Reselling the India story: road shows kick off in the Gulf

June 9th, 2012 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai/New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) Road shows highlighting India’s growth potential to attract sovereign funds and other investors kicks off in five Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman Sunday.

The marketing campaign takes off at a time when the India growth story has taken a beating following softening of the growth rate to 5.3 percent — the lowest in nine years– from a high of nine percent prior to the 2008 global financial crisis.

“A lot of people are ill-informed about India’s potential. We want to tell investors, look, it is a robust economy with high savings, demand and investment opportunities,” R. Gopalan, economic affairs secretary, told reporters earlier this week.

During the June 10-15 road shows, a delegation of officials from the finance ministry, the Reserve Bank of India, the Security and Exchange Board of India and stock exchanges would seek investment through corporate bonds and debt funds, especially in the country’s infrastructure sector.

India aims to invest up to $1 trillion in infrastructure over the five years through March 2017, of which it hopes to attract half from the private sector.

Following the finance ministry’s directive May 29, market regulator SEBI this week eased norms to attract investments from qualified foreign investors (QFIs) from the six Gulf and 27 European Commission countries in mutual funds, stocks and corporate bonds.

“The perception (about India) can be corrected if you answer their (investors’) questions,” said Gopalan, who leads the delegation.

Finance ministry officials said overseas individuals could invest between $80 billion and $90 billion in India over the next two years.

“Given the talk of quantitative easing and other steps planned in the US and Europe, it is a good time to sell India as a good destination. We want to have the first mover advantage,” said Gopalan.

Road shows will also be held in major cities like Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo and then in Europe and the US, according to Thomas Mathew, joint secretary in charge of capital markets at the finance ministry.

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