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Representational image of US dollars.IANS

Indian companies stepped up their investments overseas last month, reveals RBI data released on Tuesday, April 18. Foreign direct investment (FDI) by Indian firms in their overseas businesses rose to $2,987 million in March 2017 from $867 million in February and $1,424 million in March 2016. 

Some of the investors included Fortis, Bharti Airtel, Edelweiss Financial Services, HCL Technologies, Cadila Healthcare, GAIL (India), GMR Energy, Granules, Hero Motocorp, Ashok Leyland, Apeejay Tea, Indian Oil Corporation, JSW Steel and Lupin. 

In contrast, India Inc. had raised $456 million through the automatic route and $553 million during the approval route in February 2017.

Prominent borrowers included Renault which raised $22.36 million for a new project, Torrent Pharma ($45 million) for re-financing debt, Healthcare Global Enterprises (1.3 million for import of capital goods), HPCL-Mittal Energy ($43.75 million for refinancing an earlier borrowing) and JSW Steel ($90 million) for an overseas acquisition. 

India's credit growth for 2016-17 fell to a six-decade low of 5.08 percent in the backdrop of weak demand while bank deposits rose 11.75 percent, mainly due to demonetisation-induced inflow of money.

An analysis by Kotak Institutional Equities said that currency in circulation as on April 7 stood at Rs 13.6 lakh crore, translating into 9.1 percent of the country's nominal gross domestic product as against 12.4 percent, prior to demonetisation. 

On Tuesday, the Indian rupee closed at 64.52 to the US Dollar. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Indian equities worth Rs 931 crore, according to provisional data released by the NSE.