India is Blackstone’s Leading Asian Market, Tempting Future Infrastructure

Blackstone Inc., which manages nearly a trillion dollars in assets globally, may be considering infrastructure investments in India, one of its best-performing markets, a top executive said at a news briefing, according to Reuters.

It has a "government oriented towards growth," said Jonathan Gray, Blackstone's President and Chief Operating Officer. "India is a major part of the anchor of our Asia strategy. Japan and Australia follow that."

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The private equity titan manages assets worth $50 billion in India, the company said, and made more than a billion dollars in real estate share sales in 2022, Reuters reported. Private equity deals in India totaled $32 billion in 2022, a 27% decline from 2021. But India's share of total Asia funding rose to 25% from 16% in the same period.

Blackstone’s peers, such as KKR and Co., and pension funds including the CPP Investment Board and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan are already active in India, fueling Blackstone to consider investing in future infrastructure there. The company also intends to invest more in data centers and warehousing, according to Senior Managing Director Amit Dixit, Reuters reported.

More certainty around tax and capital market laws will help increase foreign investments in India, Gray told Reuters. "Capital markets have many more rules in India," making exits difficult.

In China, however, Blackstone is being more selective, with geopolitical factors creating obstacles to investment, Gray said. China is wanting to boost its economy after recording one of its worst growth levels in more than 50 years.

Private equity-backed mergers and acquisitions fell 67% in 2022 year on year, totaling $36 billion, Refinitiv data showed. And, the country’s share in Asia's total private equity deal value dropped to 28% in 2022 from 41% in 2021, according to the data.

As tensions continue over trade and technology, the U.S. government has been tightening scrutiny over U.S. investments in the world’s second-largest economy. President Joe Biden's administration plans to ban investments in some Chinese technology companies and increase scrutiny of others, Reuters reported.