Recent border issues created anti-China sentiments in the Indian market and Government of India closing watching all the investments from China. However, the data shows that these issues didn’t affect the activities of the People’s Bank of China in India. Recently they bought a stake in ICICI followed by HDFC’s stake purchase in March.
People’s Bank of China recently acquired a 0.006 percent stake in private lender ICICI Bank by investing 15 crores through Qualified Institutional Investment. Few months before they acquired 1 percent of the stake in HDFC as well. At the end of March POBC held shares worth Rs.4418 crore in HDFC, Asian Paints, and Ambuja Cements. The investment is less than 1 percent only but its all are part of China’s strategy.
The government of India amended the FDI norms recently and they are closing watching the investments from China. The recent amendment says the investment from border sharing countries needs special permission from the government of India. This is basically to prevent china’s opportunistic takeovers. The Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps including Tik-Tok and We-Chat followed by the Galwan Border clash. Indian Railway also canceled a project worth Rs.470 crore with a Chinese firm. Now India is focusing on the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative and these restrictions are a part of this initiative taken by the Government of India.
Holding assets in another country by the central bank of a country is normal. It is nothing out of ordinary. Bloomberg’s report says that global central banks hold 1 trillion dollars of equity assets globally. According to data, in June 2020 Central banks had Rs 67,090 crore worth of assets under management (AUM) in Indian equities.
Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the powerful trader’s body opposed the investment decision of PBOC and said that sudden Chinese interest in India’s banking sector raises an alarm for the entire sector, and the Reserve Bank of India is the custodian of India’s banking must now be on high alert to closely monitor this sinister strategy. They also requested finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman to look into the issue as well.