Singapore Air, SingTel get FIPB nod for investments

NEW DELHI Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:40pm IST

1 of 3. A Singapore Airlines (SIA) Boeing 777-300ER passenger jet takes off in the rain at Changi Airport in Singapore April 21, 2012.

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI) has won the Foreign Investment Promotion Board's approval to set up a full-service airline in the country in a joint venture with the Tata conglomerate, a senior finance ministry official said.

Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram, who was speaking to reporters after a meeting of the FIPB on Thursday, did not give further details.

Singapore Airlines will make an initial investment of $49 million for a 49 percent stake in the joint-venture company, while the Tata Group will initially invest $51 million for the remaining stake, the companies have said.

The JV airline needs a slew of other regulatory approvals before it can start operations.

Mayaram also said the FIPB approved a foreign direct investment proposal by a unit of SingTel (STEL.SI), but did not elaborate.

The SingTel unit wants to increase its stake to 100 percent in a long-distance phone business in India by buying out stakes held by its local minority partners, after the government removed a 74 percent foreign holding cap in telecom companies.

(Reporting by Nigam Prusty; Writing by Devidutta Tripathy; editing by Malini Menon)

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