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File PhotoBlackstone Inc. aims to add an additional $25 billion of Indian private equity assets over the next five years, reflecting the South Asian country’s increasing allure to global investors.The New York-based firm also intends to bring on 20 more investment professionals to its asset management business in India and double its office space in Nariman Point in downtown Mumbai, according to its head of private equity in Asia, Amit Dixit.“India’s predictable regulatory and policy environment, steady economic growth and buoyant capital market offers the right opportunity to speed up creating such a large portfolio,” Dixit said in an interview last week from Blackstone’s office in Express Towers.Global firms, pensions and sovereign wealth funds are deploying billions of dollars in the world’s most populous nation. While there are many hurdles to overcome in a country with so many people in poverty, the opportunity for growth is plain to see. Blackstone already has about $50 billion of private equity and real estate assets in India, and the country generates the highest PE returns for the firm, its president said at an event last year.Dixit said Blackstone will be building a portfolio based on three themes: digital infrastructure such as data centers, energy transition including renewables, and key areas of transport like airports, roads and ports. Blackstone also will look to invest in export sectors and in electronic manufacturing, which is a newer area for Indian industry.The firm has already invested in information-technology services, electric-vehicle components, financial services, hospital chains and other areas before making exits.“It’s in our DNA to be a builder of businesses, not just a buyer,” Dixit said. “In the context of India, it is all about growth.”The country’s buoyant stock market provides opportunities for funds to exit, though it is hard to say how the depreciating rupee will have an impact, Dixit said, adding, “we’ll factor that in.”“This amount of liquidity and this amount of debt in the market previously did not exist,” he said. “Our investors, they recognize the power of India.”

Published On Mar 29, 2024 at 09:34 AM IST

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