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Short term economic volatility present buying opportunities for global investors, says Brookfield CEO Bruce Flatt

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In a candid and rare interview, along the sidelines of the 'Invest India Conference' in Toronto, Bruce Flatt, CEO, Brookfield Asset Management tells CNBC-TV18 that India's commercial real estate bets have worked well as the company is keen on scaling up its $6 billion India portfolio.

Short term economic volatility present buying opportunities for global investors, says Brookfield CEO Bruce Flatt
Canada-headquartered financial services giant, Brookfield Asset Management believes short-term stress offer investors the best opportunities to fund entrepreneurs and find the most viable project to bet on.
In a candid and rare interview, along the sidelines of the 'Invest India Conference' in Toronto, Bruce Flatt, CEO, Brookfield Asset Management tells CNBC-TV18 that India's commercial real estate bets have worked well as the company is keen on scaling up its $6 billion India portfolio.
Edited Excerpts:
What's your assessment of the current investment climate globally?
At Brookfield, we have a long-term outlook. We consider ourselves global investors so short-term factors do not really impact us. They are simply not relevant to our investment strategy.
Moreover, we believe certain tremors in equity, commodity or currency markets actually present opportunities for business.
Which are some of the top countries Brookfield is bullish on given today's geopolitical scenario?
Brookfield is invested into over 35 countries across the world, and we keep assessing portfolio opportunities constantly. It does matter which country, but we do invest more wherever we see opportunity.
We study political and economic conditions in a country but are well aware that priorities and policies change for countries all the time. So instead of on basis of geography, we tend to go wherever there is need — like stress in the banking system.
Can you tell us how you perceive India as a long-term investment destination?
Brookfield is heavily invested into the large real estate story that India presents. We also hold stake in many toll road projects in the country. We believe solar and wind will be the future of energy generation there and have stake in these projects as well.
Infrastructure will continue to present the biggest opportunity in India for global investors, and like everyone else, we are always on the lookout for the most viable Infra project.
India is a very promising investment destination because the government is ready to work on transparency in laws, providing a good regulatory regime for foreign investors and has been a great experience for Brookfield so far.
But, the India rupee is at its lowest, fuel prices at their highest ever levels; What do you make of the current crude and currency volatility in Indian markets and how will this impact investment climate?
I can answer how it will affect investment for Brookfield. We believe that in the long-term, factors like crude or currency or political instability will balance out. Often these short-term uncertainties are when local entrepreneurs look to overseas funding and we see these factors as pockets of opportunity.
Looking back, what would you make of your investment picks in India?
Brookfield sees a huge opportunity in the Indian market. We have invested close to $6 billion since entering the market in 2013 and will continue to do so. Our commercial real estate bet in Gurugram has provided excellent returns on investment and we will continue to do so in cities such as Kolkata, Noida, Mumbai and others.
Meanwhile, infrastructure is also a sector that we have our eyes set on.

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CompanyPriceChng%Chng
Tata Motors295.55 -7.00 -2.31
Grasim1,549.50 -32.55 -2.06
Larsen1,611.75 -30.40 -1.85
Adani Ports680.05 -11.75 -1.70
Tech Mahindra1,131.00 -17.60 -1.53
CompanyPriceChng%Chng
Larsen1,612.00 -29.55 -1.80
HUL2,359.25 -19.40 -0.82
Reliance2,105.20 -15.80 -0.74
Asian Paints3,083.20 -21.25 -0.68
NTPC118.50 -0.80 -0.67

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