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India expects chipmakers to start local manufacturing in two to three years

India expects at least a dozen semiconductor manufacturers to start setting up local factories in the next 2-3 years after the South Asian nation offered incentives for the sector, the country’s information and technology minister said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is working on developing an entire ecosystem for the chip manufacturing industry and will start taking applications under the incentive schemes from Jan.1, 2022, Ashwini Vaishnaw, who also holds the railways and telecom portfolio, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin and Rishaad Salamat.

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“The response has been very good. All the big players are in talks with Indian partners and many want to come directly to set up their units here. Almost all big ones are talking to us,” Vaishnaw said.

Last week, the Modi government approved sops worth 760 billion rupees ($10 billion) spread over six years to boost local chip production, a move which is likely to help the South Asian nation reduce its reliance on expensive imports of the material used in everything from mobile phones to electric vehicles amid a global shortage.

Currently, India relies on overseas manufacturers for almost all of its semiconductor requirement.

The government has already notified the plan and expects compound semiconductor units and design and packaging companies to get approval within the next three to four months, Vaishnaw said.

“In next 2-3 years’ time frame, we see at least 10-12 semiconductors going into production, we see display fab going into production or may be finalizing completion,” the minister, who has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and attended the Indian Institute of Technology, said.

“At least 50-60 designing companies would have started designing the products in the next 2-3 years.”
On the proposed 5G auctions, Vaishnaw said the telecoms regulator is holding consultations with industry and is likely to submit its recommendations by March next year and the spectrum pricing is expected to be “reasonable.”

The government aims to start 5G services by Oct.-Dec. 2022.

After offering a rescue package for embattled mobile phone operators earlier in Sept., the government is also looking at a complete overhaul of the sector, exploring ways to allow companies to merge, expand and operate without multiple bureaucratic approvals, Bloomberg News had earlier reported.

Read more: India’s ‘energy transition’ minister talks net zero goals, green energy investments

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Abu Dhabi’s Borouge petrochem firm secures anchor investors including India’s Adani

Abu Dhabi-headquartered petrochemicals firm Borouge said on Monday it secured seven cornerstone investors, including India’s wealthy Adani family for its $2 billion initial public offering (IPO).
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Borealis’ joint venture set the offer price for its IPO at 2.45 dirhams ($0.67) a share, which implies an equity value of $20 billion, it said in a statement.

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Borouge said it secured a total commitment of about $570 million from Abu Dhabi state holding firm ADQ, the Abu Dhabi Pension Fund, the Emirates Investment Authority, India’s Adani family and entities controlled by International Holding Company, Multiply Group, and Alpha Dhabi.
Books for the initial public offering were covered in about an hour after opening, a bookrunner on the deal said. ADNOC declined to comment.
The company, whose products are used in items such as cars and food packaging, said last week that its offering will consist of approximately 3 billion existing shares, representing 10 percent of the company’s issued share capital.
Gulf oil producers are following in the footsteps of Abu Dhabi with plans to raise tens of billions of dollars through sales of stakes in energy assets, capitalizing on a rebound in crude prices to attract foreign investors.

Read more: ADNOC and Borealis to float 10 pct stake of joint venture polymer giant Borouge

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Biden says he’ll review Trump’s China tariffs, fueling yuan rally

China’s offshore yuan extended its advance after US President Joe Biden said he’ll discuss tariffs on Chinese imports with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen upon return from his Asia trip.

The currency jumped as much as 0.7 percent to 6.6549 per dollar, the strongest level since May 5. It had risen 1.5 percent last week, the most since 2020, in response to easing lockdowns in Shanghai. Sentiment was also boosted by the reduction of a key interest rate for long-term loans on Friday by Chinese banks.

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“A reduction of US-China tariff is taken to be positive for US-China relations and that translates to yuan gains,” said Fiona Lim, a senior currency analyst at Malayan Banking Bhd. “However, we are wary that mentions of tariff reduction have surfaced time and again,” she said.

Biden has maintained most of the tariffs imposed by his predecessor, Donald Trump, including duties on more than $300 billion in Chinese imports.

But the president has come under pressure from some economists and lawmakers and the US Chamber of Commerce to reduce or eliminate the tariffs with inflation running at the hottest pace in four decades.

US economists say lifting the tariffs would help to ease inflation, but aides within the administration don’t to want to suspend tariffs and risk appearing soft on China ahead of the November midterms.

Other Asian currencies along with the Australian dollar received a boost from Biden’s comments. The Aussie rose as much as 1.2 percent to 0.7126 per greenback at 3:01 pm in Hong Kong.

Any easing of tensions between US and China can set a more benign environment for constructive Aussie-Sino relations as well, Maybank’s Lim added.

Read more: Biden says willing to use force to defend Taiwan

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Iran and Oman agree on panel to jointly develop shared oilfield: Fars news

Iran and Oman have agreed to form a committee to jointly develop the Hengam oilfield, which straddles both countries’ sea border, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported its oil minister Javad Owji as saying on Monday.
In 2005, both countries signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop the Hengam oil field but the agreement did not materialize and Iran decided to develop the field independently in 2012.

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“As the first basis of my talks with Omani Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhi, it was agreed to form a joint technical committee to develop the next phases of the Hengam oil field in a seamless manner between Iran and Oman,” Owji said.
“Joint exploitation, in contrast to competitive exploitation, will be mutually beneficial to both countries as this method leads to less damage to the reservoir and allows for more extraction,” the oil minister added.
Last week, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported that Owji had agreed to revive a long-stalled project to lay an undersea pipeline to carry gas to Oman.

Read more: Iran to revive gas pipeline project to Oman: IRNA

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