Prem Watsa. Photo: Bloomberg
Prem Watsa. Photo: Bloomberg

Narendra Modi will get elected for two more terms: Prem Watsa

Fairfax Financial Holdings chief executive says Narendra Modi will transform India

New Delhi: Reposing faith in the developmental work being done by the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government, Fairfax Financial Holdings chief executive and investor Prem Watsa said that the Indian Prime Minister will get elected in office for two more terms, which will transform the country.

“We think Mr. Modi can transform India, particularly if he gets re-elected for two more terms, as we think he will. He has an excellent track record, is incorruptible and is business-friendly. We expect Mr. Modi to be the Lee Kuan Yew of India!" Watsa said in a letter to his shareholders.

He has made three investments in India in the last one year after raising $1 billion by listing Fairfax India on Toronto Stock Exchange.

However, he added that his company will like to review its Indian operations and check if it is moving as per expectations.

“While we are bottom-up investors looking to buy exceptional Indian companies at reasonable prices, since our investment thesis was predicated on the transformational impact on the Indian economy of Prime Minister Modi, we would like to review how things are tracking in India as compared to our initial expectations," Watsa said, adding that his company did not expect miraculous changes and immediate results.

“We had no such expectations for an economy that was moribund from 67 years of socialism, a literally unnavigable bureaucracy and endemic corruption, but we see significant progress on many important fronts since the new government took office," he added.

Watsa said that his company has acquired 88% stake at 4148.8 million in agri-strorage firm National Collateral Management; 22% stake at $202 million in financial services firm IIFL Holdings, and 45% stake in Adi Finechem at $19 million.

Adi Finchem is an ole-chemicals company. Oleo chemicals are, broadly, chemicals that are derived from plant or animal fat, which can be used for making both edible products and non-edible products. In recent years, production of oleo chemicals has been moving from the US, Europe and Japan to Asian countries because of the local availability of key raw materials.

Expecting more deals in the country, Watsa said besides Thomas Cook India, his company has added Fairfax India as an investment vehicle in the country.

“Thomas Cook India’s resources may constrain the size of deals it can do, although we expect that deals in its area of expertise will continue to be done in that company," Watsa said.

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