The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private
sector funding arm of the World Bank, is looking for new
avenues for investment in India. IFC has identified housing
finance, information technology (IT) and infrastructure
as the key sectors for financing this fiscal.
is already in talks with several IT companies, and is
also evaluating housing finance and infrastructure sector
companies for investment. Housing finance seems
to be growing rapidly in India and presents an attractive
opportunity for us to invest. We will like to extend both
debt and equity support to this sector, says IFC
director (South Asia region) Dimitris Tsitsiragos.
says the absence of venture capital funds for the IT sector
provides them enough room to fund the sector, which is
on the threshold of revival. Though we will like
to fund infrastructure projects, there are several bottlenecks
in doing so. We are still evaluating prospective funding
in this sector.
adds that IFC is bullish about its India operations and
intends to pump in over $200 million this fiscal (1 July
2002 to 30 June 2003) in various projects. This is a substantial
jump over the last fiscal financing, which was to the
tune of $110 million.
IFCs increased focus on India, Tsitsiragos says
the corporation, at its board meeting recently, had cleared
the funding of several corporates, including Telco, Apollo
Tyres, Escorts Telecom, Mahindra and Mahindra and Cifco.
We want to develop a local financial market here
and bring the commercial banks parallel with us. We will
also facilitate foreign institutions to increase their
exposure in the Indian market.
has also decided a number of new products for the Indian
market. It has already guaranteed bonds of Ballarpur Industries
and the Bharti group and has also disbursed a number of
rupee loans. We are talking with the electricity
distribution companies in New Delhi to provide them with
soft finances, says Tsitsiragos.