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Tesco gets green light in India

India’s Foreign Investment and Promotion Board (FIPB) has approved English retailer Tesco to initially invest $110 million in the country.

Tesco is taking 50 per cent stake in Tata Group’s Trent, operator of Star Bazaar supermarkets. It plans to expand the existing Star Bazaar network by opening up to five supermarkets a year.

The retailer will be the first foreign multi-brand retailer to open in India, which struggles to attract foreign investments due to complex government legislation.

The FIPB also cleared the proposal of British telecom company Vodafone to fully own its business in India. Vodafone will spend US$1.6 billion to buy the 35.6 per cent stake of its partner.

“The board gave permission to Tesco and to Vodafone. Now the applications must go to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs,” said a senior foreign investment panel official.

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