up soon.

Sitharaman said that Indian economy is at a critical stage of a reset and banks would form the backbone for it by providing best of the financial services.

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Diesel price rise again, petrol stable amid volatility in global oil markets

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Auto fuel prices in the country have maintained stability amid volatility in global oil prices, but the oil marketing companies on Sunday increased the pump price of diesel marginally while maintaining stability in petrol prices.

Accordingly, diesel prices increased by 25 paise per litre in the national capital to Rs 89.07 per litre on Sunday while petrol price remained unchanged for the 21th consecutive day, according to Indian Oil Corporation, country’s largest fuel retailer.

Diesel price was raised on Friday as well by 20 paise per litre which oil marketing company sources said was based on the global price movement of the fuel.

OMCs have preferred to maintain their watch prices on global oil situation before making any revision in prices.

The wait and watch plan of OMCs has come to the relief of consumers as no revision has come during a period when crude prices were on the rise over a shortfall in the US production and inventories and a pick up in demand. This would have necessitated about Rs 1 increase in price of petrol and diesel.

In Mumbai, the petrol price was stable at Rs 107.26 per litre while diesel rate increased to about Rs 96.68 a litre.

Across the country as well petrol price remained static on Sunday while diesel price increased marginally.

Fuel prices have been hovering at record levels on account of 41 increases in its retail rates since April this year. It fell on a few occasions but largely remained stable.

On Sunday, global benchmark Brent crude rose over $78 a barrel. Oil rates are up 2 per cent for the week and this is the fifth weekly gain. Since September 5, when both petrol and diesel prices were revised, the price of petrol and diesel in the international market is higher by around $6-7 per barrel as compared to average prices during August.

Under the pricing formula adopted by oil companies, rates of petrol and diesel are to be reviewed and revised by them on a daily basis. The new prices become effective from morning at 6 a.m.

The daily review and revision of prices is based on the average price of benchmark fuel in the international market in the preceding 15-days, and foreign exchange rates.

But, the fluctuations in global oil prices have prevented OMCs to follow this formula in totality and revisions are now being made with longer gaps. This has also prevented companies from increasing fuel prices whenever there is a mismatch between globally arrived and pump price of fuel.

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