The Australian superannuation funds industry plans to send a delegation to India for exploring investment opportunities in the South Asian country. Superannuation is basically an arrangement made by people in Australia for accruing funds to replace their income in retirement.
After his recent visit to New Delhi, CEO of London-based private equity fund Greater Pacific Capital Ketan Patel said that India is an ideal investment destination, as there is a real enthusiasm to attract foreign investment especially in Superfunds sector.
“There was a contrast with their views of India in the past and their views now. In the past, they were worried about the bureaucracy, the corruption, the ease of doing business and its tax affairs. They can see this new government is addressing each of these. They know it can take time to assess investment decisions but if they take too long, it will be priced into the assets in India,” he added.
According to Patel, the superfunds sector will send the delegation to India ahead of Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s visit to Australia in April. He stressed that Jaitley would visit Canberra mainly to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Meanwhile, Greater Pacific Capital, which has invested around USD 500 million in India in the last 10 years, has decided to discuss their future investment plans with the visiting minister. “People were wondering if areas, like infrastructure and real estate, in India were organised enough for them to invest in,” Patel said after his meetings with officials of the Future Fund, Cbus, Hostplus, MTAA and others.
At the same time, Patel admitted that super funds should be more cautious about placing India in the “emerging markets” category, saying: “There is understandably caution from super funds towards emerging markets. But that caution is stopping Australia placing its bets into India. It is worth segmenting India from these emerging markets.” He also admitted that “India is at the ground floor of where China was a decade ago”.
In recent times, India has recognised Australia as one its strategic partners. Currently, the two countries actively negotiate the Free Trade Agreement. Bilateral relations, too, have grown stronger in the last couple years, with New Delhi and Canberra signing some important deals, including the civilian nuclear co-operation agreement. Australia has also agreed to supply the much-needed uranium for Indian nuclear reactors.