labels: world bank, international finance corporation, investments
IFC may invest in Indian housing, IT sectorsnews
Praveen Chandran
13 September 2002

Mumbai: 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.

IFC 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.

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.”

He 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.

About IFC’s 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.”

IFC 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.


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IFC may invest in Indian housing, IT sectors