Australia’s Macquarie Bank Ltd, which has completed its first year of operations in India, is optimistic about its prospects here. David Clarke, group chairman, Macquarie, says India has become a very important market for his group and is expected to contribute significantly to the business of the bank internationally.
Macquarie has a securities and investment banking business in India and is actively looking out for opportunities in infrastructure financing and wealth-management businesses. Macquarie specializes in infrastructure finance, especially in airport financing, and has several listed infrastructure funds across the globe. It is open to the idea of setting up an infrastructure fund in India.
Going ahead, Macquarie plans to replicate its Australian “community building” or theme-based township experience in India.
The bank has built several townships around golf courses in its home country and is on the hunt for the best opportunities for similar projects here.
“We are looking out for various opportunities in the infrastructure space. Currently, the airport sector looks very attractive and we are figuring out how to participate. To my mind, public-private partnerships are the best way forward for Indian infrastructure finance at the moment. We are even open to a joint venture in this space,” Clarke says.
Macquarie currently has 38 people in its sales and research desks in India. The bank has also recently started derivatives trading operations in Mumbai.
In the corporate banking space, Macquarie has done 11 deals in its one year of existence in India. The most significant of these is its recent exclusive advisory to the Tata Power Company Ltd for its $1 billion (Rs4,200 crore) acquisition of Indonesian resources assets.
The bank was also a lead manager in the initial public offering of Mindtree Consulting, which garnered record subscriptions, and picked up a 0.5% stake in Idea Cellular Ltd, the telecom firm that is a part of Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd, a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group.
“There is a lot of scope in the Indian capital markets and what we have seen is just the beginning. We, as a bank, bring a lot of expertise on the capital markets side and have been known for innovations in this space. With Indian companies on a growth path, we believe Macquarie will be a part in nurturing Indian corporations,” says Varun Bajpai, head of corporate finance of Macquarie Bank in India.