‘Picture abhi baki hai’, says ‘bullish’ Blackstone CEO on India’s growth

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    American private equity major Blackstone is “bullish” on the India growth story and plans to invest more in the country’s infrastructure and real estate projects.

    Blackstone is a global alternative asset management firm that has invested in India across multiple sectors, including real estate, private equity, credit, and infrastructure. The firm has been active in India for over a decade and has committed billions of dollars to investments in the country.

    “We have a long-term view on India, as growth will be higher here. We have invested half of our Asia exposure in India. Our extraordinary performance in India has made us bullish,” reports quoted said Jonathan Gray, president and chief operating officer of Blackstone, as saying.

    Picture abhi baki hai,” he added, talking about India’s growth prospects, demonstrating the firm’s confidence in the country’s economic growth and its commitment to contributing to its development.

    Blackstone is a leading global investment firm that operates across various asset classes, including private equity, real estate, and credit. The firm has been active in India for many years and has made a number of significant investments in the country.

    Some of its notable investments in India include the acquisition of a majority stake in Mphasis, an IT services company in 2016, and the acquisition of a portfolio of logistics assets from Hiranandani Group in 2020.

    In 2018, Blackstone also acquired the commercial real estate portfolio of Indiabulls Real Estate for over $1 billion.

    Amid allegations against the Adani group, Gray said Blackstone was comfortable with what it was doing in India, and with the underlying fundamentals and cash flows of its investee companies.

    “There are growing pains at times with a country that’s moving from an early emerging market status to a more mature one. We take a longer-term approach. I think because our investors have seen so much success generated by our investments here, they have not lost confidence (in India),” Gray said.

    “The way we run these companies in India is incredibly professional and transparent. We follow the highest standards of corporate governance, and that’s what we’re trying to bring in as best practices. So I don’t think, at the end of the day, this is going to be a long-term impediment to what’s going to happen in India.”

    “If anything, it just raises the bar for everybody and forces people to operate at a certain standard. So I think, over time, India will continue to make progress in this area. And as it does, it makes it easier for the capital to come in,” Gray told Business Standard.

    “I believe India is on that path. But there will obviously be some bumps in the road.”

    India is the top performing market globally for Blackstone Private Equity with investments in Mphasis, VFS, TaskUs, IBS Software, Xpressbees, Simplilearn. Blackstone is also the largest owner of commercial and retail real estate in India, with a portfolio of over $20 billion.

    The company wants to scale its real estate portfolio across logistics, retail, office and data centres. Its investments include Embassy REIT, Nexus Malls, Nucleus Office Parks, Horizon Industrial Parks, and Lumina Data Centres. Blackstone also launched India’s first retail-focused REIT.

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