By 23 April, 2009

New York-based financial services major Goldman Sachs is trying to “disproportionately” grow its footprint in India as well as other emerging markets. The investment banking major, which has turned into a bank holding firm in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, has reaffirmed its faith in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies, said its CEO and chairman Lloyd Craig Blankfein in an to Mint.

Blankfein said that his firm remains focused on private equity business in India even though deal opportunities have slowed down. Goldman has so far invested $2 billion in India in private equity. But he also added that in this market more focus will be on acquiring distressed assets than private equity transactions.

Goldman's PE portfolio in India includes Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, TVS Logistics, National Stock Exchange, Bharti Infratel Ltd, SpiceJet, NDTV and Sigma Electric Manufacturing Corp. It was recently reported that Goldman is looking to sell its stake in NSE and Punjab-based food major Cremica.

Expanding Securities Biz; Asset Management On Hold

The Goldman chief said that currently the bank is focusing on expanding its securities business in India. It has got an asset management business licence but plans to start the business only once the markets improve. In 2008, Goldman acquired non-banking financial company Pratham Investments and Trading Private Ltd, and earlier this year it infused $76 million in it. It also plans to get into government bond business and is planning to apply to government for a the same.

Most recently Goldman, along with Avendus Capital, was the investment banker to the fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services on its deal with Tech Mahindra.

Blankfein has said his interview that Goldman Sachs plans to stick to its commitment to the emerging markets. He also added that 21st century belongs to BRIC nations and his company does not plan to miss out on the next 92 years of growth. He said that fund flow to emerging markets will come as world economy recovers.

Goldman recently reported its first quarter results with profit of $1.8 billion, which was double the estimation made analysts. Blankfein said that the possibility of the feared collapse in the system is now remote. 

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