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Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006


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Macquarie Bank looks at infrastructure investments

Our Bureau

Indian unit operations begin

India plans
No hint on investment routes
Equity broking services by April
Other units exploring opportunities

BULLISH VIEW: Mr Warwick Smith (left), Executive Director, Macquarie Bank, with Mr Stuart Smythe, Head of Equity (India), at a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday. — Paul Noronha

Mumbai , March 7

Australia-based Macquarie Bank Ltd is considering investment in infrastructure in India.

The bank announced start of its India division, called Macquarie Securities (India) Private Ltd, today.

"There are opportunities in India in infrastructure such as airports and ports," said Mr Warwick Smith, Executive Director, Central Executive Group. He did not elaborate on what the routes for investment would be.

Earlier this year, Macquarie had tied up with Airport de Paris to bid for the airport modernisation scheme, but had lost the bid. The Indian division, which started operations in January , currently offers the whole range of investment banking services. By April, it will also offer equity broking services for institutional clients.

At the moment, India is a favoured destination for equity investment, said Mr Stuart Smythe, Head of Equity, India.

Among the sectors that look attractive are minerals and mines, healthcare and infrastructure.

Including the Indian operations, the bank has a presence in 11 Asian markets, said Mr Basil Mcilhagga, Executive Director, Head of Macquarie Securities Asia. "India will be one of the attractive markets for us. It has clearly caught the attention of the foreign investor community," he said.

Other units of the bank, such as commodities group, banking and property group and financial services and treasury group are also exploring opportunities in India.

The bank has formed a joint venture development company, called Milestone, with former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh.

This company plans to develop themed townships that offer integrated residential communities. The company is also considering such projects in India, said Waugh.

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