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Canada's CDPQ to open office in India

Increasingly, limited partners are setting up offices in the country to invest directly

Raghavendra Kamath  |  Mumbai 

After Canada Pension Plan, CDPQ looks to open office in India

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), the second largest pension fund in Canada after Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), is looking to open an office in India to invest here directly, said an executive aware of the fund manager’s plans.

CDPD, which manages $240 billion of depositors’ money, has already hired some executives and is looking for properties, the executive added. “As a large investor in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate, CDPD could look at similar investments here.”

CDPQ’s real estate arm, Ivanhoe Cambridge, had entered India in 2007 and shut its office in 2011. CDPQ’s PE arm, SITQ, also shelved plans to invest in Indian real estate as it could not find the right opportunities.

CDPQ & CPPIB: AT A GLANCE
  • CDPQ is second largest pension fund after CPPIB in Canada
  • CDPQ manages funds worth $ 240 billion of Canadian depositors
  • CDPQ is one of the top 10 real estate investors in the world
  • CPPIB manages $ 272 billion of funds
  • CPPIB has invested $ 2 billion in India

Set up in 1965, CDPQ is one of the largest institutional fund managers in Canada and North America. A leading PE investor in Canada, it is also one of the 10 largest real estate asset managers in the world.

A mail to CDPQ did not elicit any response.

The trend of limited partners opening their offices to invest directly here is rising.

In October last year, CPPIB opened a 12,000-sq ft in office at Maker Maxity in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex. A $272-billion pension fund manager, it has already hired half a dozen full-time employees in the office.

Earlier, it had appointed Vikram Gandhi, a former New York-based Credit Suisse executive, as an advisor for direct deal opportunities in the country.

CPPIB started investing in India since 2010. It owns a 3.9 per cent stake in Kotak Mahindra Bank; has made $332 investment in L&T Infrastructure Development Projects; has a $200-million joint venture with Shapoorji Pallonji; and has made a $300-million investment commitment with Renuka Ramnath’s Multiples Alternate Asset Management.

A mail to the CPPIB spokesperson did not elicit response.

“CPPIB has been investing in India since 2010 and we view it as a key growth market that aligns with our strategy of seeking investments in markets that we believe will deliver attractive long-term, risk-adjusted returns,” said Mark Wiseman, president and chief executive officer, CPPIB, had said after announcing the opening of the Mumbai office in October 2015.

“The opening of an office in Mumbai allows CPPIB to develop local expertise, build important partnerships and access investment opportunities that may not otherwise have been available.” Wiseman added.

From the Mumbai office, CPPIB will focus primarily on growing its portfolio in the country.

GIC, another limited partner and Singapore Government’s sovereign fund, also has a 5,000-sq ft office in Maker Maxity, Bandra Kurla Complex. GIC is aggressive on India and it has done a Rs 1,992-crore deal with DLF for residential properties. It runs a real estate NBFC with KKR, and runs two platforms with Ascendas and Brigade for property development and investment.

Besides, GIC invests in listed securities and has made couple of investments in e-commerce space.

“Most of the limited partners want to increase their exposure in India given that their comfort on Russia, and Brazil is going down,” said a senior fund manager who did not want to be quoted.

Qatar Investment Authority and Singapore’s Temasek also have offices in India.

Another senior executive who has a joint venture with a global fund said if limited partners directly invest in Indian assets, it would severely impact the private equity business here. “The fund managers who are dependent on fee from limited partners would find it difficult to raise new funds.”

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First Published: Thu, January 14 2016. 00:14 IST
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