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IFC target for India – invest $500mn by June

With India emerging as one of the most preferred investment destinations globally, World Bank's private equity arm, International Finance Corporation (IFC), is aiming at crossing the $500 million mark in new investments by June.

“IFC's currently-held portfolio is $1.3 billion (as of June 2006) making India our fourth-largest country of operations. In FY06-07 (ending June 30), we hope to cross the $500 million in new investments in India,” IFC South Asia Senior Manager Sujoy Bose told PTI.

During its current fiscal, IFC invested over Rs 91.71 crore in a subsidiary of Moser Baer, a manufacturer of optical storage device, and about Rs 82 crore for assisting Kanoria Chemicals in its expansion plans. It also picked up 11.48% in Granules India for around Rs 26 crore, and has committed a $50 million loan to Orissa-based cement manufacturer OCL India.

IFC is also planning to invest over Rs 101.37 crore ($25 million) to help increase the production capacity of electronic bike maker Electrotherm India in Gujarat.

“As a multilateral institution, it is our job to seek out small and medium-sized companies with a potential for significant growth and play the role of a strategic investor and adviser to strengthen their competitiveness and help them become environmentally more responsible,” Bose said.

IFC had invested in companies like Bharat Forge and Titan Watches, which later grew into global brands, in their early stages. The list also includes industrial giants like Tata Steel, Larsen and Toubro, Bajaj Scooters and Arvind Mills.

In the financial sector, IFC played an institution-building role and was a founding investor in key financial institutions like HDFC and IDFC and continues to be their partner. “About $300 million has been invested by IFC in the financial sector this year in India,” Bose said.

Source : Business Standard

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