China Central Bank Buying Stake in Indian Cos.
In mid-April, stock exchange disclosures revealed that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) had a holding of over 1% in Indian mortgage finance major HDFC. But the Chinese central bank also holds stakes in several other listed companies.
However, these are all below the radar since they are less than the 1% threshold limit for open disclosures by companies. Among others, PBoC holds a 0.32% stake in cement sector major Ambuja Cement, and 0.43% in Piramal Enterprises, which has a major presence in the pharma sector.
PBoC’s holding in HDFC is currently worth about Rs 3,100 crore, while in Piramal Enterprises around Rs 137 crore, and in Ambuja Cement about Rs 122 crore. Exactly two years ago, the Chinese central bank had received RBI permission to set shop here.
A recent Brookings Institute report said that the growth of Chinese investments into India since 2014 has changed the nature of what has been a largely transactional trade relationship. Chinese companies are emerging as prominent players and investors, in areas ranging from infrastructure and energy to newer sectors of interest such as technology startups and real estate.