FM plans foreign roadshows to spur capital inflows

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:25pm IST

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram speaks during an interview with Reuters at a hotel during his visit for the G20 meeting in Mexico City November 4, 2012. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/Files

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram speaks during an interview with Reuters at a hotel during his visit for the G20 meeting in Mexico City November 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Edgard Garrido/Files

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MUMBAI/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Finance Minister P. Chidambaram plans to meet investors in Asia and Europe this month in a drive to try and boost capital flows into Asia's third-largest economy, four sources with direct knowledge of the plan said.

He is expected to start his foreign tour in Hong Kong on January 22 and visit Singapore the following day, and will be seeking to reassure investors given concerns about the health of the Indian economy and fate of proposed reforms, the sources said.

They did not wish to be named as the details are not yet public.

Chidambaram, who will be accompanied by economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram, also plans to visit Frankfurt and London after the Asia roadshows, the sources said.

India's economy is set to post its lowest growth in a decade in the fiscal year ending in March and its investment grade credit rating is at risk if the government fails to mend its finances and rein in a bloated fiscal deficit.

The current account deficit widened to 5.4 percent of gross domestic product in the September quarter, although Chidambaram said this month that foreign investment flows should be able to finance the deficit without drawing on currency reserves.

Banks including Citigroup (C.N), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) are organising the roadshows, the sources said. The Mumbai-based spokesmen for the banks declined to comment.

Chidambaram may visit the United States to meet institutional investors after presenting the federal budget next month, two of the sources said.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee in MUMBAI and Rajesh Kumar Singh in NEW DELHI; Additional reporting by Neha Dasgupta; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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