HM Treasury

Monday 11 Sep 2023

Big steps forward in capital markets cooperation with India

  • Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, today unveiled a series of shared economic and financial commitments with India, following talks with Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Delhi.
  • The Chancellor welcomed India’s confirmation to explore London as a permitted jurisdiction for overseas direct listings of securities.
  • Agreements also include the launch of a partnership to boost cross-market investment by the insurance and pension sectors and an initiative to share expertise in structuring and financing major infrastructure projects.

Indian firms could soon list in London, it has been announced as part of a package of plans unveiled today by the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt alongside Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, as they met in Delhi for face-to-face talks. The news that India will explore potential London listings follows recent changes to Indian regulation to allow domestic companies to access global markets and underlines the UK capital’s strength as a hub for international capital raising.

In addition, a new UK-India Pensions and Insurance Partnership will support the growth of the sector in both countries. The partnership will focus on knowledge sharing, growing bilateral investment and diversifying risk, including through pension fund trade missions to encourage increased bilateral investment.

The launch of a UK-India Infrastructure Financing Bridge was also announced today. Co-led by Indian public policy think tank NITI Aayog and the City of London Corporation, the initiative will focus on sharing expertise in structuring and financing major infrastructure projects.

The announcements are part of a series of commitments unveiled following high-level meetings as part of the 12th UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD).

Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

“I’m very proud of the progress we’ve made through the UK-India EFD this time. It’s a big step forward to hear India confirming that they’ll explore the London Stock Exchange as an international destination for the direct listing of Indian companies.

“I see India as Asia's Silicon Valley and the UK as Europe's Silicon Valley, so there's a lot we can work on together.”

Total trade between the UK and India was worth £36.6 billion in the last financial year, up over 34% year on year, with an £82 million increase in UK-Indian financial services trade over last year. EFDs are a regular way of deepening ties to grow the economies of both countries.

Investment between the UK and India so far already supports over half a million jobs across both economies, and UK businesses sold goods and services worth around £15 billion to India in 2022.

Today’s EFD was the first face to face meeting of its kind between a UK chancellor and Indian counterpart since 2017, with the most recent taking place virtually in 2021. India-UK trade has more than doubled since the first EFD in 2007.

Other major announcements as part of the EFD, include:

  • The signing of the UK guarantee to the World Bank to unlock an additional $1 billion of green financing in India. This will promote clean energy investment and support green growth targets, accelerating India’s climate transition and ability to meet COP26 commitments. It is hoped that it will encourage other international partners to support India and shape the world’s climate transition.
  • Agreement to explore new investment opportunities in areas of shared priority, including leveraging institutional capital to invest in climate adaptation and green businesses in India. This builds on the success of the Green Growth Equity Fund, India’s first dedicated climate change fund backed by British International Investment.

The EFD follows Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s visit to Delhi for the G20 leaders’ summit, where he announced that the UK will provide $2 billion to the Green Climate Fund – the biggest single funding commitment the UK has made to help the world tackle climate change, which will make a significant contribution towards the UK’s pledge to spend £11.6 billion on international climate finance, cementing our global climate leadership.

It also comes after the recently announced ‘Alive with Opportunity’ campaign from the UK government, designed to showcase the deep bond between Britain and India and build on the continuous exchange of people, ideas and culture. The campaign is part of the UK’s ambitions to double trade with India by 2030.

Bill Winters, CBE, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered and UK Chair of the India-UK Financial Partnership (IUKFP), said:

“I was delighted to lead a delegation of UK business leaders to accompany the Chancellor of the Exchequer to New Delhi and participate in the EFD. The IUKFP is a crucial platform for UK-India cooperation on issues of critical importance to our respective financial and related professional services industries.

“This innovative public-private partnership has delivered real benefits for both our nations. We look forward to working with both governments to advance our shared goals, including deepening our bilateral trade and investment relationship, greening our financial systems, enhancing collaboration on financial innovation, and enabling cross-border data flows. India and the UK are natural partners, and there are valuable opportunities for us to learn from our respective successes and benefits to be gained by harnessing our full potential.”

Chris Hayward, policy chairman of the City of London Cooperation, said:

“I am delighted that the City of London Corporation is able to play a part in the Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) through the India-UK Financial Partnership and our co-sponsorship of the UK-India Infrastructure Financing Bridge (UKIIFB) with the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog). This new infrastructure initiative is aimed at leveraging the City of London’s expertise in structuring and phasing major projects to meet India’s infrastructure needs – smoothing the path for long-term sustainable investment into India.

“The EFD marks the strength of the partnership between UK and India and lays an excellent foundation for future ventures between our financial and professional services sectors.”

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