Speaking exclusively to CNBC-TV18’s Latha Venkatesh, Stuart Milne of HSBC Bank said foreign investors are in India for the long haul and it remains an attractive investment destination.
Foreign investors will not leave India even if the US Fed hikes interest rates. That’s the word coming in from the head of HSBC India Stuart Milne. Speaking exclusively to CNBC-TV18’s Latha Venkatesh, he said foreign investors are in India for the long haul and it remains an attractive investment destination.
Below is a verbatim transcript of the interview
Q: What is your outlook on India right now?
A: The level of interest happening in India has shifted markedly since the election. Everybody understands that the new government has a very strong mandate for significant change. Expectations are high. One hopes that those expectations can be met but there is no doubt there is significant interest from companies overseas in doing more business in India.
In fact, at our conference these couple of days—we brought 50 different companies into India from all over the world; 15 different countries representing every region to look at the opportunity in India. These are largely people who have not been to India before. So we are helping to make those connections and give people the confidence to invest here.
We have also seen quite a lot of investments coming in the last 12 months. From multinational corporations that know India very well. So the likes of Hindustan Unilever, GSK and Diageo—these are all companies that have the confidence to come in and commit significant amounts of additional capital to the Indian market. And based on what I see, that will indeed continue.
Q: So you see foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing in. Are you saying that the negativity following, those Vodafone cases, the cancellation of telephone license are now the thing of the past that FDI is once again interested in India?
A: Yes, that is the case. There is still more to happen and there are expectations on the government that we will see additional measures take place over the coming weeks and months but there is no doubt that the new government coming in with this mandate for change is generating a huge amount of interest overseas.
I was just in Japan very recently calling on clients there and I had previously spent five years in Tokyo actually as HSBC’s chief executive there and what was very clear is that there is an awful lot of interest from Japanese corporations in supporting the infrastructure story and with the right conditions we are going to see significant investment come from that source.