July 19, 2018 / 11:44 AM / 5 months ago

Canada's biggest public pension fund to step up investment in India

MUMBAI, July 19 (Reuters) - Canada's biggest public pension scheme sees India as its main focus for investment in Asia as the country pours money into infrastructure development.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), which manages Canada's national pension fund, has invested nearly C$7 billion ($5.30 billion) in India since entering the market a decade ago and is looking for opportunities to invest in Indian infrastructure, power and real estate projects.

"As a long-term investor, Asia Pacific is very important... India is our focus market in Asia Pacific," Suyi Kim, senior managing director and head of Asia Pacific, CPPIB told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government plans to boost the economy and create more jobs by tripling public spending on infrastructure to 5.97 trillion rupees ($87 billion) in the financial year ending next March, from levels seen in 2014/15, as India heads towards elections by next May.

Some of CPPIB's recent deals have been with private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank and real estate developer Phoenix Mills Ltd.

"We're going to continue to expand our real estate, power, renewable and infrastructure investments," Kim said.

The fund would also be interested in the consumer sector, she said, but did not specify further.

CPPIB currently owns shares in some leading fast moving consumer goods companies like ITC Ltd, Hindustan Unilever Ltd and Britannia Industries Ltd.

The fund also expects more deals with logistics platform IndoSpace Core, its joint venture with Indian property developer IndoSpace.

$1 = 1.3218 Canadian dollars $1 = 68.9825 Indian rupees Reporting by Tanvi Mehta; Editing by Susan Fenton

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