Temasek’s investments in India reach $16 billion despite market slump

Mumbai Temasek Holdings’ exposure to India reached a record $16 billion in the last fiscal year, while Singapore’s state investor continued to increase its investments in technology firms and listed companies despite broad market corrections, according to senior executives.

Temasek Managing Director, Investments (India) Vishesh Srivastava said in an interview on Thursday that the firm’s overall portfolio in India has almost doubled in the last five years.

Its India exposure increased to $14 billion in FY11 from $9 billion in FY10. This figure was $11 billion in FY19, $10 billion in FY18 and $9 billion in FY17.

Earlier this week, Temasek reported that its net portfolio value hit a record S$400 billion ($297 billion) globally in fiscal 2012, an increase of S$22 billion from the previous year. Tech stocks have risen over the past six months despite a global decline.

Last year, four of Temasek’s portfolio firms in India – Zomato, PolicyBazaar, Cartrade and Devyani International – went public. Each has since seen a sharp correction in stock prices.

Was trading on Zomato on Thursday 55.6 per share, while CarTrade . was on 643 each—both over 56% from their all-time highs. Policybazaar was trading down almost 58% from its all time highs 548.8 per share.

Srivastava, however, said Temasek’s total India portfolio grew “really well” in FY22 and “beat the index”. He did not elaborate.

The firm’s exposure in India is a mix of direct investments in private and public companies as well as investments made through Indian arms from other global companies such as DBS and Sembcorp.

“In general, the India portfolio has performed quite well for us,” Srivastava said, adding that the firm is “long-term positive in India”.

Temasek’s positive stance on India comes at a time when it has become globally cautious on fears of a slowdown in the US. However, India is expected to be more resilient as the economy is more focused on domestic consumption, although there may be some spillover in external sectors, said Mohit Bhandari, managing director, investment (India) at Temasek.

Typically, Temasek invests around $1 billion every year in India, Bhandari said, although its investment last year was “very high”.

The firm also sees more opportunities to consolidate some of its portfolio companies.

In the last quarter, there have been three or four instances in which Temasek has supported its portfolio companies in making acquisitions. When Eyewear Unicorn acquired Japan’s Ondays in a $400 million deal, it joined an investor consortium to finance Lenskart. Srivastava said Temasek also financed Shiprocket’s purchase of Picker in a $200 million deal and also participated in the upgrade’s ongoing equity round, which had a turnover of $2.2 billion.

Companies are also keen to turn unit economics positive and “consolidation helps” to that extent, Bhandari said.

Officials said valuations of loss-making tech firms have notably seen improvement, though they have fallen across the spectrum.

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