Xander eyes $48M investment in Nitesh Estates' project: Xander Group, a global investment firm focused on infrastructure, hospitality, retail and real estate markets, is understood to be closing in on a transaction to invest Rs 300 crore ($48 million) into a project being developed by Bangalore-based publicly held realtor Nitesh Estates. As part of its expansion plans in the commercial real estate space, Nitesh Estates is building a project focussed on the retail segment across a prime 8-acre land in Koramangala, a retail and commercial hub in Bangalore. It is understood that Xander is in the final stages of finalising an $110 million investment in Shriram Projects' SEZ project in Chennai. (Business Standard)

State Bank of India to raise up to $1.5B via share sale: State Bank of India, the country's largest lender, will raise up to Rs 9, 576 crore ($1.53 billion) through a share sale to institutional investors or a follow-on public offer. The company also plans to raise another Rs 2,000 crore ($317.45 million) through sale of shares to the government on a preferential basis. 

Chairwoman Arundhati Bhattacharya said earlier that the bank plans to raise the funds, including Rs 50 billion through bonds, before March 31. (>)

Essar Telecom is in talks with investors to fund Kenya operations: Essar Telecom Kenya, which operates under the Yu Mobile brand in the African country is in talks with investors to fund its plans of expanding 3G presence. The company, in which Essar Group promoters own about 72 per cent stake, is planning to firm up investments by the beginning of 2014. YuMobile is committed to expand its network across the country and enhance existing network capacity to meet growing subscriber demand. (Economic Times

$175B Canadian pension fund Caisse De Depot eyeing infra assets in India: Quebec-based Caisse De Depot, one of the world's largest pension fund managers with over $175 billion in assets, has put India on its priority list for infrastructure investments. Last Friday, Caisse De Depot et Placement du Quebec announced a nearly billion-dollar investment in the Brisbane port, with an eye on capturing the growth in Asia-Pacific markets like India who increasingly rely on Australia for critical energy and mineral resources. The fund has investments in 53 countries across asset classes. Its $6.5 billion infrastructure portfolio includes a stake in London's Heathrow airport, public-private partnerships in Australian hospitals, natural gas pipelines in Belgium and US and wind energy assets of 2,000 mw in North America. (Economic Times)

Samurai Incubate plans to invest in Indian startups: Japan's Samurai Incubate is looking to collaborate with Indian incubators as well as invest in local startups. Last week, online funding platform Let' and Bangalore-based Kyron Accelerator played host to the Japanese team that was here on a scouting mission. The company is looking for business partners and searching for technology companies. In November, Japanese engineering and electronics maker Hitachi acquired Chennaibased Prizm Payment Services, a provider of financial services to banks and financial institutions in the country. In April Kadokawa Shoten, best known as a maker of manga-a Japanese style of comics-signed a strategic partnership with Bangalore-based education technology firm PrazAs, marking the Japanese publishing major's foray into the Indian market. (Economic Times)

US’s Children’s Place may partner Arvind: Children's Place, the largest children's apparel retailer in the US, may partner Arvind for an India entry next year. The $2-billion retail chain's discussions with Sanjay Lalbhai-spearheaded Arvind are fairly advanced as the brand looks to expand outside its core North American markets. Both companies would soon decide weather the partnership will involve an equity joint venture or a licensing and distribution deal, sources said. It is close to announcing a joint venture with Japanese retail major Uniqlo early next year and has held exploratory talks with US mega apparel retailer Gap. (Times of India)

Ayurvedic brands seek partners for global facelift: Indigenous skincare brands in the herbal and ayurvedic segment are getting ready to enter global markets with the backing of international partners. While Delhi-based Forest Essentials is taking the help of US-based cosmetics major Estee Lauder, Mumbai-based Nyassa hopes to rope in a global private equity partner to go overseas. In 2008, Estee Lauder picked up a 20 per cent in the Indian skincare company and is likely to increase its stake even further. Estee Lauder would provide the infrastructure, knowledge, training and understanding of regulatory issues. (Business Line)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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