Temasek, the Singapore-based firm with a portfolio worth over $230 billion worldwide, is positive on India and wants to accelerate its investments from $11 billion currently. Banks and insurance sectors are attractive and Temasek is looking to capitalise on the tech startup opportunities in the country. CNBC-TV18 spoke with Ravi Lambah, India head of Temasek to discuss the road ahead for the company.
Lambah said: "Globally we sold more than we bought last year because we were moderating our pace of investments. In India we are at a record high now, we are at $11 billion of exposure in India. We are at 5 percent of the total portfolio of Temasek which is also a record high. We have been investing over $1 billion a year for the last 5 years or 6 years now. So net-net we grew in India last year. We were 4 percent last year, we were about $10 billion, this year we are at $11 billion and 5 percent."
On the 2019 Union Budget presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 5, Lambah said, "We saw the budget as a long term budget. We have seen reforms put into place by this government in the first term; key reforms being on the bankruptcy code as well as on GST [the goods and services tax] and we expect that execution to continue.
"We would expect them to continue to have more reforms come into place. So we see this budget as a prudent budget. There may have been disappointment in the markets as people may not have seen it that way but on a long term basis we find it positive. We believe that there are a lot of good tailwinds in India. As long as we see policy certainty and clarity going forward, we think it will improve the ease of doing business in the country. Therefore all of those to us play out well as we think about increasing our exposure to the country."