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Indian investors to invest in GCC

Indian investors continue to look at GCC as a good option for setting up businesses or making investments, said a top official of Alpen Capital (ME) Limited.

“We expect relations between India and GCC to continue growing at a steady pace. Although the current situation in India is challenging both on the economic and political front and may slow down the investments from GCC to India temporarily. NRIs have traditionally a very strong presence in GCC with interests spanning from financial services, trading to manufacturing to mention a few, so we would expect that they will benefit further by leveraging on their understanding of the region,” Rohit Walia, executive chairman, Alpen Capital (ME) Limited said in an exclusive interview.

Alpen Capital is currently advising on many opportunities relating to the expansion of the GCC-India corridor by working with a host of Indian and Middle East businesses and will be shortly announcing the setting up a $250 million sugar refinery in the UAE in which they have played an advisory role.

On the investment prospects in India, Walia, said: “India continues to be a good long term story and we are making the GCC investors aware of several opportunities to diversify their investment portfolio. These are specifically related to sectors such as education and manufacturing wherein GCC investors interested in India are looking at businesses that can be replicated in the Middle East and vice versa. Due to its locational advantage and strong logistics, infrastructure and abundance of energy resources, the GCC has the potential to serve as a manufacturing base as well as an export hub for Indian companies.

“Our niche is to bring India close to GCC investors and the other way around as we understand both markets very well. Earlier this year, we had organized a road show for Nasdaq Dubai to Mumbai and New Delhi which was a great opportunity for Indian companies looking to become active in the GCC region and exploring listing opportunities with Nasdaq Dubai.”

The recent turmoil in the dollar and Indian rupee had a major impact in the Indian economy and has created different opportunities for NRI investors.

NRIs will benefit from the increase of the rates of FCNR deposits and also from the attractive opportunities created on forex markets because of the volatility. GCC economies continue to be robust and provide good opportunities for regional investors to expand their businesses.

PE funds have also come back to the investment market. We specifically see growth in sectors such as retail, healthcare, food and education. We also see opportunities in the hospitality sector primarily in Dubai. Liquidity is strong and investors are hungry for yields while focussing on their core business areas, he added.

Set up in 2005, Alpen as boutique investment bank offers advisory services in the areas of debt, M&A, equity and capital markets. It started operations in Qatar and Oman as early as 2008 and then later expanded to Bahrain and India. Currently Alpen has received a principle license for Saudi Arabia.

“We believe it is very important to be closer to our clients so that we have a pulse on their requirements. In the last few years we have expanded rapidly and created a niche for ourselves as an organization specializing in cross-border transactions in the GCC-India sphere.