Investments from overseas entities in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI), foreign institutional investment and capital inflows are fuelling India's foreign trade and external sector. India's efforts in the avenue are paying-off well as the country is increasingly being designated as an important nation, particularly during the times when the rest of the countries are suffering from the ripple effects of financial meltdown.
India's performance with respect to foreign trade and external business is discussed below.
According to the weekly statistical supplement of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India's foreign exchange reserves (forex) stood at US$ 293.54 billion for the week ended January 6, 2012. Foreign currency assets aggregated to US$ 259.80 billion and the value of gold reserves stood at US$ 26.62 billion for the week. The value of special drawing rights (SDRs) was calculated at US$ 4.41 billion, and India's reserves with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) came out to be US$ 2.69 billion.
FDI inflow rose by 36 per cent to US$ 23.69 billion during January-October 2011, while the cumulative amount of FDI equity inflows from April 2000 to October 2011 stood at US$ 226.05 billion, according to the latest data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
The services (including financial and non-financial) sector attracted highest FDI equity inflows during April-October 2011-12 at US$ 3.43 billion. India received maximum FDI from countries like Mauritius, Singapore, and the US at US$ 61.2 billion, US$ 15.2 billion and US$ 10 billion, respectively, during April 2000-October 2011.
Global consultancy firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) has stated that the value of mergers and acquisition (M&A) deals involving Indian companies aggregated to US$ 34.4 billion in 2011 involving 806 transactions. There were 177 outbound deals with an aggregate disclosed value of US$ 8.8 billion in 2011; forming 25.6 per cent of the total M&A pie.
Adani Enterprises' acquisition of Abbot Point Coal Terminal in Australia (US$ 2 billion) and the GVK Group's purchase of Australia-based Hancock Coal's Queensland coal assets (US$ 1.3 billion) were among the biggest outbound deals recorded in 2011.
According to data released by auditing and consultancy firm KPMG, India Inc witnessed a 31 per cent increment in PE investment to US$ 7.89 billion during the first three quarters of 2011. PE firms like Blackstone India and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR & Co) are betting high on Indian markets. The Blackstone India chief was reported to have said that he intends to close 5-6 deals a year in India whose financial valuations would revolve around roughly US$ 100 million to US$ 120 million each.