Printer Friendly Announces That Vivian Lewis Highlights The Following Stock: ICICI.

CHICAGO -- Vivian Lewis discusses a potentially significant economic event for India's rupee. Discover how this may impact ICICI (NYSE:IBN). Vivian Lewis is the editor of the Global Investing newsletter. Click here for the full story exclusively on

Highlights from the April 10 Featured Expert column by Vivian Lewis include:

ICICI shining

Reserve Bank of India, its central bank, will get by end-July a comprehensive framework, including timing, for "fuller" rupee capital convertibility. This could be the most significant economic event since liberalization began in 1991. A similar commission was set up in 1997 but abandoned plans for convertibility in 2000, after the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. It opted instead to take small, calibrated steps to ease restrictions on currency movements while preserving exchange controls.

If accompanied by easing of rules limiting foreign bank investments in Indian banks to 5%, the reform could hurt ICICI (NYSE: IBN) by increasing competition. However, a greater volume of capital flows would probably help its bottom line. Fear of the unknown has hurt the share.

The rupee cannot currently be converted freely on the capital account to acquire assets overseas like shares or real estate. Prior approval is required to move capital outside India. The limit for overseas corporate borrowings for 2006-7 was set at $15 billion, up 25% from 2005-6. Full convertibility would give companies more access to foreign debt markets and cut delays in forex trades, enhance foreign private investor access to Indian capital markets, and could allow foreign banks to buy more than 5% of Indian banks, the current ceiling.

The rupee today is only convertible for specific current account purposes like trade related expenses, corporate interest payments on overseas debt, and business travel. Also, firms may invest overseas an amount equal to their net worth. Individuals can invest up to $25,000 per year in overseas securities.

Read Vivian Lewis' complete commentary on the stock above and check out other stocks by clicking:

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 27, 2006
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