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What are the instruments for receiving Foreign Direct Investment in an Indian company?

Foreign investment is reckoned as FDI only if the investment is made in equity shares, fully and mandatorily convertible preference shares and fully and mandatorily convertible debentures with the pricing being decided upfront as a figure or based on the formula that is decided upfront. Partly paid equity shares and warrants issued by an Indian company in accordance with the provision of the Companies Act, 2013 and the SEBI guidelines, as applicable, shall be treated as eligible FDI instruments w.e.f. July 8, 2014 subject to compliance with FDI scheme.

Any foreign investment into an instrument issued by an Indian company which:

  • gives an option to the investor to convert or not to convert it into equity or
  • does not involve upfront pricing of the instrument as a date would be reckoned as ECB and would have to comply with the ECB guidelines.

The FDI policy provides that the price/ conversion formula of convertible capital instruments should be determined upfront at the time of issue of the instruments. The price at the time of conversion should not in any case be lower than the fair value worked out, at the time of issuance of such instruments, in accordance with the extant FEMA regulations [valuation as per any internationally accepted pricing methodology on armÔÇÖs length basis for the unlisted companies and valuation in terms of SEBI (ICDR) Regulations, for the listed companies] without any assured return.

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