Japanese investors keen on Indian infra: Jaitley

CEO Masayoshi Son is keen to invest in Indian Internet and solar companies

The Dollar Business Bureau

Many Japanese investors have shown keen interest to invest in the growth of the Indian infrastructure, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. Jaitley was speaking to the media on the first day of his six-day visit to Japan on Sunday. The minister’s visit is aimed to attract investments from Japan.

SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son met Jaitley and expressed interest in investing in companies related to the internet and the solar energy sectors.

Jaitley said that there are many who would like to invest in the infrastructure sector of India. SoftBank is also looking to invest in some of the biggest solar power projects in the country. The company has formed a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises and Foxconn Technology to invest around $20 billion, in clean energy in India. This would generate a power capacity of more than 20 GW.

The JV with SoftBank has already made considerable efforts and identified a location to set up the plants. This is one among the biggest investments in the identified areas, he said.

SoftBank has also made continuous investments worth around $2 billion in the Indian technology over last two years. It is planning to fast-track its investments in the coming years.

Along with solar energy projects, SoftBank is also interested in the Indian Internet companies, Son said. India's e-commerce market is poised to grow massively. This would help in making the country an investment destination for global investors, he added.

SoftBank has invested $627 million in Snapdeal, another $210 million in Ola Cabs over a period of two years. It has bought a 35% stake in InMobi for $200 million. It also partnered with Bharti Group to form a joint venture, Bharti SoftBank. This joint venture has invested in Hike Messenger, Housing.com, Oyo Rooms and Grofers.

Earlier, Son had expressed that the Indian e-commerce sector would turn into a $500 billion business in the coming decade. SoftBank has been rapidly expanding its Internet and media business holdings. It holds Japan's leading mobile carriers and also has a major stake in Sprint Corp.


The Dollar Business Bureau - May 30, 2016 12:00 IST