Friday, January 15, 2010

'At the end of 2009, we began to see the emergence of the Indian corporate PE firm'

Strong deal pipeline in 2010

The PE (private equity) industry in India is quite nascent, and started as a VC (venture capital) industry in 1998 due to the dotcom boom and the attractiveness of the IT (information technology) sector riding on the back of the perceived Y2K problem, reminisces Vikram Utamsingh, Head of Markets and Private Equity Advisory, KPMG.

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At the end of 2009, where were we as regards oil and gas policy and performance?

Agenda for oil and gas

The current draft DTC (Direct Taxes Code) is completely silent on the provision of tax holiday for the upstream sector, rues Akhil Sambhar, Associate Director, Oil & Gas Practice, Ernst & Young. “The draft GST (Goods and Services Tax) policy also does not seek to cover the petroleum sector which could adversely impact the sector in the absence of its ability to avail tax credits on goods/services produced which have suffered GST,” he notes, during a recent email interaction with Business Line.

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'The behaviour of interest rates is a central issue in the current economic outlook'

Investment banking challenges

Don't be surprised if the regulators opt for over-regulation, especially in regulatory reporting, to protect the investment banking industry from the lessons learnt during the recession, cautions Mahesh V. Sairam, a former fixed income fund manager, and currently a Senior Consultant with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Chennai.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Policymakers seemed to have over-achieved the competition-related objectives

'Action-packed year ahead for telecom'

To Romal Shetty, Head of Telecom Practice, KPMG, year 2010 promises a lot of action. “With impending auctions of 3G licences and expected mid-year implementation of MNP (mobile number portability), we can see an ‘action-packed' year for operators,” he begins, when sounded out for year-end reactions.

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Positive steps were taken by the policymakers in terms of all the three thrust areas

Three themes for ports

Ask Rajesh Samson, Partner-IRG (Infrastructure, Real Estate & Government), Ernst & Young, about ports, and he readily responds with three themes. “Enhance physical capacity, streamline private participation in ports, and address regulatory and clearance issues,” says Samson, during a brief year-end email interaction with Business Line.

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Organisations need to consider the likely life of option and not the total life of the option

ESOP valuation for financial reporting

Providing for ESOPs as expense has a significant impact on the determination of distributable profits for dividend declaration, calculation of EPS (earnings per share), determination of profits for senior management remuneration, and payment of MAT (minimum alternate tax), observes Mihir Gada, Associate Director, Transaction Advisory Services, Ernst & Young.

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India has traditionally been a low-cost producer

‘Auto sector headed in the right direction'

The Indian automotive industry has established its importance at the global level, and now it needs to take the next leap forward, says Mr Rakesh Batra, Partner and National Director, Auto Practice, Ernst & Young P Ltd, during a year-end email interaction with Business Line.

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The biggest challenge that the telecom sector faces is regulatory uncertainty

‘Telecom sector needs a regulatory roadmap'

The biggest challenge that the telecom sector faces is regulatory uncertainty, feels Mr Prashant Singhal, Partner and Telecom Industry Leader, Ernst & Young. “A clear regulatory roadmap will ensure that the sector is not continuously bogged down in controversy,” he suggests, during the course of a recent email interaction with Business Line.

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India is a large country with diverse and often conflicting interests and expectations ...

Tax priorities for 2010

Tax rarely evokes philosophical musings. Yet, Vikas Vasal, Executive Director, KPMG, disentangles himself from the mesh of Section numbers and Circular references that fiscal legislation is known too well for, and rewinds right back to the evolution of tax policy. “The known economic history of India began with the Indus Valley civilisation, wherein the economy appears to have depended significantly on trade and commerce, which in turn led to the evolution of the process of tax policy and administration,” he begins, during the course of a recent year-end email interaction with Business Line.

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'Do you see the Indian buyers increasingly savvy in the global M&A space?'

Key themes for M&A in 2010

Will 2010 see M&A (mergers and acquisitions) activity of the 2007-08 level? “With the economy on the right track to recovery, one may be tempted to say ‘yes,' but we are still in recovery mode, so the pace of recovery in the first half of 2010 would really determine the answer to that question,” observes Sanjeev Krishan, Executive Director-Partner, Transactions Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers P Ltd, Gurgaon ( www.pwc.com/in).

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'At the close of 2009, where are we?'

Gearing up for next M&A rally

With the year coming to an end, Business Lineconnected with Anand Vermani, Director, Corporate Finance, KPMG, to get his views about the areas he focuses on, viz. M&A (mergers and acquisitions), financing advisory, and valuations.
Excerpts from the email interview:
At the start of the century, or even mid-decade, what were the policy expectations to be fulfilled by the end of the first decade?

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Ensuring availability of equity and debt funds for the development of the huge pipeline remains the most critical of these.

‘Positive measures taken to improve bidding process'

If you found the going slow on the roads front in 2009, and wondered why, Mr Rajesh Samson, Partner-IRG (Infrastructure, Real Estate & Government), Ernst & Young, offers a few reasons.
The year 2009 began in the backdrop of the global economic slowdown, he reminisces, during the course of a recent e-mail interaction with Business Line. “Capital markets were trading at all-time lows, and avenues to raise equity were severely constrained. Further, with elections slated for May, developers were also waiting for clarity on the political front,” Mr Samson narrates.

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If a search engine provides a backlink for a resource, one may assume that the resource is in the surface Web.

'Deep Web' dive and 'social media' search

With an overcast sky, the prospect of an outdoor interview looks bleak. And to add to my qualms, daylight filtering in through the trees in the Nageswara Rao park, at 7.30 a.m., is apparently not enough for the camera to fire up a few stills without the flash. As if in bold contrast, though, my guest, Ravi N. Raj, VP-Products & GM, Kosmix Sites, US (www.kosmix.com), is all fired up, about search and content, about consumers and their interests.

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Many existing Indian accounting standards will be modified to ensure conformity with the equivalent IFRS

IFRS convergence issues

Studying the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) scene, Jamil Khatri, Head of Accounting Advisory Services, KPMG, feels that the most expected policy development in the coming year will be the issuance of new converged Indian accounting standards by the ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India).

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Companies are looking at a complete BI solution and not just a BI tool set

`BI, next wave in the BFSI sector'

Both BI and DWH on the Open Source software are set to grow, says N.K. Subramaniyam, Executive Director, Operations and Technology, Saksoft Ltd, Chennai (www.saksoft.com). SME customers are especially wary of the costs and the deployment time involved in a BI and DWH implementation using commercial software, he adds, during a recent interaction with eWorld. Business Line.

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We began the decade with good goals ...

Agenda for infrastructure in 2010

The beginning of the end of the first decade of this millennium is round the corner, and it is time we took a step back and checked if we managed to do what we intended to in the area of ‘infrastructure development,' begins Amrit Pandurangi, Leader-Transportation and Infrastructure Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers, during the course of a recent year-end email interaction with Business Line.

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In many ways, GST will change the manner in which business is done in India

Tax reforms, 2010 and beyond

Beginning of the 2000s carried huge expectations around indirect tax reforms in India, reminisces Pratik Jain, Executive Director, Indirect Tax & Regulatory Services, KPMG India, Gurgaon. “It was expected that the reform process, which began in early 1990s, would get a definite direction and translate into tangible changes.”

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