Indian corporate entities have expanded business operations and now operate globally. This, in turn, has led to increased requirement for services and finance related products in markets located in other countries.
In this aspect, the Ahmedabad – Gandhinagar urban conglomeration in Gujarat fits the requirements of the perfect location for a ‘one stop shop’ solution for financial aspects needed for development of the nation’s BFSI sector, especially given that operation of Indian BFSIs have reached global levels. India’s first and only International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) is located at this urban conglomeration, the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) City.
The IFSC is an SEZ which has plans for both, residential as well as commercial real estate, and is touted to emerge as a commercial location of choice for the BFSI sector. In the first phase, over 14 million square feet of a built up area has been allowed in the IFSC’s SEZ and Non-SEZ area for development of office towers, residential apartments and social facilities. The second phase envisages a built-up area of 1.32 million square feet.
‘Signature’ by the Hiranandani Group has been conceived as a unique commercial real estate offering in the IFSC,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, MD, Hiranandani Communities. With work proceeding speedily, ‘Signature’ seems all set to offer work spaces to the BFSI sector well in time for the formal inauguration of the IFSC during the next Vibrant Gujarat Summit which is expected to be held in end-2016.
India’s first IFSC is seen as a major game changer for the financial services sector in India. Major tax incentives announced in the last Union Budget have made the IFSC a globally competitive player and more BFSI players are taking a positive stance when it comes to the new global financial hub.
The tax incentives include lower minimum alternate tax (MAT) and waiver of dividend distribution tax (DDT), securities transaction tax (STT), exemption from commodities transaction tax (STT) to units establishing their units in the IFSC. “These incentives have come at an opportune time, enquiries from tentative buyers of work spaces in‘Signature’ have increased in weeks following the Budget Speech by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley,” added Niranjan Hiranandani.
The after-effect of the positives in the Budget have been enhanced enquiries, and Hiranandani Communities is in an advanced stage of talks with leading financial institutions from India’s BFSI sector, to facilitate their picking up space in the future-ready commercial complex, ‘Signature’ – which relishes the ‘first mover’ advantage at the IFSC. “Given India”s continued economic growth, the financial sector will grow increasingly larger,” said Niranjan Hiranandani.
Four banks have started operations in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). These are: Yes Bank, Federal Bank, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. “We have welcomed Kotak Mahindra Bank and other illustrious financial institutions, who have picked up space in ‘Signature’,” said Niranjan Hiranandani. “I am glad to announce that this future-ready Commercial Complex is on track for timely possession in end-2016. Financial Institutions will find it advantageous to have their presence within the IFSC, as it will help them service foreign currency needs of their corporate clients,” said Niranjan Hiranandani.
With over $250 million worth of business transactions done at IFSC in the past six months, the IFSC is attracting interest from the BFSI sector in India, especially from banks, insurance companies and other financial services players who want to tap the global markets. The IFSC is now targeting a share of the NIFTY derivative trades which are executed through the Singapore Stock Exchange.
Following the banks, the IFSC is looking forward to insurance companies starting operations shortly.
Besides the four banks which have operational IBUs at the IFSC, State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Corporation Bank, IDBI Bank and IndusInd Bank are scheduled to begin operating in the next few months. Apart from these banks, Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, Gujarat State Co-operative Bank and Janalakshmi Bank have begun normal banking operations outside the SEZ. “India’s first IFSC is proving to be a major game changer for the financial services sector in India, and within the same, ‘Signature’ offers India’s BFSI sector the ‘first-mover’ advantage,” concluded Niranjan Hiranandani.