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Six global retailers apply for 51 pct control of India ops

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Mon, Aug 13, 2012 09:40 hrs
People shop for clothes during a seasonal sale at a store inside a shopping mall in Mumbai

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India has received six proposals from global single-brand retailers seeking permission to own 51 percent of their operations in the country, the commerce ministry said on Monday.

Retailers who have applied to the government include apparel maker Tommy Hillfiger, clothing retailer Brooks Brother Group, Italian jewellery brand Damiani International, French fashion brand Promod SAS, Fapa Company Ltd and NA Pali Europe SARL, which is a unit of sportwear retailer Quiksilver Inc .

Many of these retailers are already present in India via licensing and joint-venture partnerships with Indian retailers.

The government has not taken a decision on these proposals, the ministry said in a statement.

Recently an application by Zara owner Inditex S.A. to sell a more upscale brand through a joint venture with Tata Group's retail arm, Trent Ltd , was rejected by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

In January, India allowed foreign single-brand retailers to set up wholly owned operations in India, but a requirement that companies source 30 percent from small local firms has discouraged retailers from applying for full ownership.

Only Ikea and Pavers, a British shoe chain, have applied so far hoping to bank in on rising middle-class incomes and an expanding appetite for global brands and lifestyles.

The statement said no decision has been taken on modifying the sourcing norms, a widely expected move from the government as it struggles to attract overseas investors in the sector.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)



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