UK-based Vodafone group has applied to the Foreign Investment Permission Board (FIPB) for approval to take full control of its Indian wireless arm Vodafone India, the Economic Times writes, citing industry sources. The move follows the recent relaxation of foreign direct investment (FDI) rules in the telecom sector, which lifted the maximum equity a foreign company could hold in an Indian business to 100% from its previous 74%. After taking majority control of the company in May 2007, Vodafone increased its stake in Vodafone India to 67% in 2009 following changes to FDI regulations that reclassified equity held via companies based overseas but owned by Indians as local equity, before upping its holding in 2011 to the maximum 74%. Vodafone’s current Indian partners include Piramal Healthcare (11%) and Analjit Singh (around 6%).
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