MUMBAI: Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), among the largest long-term public and private equity investors managing $200 billion in assets, is set to appoint an India team with a new office in Mumbai later this year.
This will be the marquee investor's only second office in an emerging market and signals reviving sentiments on the India investment story. CPPIB strung together three high-profile deals with Shapoorji Pallonji, Piramal and L&T in the past one year stepping up interest in India's real estate and infrastructure.
The Canadian giant has mandated recruitment firms to finalize India heads for real estate, infrastructure and equities. The first on board will be the real estate head to be followed by the other two. CPPIB could eye investments topping $5 billion in Asia's third largest economy in the next five years, people familiar with the matter said.
CPPIB has five offices in Toronto, London, New York, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo. Last month, it opened in Sao Paulo, Brazil office to spearhead investments in Latin American markets.
The Mumbai and Sao Paulo offices are part of the plans to diversify assets in emerging markets.
"India is a key long-term growth market, as it is aligned with our strategy of seeking investments in emerging markets that we believe will deliver attractive risk adjusted returns. I cannot provide comment on any recruitment efforts that may be occurring at this time," Linda Sims, director, public affairs & communications, CPPIB, said.
The fund mix shows that only $11 billion-or just 6% of the total assets-is invested in Asian markets excluding Japan. Its exposure to emerging market equities is under 7% compared to 35% in foreign developed market equities and 8.4% in Canadian equities.
One of the largest retirement funds, CPPIB has been an indirect investor behind India story for many years, as it backed several private equity funds operating in the country. But its direct entry comes at a time when long-term foreign investors, especially private equity firms, have seen erosion of wealth caused by policy paralysis, slowing economy and declining rupee.